For those of you who don’t already know, Pebble is a smartwatch that connects via Bluetooth to your Android or iOS-powered smartphone. In addition to doing everything you’d expect a watch to do, it also shows you alerts from your phone. New emails, Facebook alerts, voice and text messages, information about incoming calls, and more are all sent from your phone to your wrist — it even lets you remotely control your music. There you can dismiss them, or reach into your pocket, pull out your phone, and reply. Unlike the Galaxy Gear, Pebble doesn’t contain a camera or microphone, and it won’t let you answer phone calls on your wrist. Some would say that’s not the proper role of a smartwatch, myself included.
All in all, Pebble is a fabulous solution. It’s one that I personally invested in when the company opened its Kickstarter campaign. The watch isn’t perfect, but it’s very close, and the consolations it makes, in my opinion, are warranted. That having been said, it’s a plastic watch with a rubber-like band. It’s right at home on my wrist, but for executives and people who are “above” plastic, the only way to mitigate this concern has been to swap out the band. That’s an easy enough prospect, and something that almost every one of the Pocketnow team did after we purchased our Pebbles. However, the watch itself is still plastic, and for some, that’s a problem.
Introducing Pebble Steel
Pebble has been teasing us with a CES announcement for the last week or so. We’ve seen a new SDK arrive not long ago, and the company announced the upcoming release of the Pebble app store — a centralized location to get apps and watch faces for your Pebble. But the meat of the CES announcement was a closely kept secret — until leaks started making their way out the day prior to the announcement.
The big news? Pebble Steel.
Pebble Steel is based on the same hardware as its plastic sibling, but it adds a few improvements. It’s made from metal, has a slimmer bezel, and its display is covered with Corning Gorilla Glass. As you’d expect, it also comes with a metal wristband, though it includes a leather option as well. Aside from the obvious visual differences, the Pebble Steel has smaller dimensions, a steel chassis, double the RAM, an RGB notification LED, and will be offered in both silver and black versions.
The price tag has been increased to compensate for upgrades: the Pebble Steel will sell for $100 more than plastic version.
We’ve heard about the new app store which Pebble will be releasing soon. Today we learned that some of the new apps will include ESPN, Foursquare, Yelp, and Pandora. None of these apps are meant as replacements for their smartphone versions, but are intended to supplement the information which the smartphone apps provide.
Take the Pandora app, for example. If you want to up- or down-vote a track, or change stations, previously you had to do that in the app running on your smartphone. Now, however, you’ll be able to do all of these on the watch. The same philosophy holds true with the other apps that are being released with the Pebble app store.
Is it worth the price?
Many complained about the price of the original Pebble — something I never did because I’ve always thought it was well worth the asking price.
The new watch adds some extra future-proofing to the device by doubling the RAM, but also makes it more durable with its steel and Gorilla Glass. It’s also a lot more “classy” with its metal construction. All of these combined, for me, make the Pebble Steel not only a great buy for someone who doesn’t yet have a smartwatch, but it’s also a great upgrade for those of us who already have a “classic” Pebble on our wrists.
To put it simply, I want a Pebble Steel, and if you’re anything like me, you will too!
Wearables are some of the big news items at CES 2014. We’re sure you want to know more about Pebble and Pebble Steel. Taylor Martin has some hands-on videos coming up that you won’t want to miss! What’s more, CES has lots of new technology and products that are sure to knock your socks off! Lucky for you, Pocketnow has you covered!