85

At last, a stylish smartwatch

85

If functionality is the most critical factor for you when buying a smartwatch, the original Pebble is still a better deal at $150. It will do the same things as the Steel, which means there is very little incentive to paying an extra $100 for the nicer watch if that's your motive. Additionally, the first Pebble is also more colorful and customizable, so some might still prefer it over the Steel.

On the other hand, the Steel serves a wide-open market segment: people who want a watch that looks good. Indeed, the Steel blends functionality with an elegant and durable design, and it does a fantastic job at it. You'll get a long-lasting battery (by smartwatch standards, at least), a tough stainless steel body and a solid ecosystem that will continue to grow and get better. It seems like an ideal compromise for those who want a flashy watch that does more than just tell time, and even though it's significantly more expensive than its first-gen counterpart, it's still much cheaper than some of the Rolex-style timepieces you can buy.

Simply put, the Steel isn't going to persuade many people to swap out their perfectly functional Hamilton, Movado or Citizen, but if you're in the market for a replacement and want a smartwatch, this is your best option. What's most important, though, is what the Steel represents: a realization that if smartwatches are going to become mainstream, they'll need to appeal to people who prefer to adorn their wrists with jewelry. At the very least, the Steel is a significant step in the right direction.

Buy It:

$229.99
$229.99

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Critic reviews

8.1
16 reviews
  • Features
    7.8
  • Display
    7.1
  • Battery life
    7.8
  • Ease of use
    8.2
  • Storage capacity
    6.0
  • Design and form factor
    9.1
  • Portability (size / weight)
    8.2
  • Durability
    8.0

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User reviews

8.6
5 reviews
9.0
Engadget Jan 28, 2014

The Pebble Steel doesn't introduce any new functionality, but it represents a big step forward in smartwatch design.

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9.0
TechCrunch Jan 28, 2014

Overall, though, the Pebble Steel improves on the original in all the hardware aspects where it felt like it could’ve used a bit more time in the oven, and leaves relatively untouched the software stuff that the startup got right.

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8.0
CNET Jan 28, 2014

Equal parts fashionable and functional, the Pebble Steel leaps to the top of the smartwatch heap, but does so by improving existing tech rather than adding something totally new.

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8.0
Tom's Guide Jan 28, 2014

The Pebble Steel's beautiful stainless-steel design, combined with the new appstore, make it our favorite smartwatch yet.

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8.0
Laptop Magazine Jan 30, 2014

The Steel isn't perfect. For the price, we'd expect more room for apps, and the Pebble doesn't have the same whizbang features of its competitors. But overall, we'd much rather wear the Pebble Steel than any other smartwatch.

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8.0
Ars Technica Jan 28, 2014

In a real way, Pebble Steel introduces us to the second iteration of wearable computing. But don’t think of this as just a sophomore effort. There’s serious refinement in this new product, both in hardware and software.

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8.0
PC Mag Jan 28, 2014

The Pebble Steel is as mature as smartwatches come; it couples sophisticated design with a burgeoning Pebble app store, and cements its place atop the competition.

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8.0
Gizmodo Feb 14, 2014

So at the moment, the Pebble Steel is the best, prettiest smartwatch for your money. But it's also new bod on a gadget that's in imminent danger of falling way behind the curve.

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7.0
Wired Jan 28, 2014

Pebble’s approach is to provide simplified access to what’s most important and most relevant on your smartphone. It’s still not something most of us really need, but now at least the overall package looks good enough to disguise this triviality.

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10
Pocket-Lint Mar 12, 2014

If you want a smartwatch and need to look presentable then the Pebble Steel certainly makes the "smart" in smartwatch mean more than just being clever. It's one smart looking device too and is hands-down the best smartwatch available on the market now.

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9.0
Mashable Jan 28, 2014

At $249.99, the Pebble Steel is an attractive and very capable smartwatch. It's more fashionable and more professional-looking than the original and feels like a much more polished commercial product.

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8.0
SlashGear Jan 28, 2014

Love or hate the new design, you can't fault Pebble for how it has balanced its existing user and developer base while simultaneously appealing to a wider audience.

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8.0
Time Jan 28, 2014

If you’re wavering, wait: If the Appstore and the wares it offers live up to their promise, both the first Pebble and the Steel will just keep getting more useful in the months to come.

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7.0
TechHive Mar 3, 2014

The Pebble Steel offers a stylish design, in contrast to the original Pebble's more sporty construction. It tells the time and displays notifications subtly.

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6.0
T3 Mar 31, 2014

What it all comes down to is this - do you need a smartwatch right now? If the answer to that is yes, then you can do a lot worse than picking up a Pebble Steel. If you can wait, then we suggest you do. You'll have a lot more choice in a few short months.

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First Looks

product preview
Engadget Jan 6, 2014

So what did we think about Pebble's new look? In a nutshell, we like it (although the jury's still out on the name itself).

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product preview
PC Mag Jan 6, 2014

The device is built on the same hardware platform as the original watch, though it has double the 64KB of memory in the first-gen Pebbles. There's a single LED light under the Pebble Steel display that lights up when it's being charged and can be used to signal incoming notifications.

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product preview
SlashGear Jan 6, 2014

Those who felt the plastic Pebble was too indiscrete on the wrist should have more luck with the Pebble Steel, and both straps feel well made and are comfortable.

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product preview
Pocket-Lint Jan 8, 2014

Overall, the Pebble Steel is a welcome addition, maturing the Pebble portfolio and addressing the criticisms that we had of the first edition. It's now a more masculine offering for those who want something that looks more like a watch and less like a toy.

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product preview
GottaBeMobile Jan 6, 2014

I immediately put the Pebble Steel black matte option on and was reluctant to take the watch off. Pebble really nailed the fit and finish of the Steel and while both colors look very nice, I’m betting the black matte option is a user favorite.

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product preview
The Verge Jan 6, 2014

People complained that the Pebble was too tall, so the new variant has a much shorter lug-to-lug distance. Others wanted a smart wearable that they could have on their wrist at a dinner party as well on the ski piste, which brought about the more sophisticated new look.

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product preview
Gizmag Jan 7, 2014

The Steel is the sharpest-looking smartwatch I've used, and its app ecosystem is about to take a big leap forward.

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product preview
TechRadar Jan 9, 2014

The first Pebble smartwatch was a breakout hit, but it lacked something on the style front. The Pebble Steel rectifies that to some degree, and does it without charging a hefty premium.

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product preview
Android Community Jan 6, 2014

Pebble Steel has a slimmer, more aesthetically pleasing casing crafted from CNC’d stainless steel – either given a brushed or matte black finish, the latter using a physical vapor deposition process that apparently makes it extra scratch-resistant.

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product preview
PocketNow Jan 6, 2014

Pebble’s just gone official with the Pebble Steel, its metal-bodied, thinner, and quite frankly better-looking follow up to its already successful Pebble smartwatch.

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product preview
Stuff Jan 8, 2014

We wrapped the Pebble Steel around our wrist at CES 2014, and can report that it's very well-made indeed. The slightly curved watch face looks a lot more elegant than the Pebble's squared-off design, and the buttons are satisfyingly clicky.

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9.0
agami agami

It's difficult to understand the impact a smart watch like the Pebble will have on your digital life. Sure it's mostly a companion device to a smartphone but therein lies the beauty, because your smartphone is at the centre of your digital life. The first pleasant surprise came while I was...

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8.0
bhresident bhresident

So, I just got my Pebble Steel yesterday, and since this is my first smart watch, I didn't really know what to expect. But so far, so good. The watch itself is smaller and lighter than I anticipated, which are good things. It is quite beautiful (mine is silver with the black leather band), but...

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How it stacks up

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