Pebble Time Steel is a classier watch with even better battery life


pebble time steel

Just one week ago we saw the announcement of Pebble Time, a new smartwatch from Pebble on Kickstarter. The Time boasts a brand new design, improved interface, color display, and the same great 7-day battery life. Many people are not fans of the Pebble Time’s “amateurish” design, but it still sold like crazy. Today Pebble has announced a new steel version of the Time.

The Pebble Time Steel looks a lot like the original Pebble Time, except it’s made out of stainless steel and comes with leather and metal bands. It’s amazing how much nicer this version looks. The Time Steel has a few more improvements as well. It’s 1mm thicker than the original Time, which gives it room for a bigger battery, and battery life up to 10 days. No other smartwatch on the market can come close to competing with that.

The display is laminated on the Steel Time, which should make the color e-paper look even better. Pebble has also added a nice subtle texture to the buttons. You can back the Pebble Time Steel on Kickstarter for $250 right now (will be $299 at launch). They’ve put the Time Steel in the same campaign, which means if you already backed the Time you can switch your pledge to the Steel. You’ll have your choice of black, silver, or gold.


Pebble also announced Smartstraps, a way for hardware manufacturers to add tech to watch straps. Things like NFC, GPS, heart rate monitors, and even extra battery can be built into a Smartstrap. Pebble hasn’t actually made any Smartstraps of their own, but they’ve released the schematics for other manufacturers to start building. It’s a really cool idea if it catches on. Are you going to back the Pebble Time Steel?

Joe Fedewa
Ever since I flipped open my first phone I've been obsessed with the devices. I've dabbled in other platforms, but Android is where I feel most at home.

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  1. had the pebble steel for 2 months and HATED the UI so much. The case was cheesy, right out of the 80s. everything about that thing was just stupid and i felt like an idiot showing that “smart watch” to people and having them ask me if it was a childs toy. spend the extra money on android wear.

    1. The UI on these is completely different

      1. i am not a fan at all. I love my Zenwatch though. I think the future of androidwear is going to be great eventually. I think the only reason people bought the pebbles were the price-point with the words “smart watch” on the box.

        1. The price of a Pebble isn’t much different than some Android Wear devices, especially the Steel versions. I think most people get a Pebble because of the battery life.

          1. good point….they have pretty unbeatable battery life.

          2. And the screen being easy to read in any light.

            And physical buttons. I don’t think my fingers would be precise enough to make a tiny touchscreen UI work properly.

            And waterproofing. Is there another smartwatch that would dare to have a swim-tracker app?

            And fitness tracking. Some of the low-battery AWs may track steps, but surely they can’t track sleep.

            And an always-on display, which admittedly is a side product of the battery issue with others.

          3. Tiny touchscreen on my iPod Nano (don’t kill me for using an Apple product, please) kinda drives me nuts sometimes. If I had girl-sized hands, maybe, but it’s not suitable for my big fingers.

    2. I have to admit that I can see why some people think it looks kinda gawdy. That being said it’ll probably be about 5-8 years before smartwatches look like real nice watches, have a lot of apps (and exceptional functionality) and great battery life in a single device that attaches to your wrist.

      1. so true….I dont think it will take that long if sales keep creeping up. I think its a good 2-3 years away from being something cool. but i completely agree.

  2. Why do people want AndroidWear or Apple watches over Pebbles right now? For me 7-10x the battery life, true waterproofing, a mature app environment (with many active developers), and smartstraps are overwhelmingly worth a lower screen resolution.

    Even without smartstraps or a color display, I wouldn’t dream of replacing my Pebble Steel with something from Apple or Android. The big dogs need to recognize the limitations inherent to small devices on the wrist and make watches that emphasize function over form. If someone really wants a high res Apple watch, wait a few months and look for bargains on Ebay when 1st gen adopters find that while it looks pretty it doesn’t do what they want.

    1. I know it’s subjective, but many of the newer AW watches look 1000x better than the Pebbles. The upcoming Huawei watch is just stunning. And honestly, there are a lot of people out there (myself included) who will buy a watch just because it looks damn good. To me, the Pebbles look too much like cheap Casios from the 80’s. Whereas with the Huawei, it could literally look like whatever I want. I could go with classic watch faces or invent something completely new.

      A lot of people dismiss it, but the round form factor is also a huge deal. That’s why the Moto 360 sold so well: in terms of looks, it was the closest thing to a “real” watch. That’s what I want: a watch that looks real but is infinitely customizable.

      1. For those who value form over function, the smart jewelry from AW and Apple can make sense, but for me the function of the Pebble watches are unparalleled.

        Sure, when the screen is on the AW watches look really nice, but I’m more concerned with function. IMO the Pebble does a great job with notifications, fitness tracking, watchfaces, sports scores, a compass, whatever I want it to. Looking forward to seeing how the Time OS functions on the Steel, too.

        Don’t most AW screens turn off when dormant? I don’t see the point in that since I want to be able to glance at my watch whenever I want and, you know, see what time it is.

        Also, the battery life issue is hugely important to how long the watch will be useful. When an AW or Apple watch starts wearing down to an 8-hour life, it’s essentially useless, will still last days even when it’s battery is on its last legs.

    2. I’m with @improvius:disqus had the pebble steel for 2 months. hated the UI so much and the build quality was GOD awful. the UI is just so cheap feeling and old-school. I just dont understand why people like it. it was a waste of money to me and am happy with my zenwatch now. that watch is beautiful.

      1. It’s subjective, and it does make sense that the current UI might throw some people off. There are aspects of it that threw me off a little bit, but once I made some adjustments to the menu order and used long-press shortcuts for favorite apps, it’s been great.

        Honestly, my biggest reservation among all this Pebble news is the new Time OS. It will probably be really nice to have dozens of apps on my Steel, but if it isn’t as intuitive as they claim, it could be a real problem.

        1. love the honesty of another owner. I can respect that and i’m glad someone who owns one likes it that much. maybe I just did not give it enough of a chance. I used it for 2-3 weeks and quickly realized that android wear might be better suited for me.

  3. Is it wrong for a 40+ years old man to like that white model?

  4. Sweet, a lot of early bird backers are changing there reward now, which means you have a second shot at it if you want the regular version for cheaper!

  5. The bezel on the plastic Time was large, this is just silly! They need to either fit a bigger screen, or figure out how to reduce the gap between the screen and the edge of the device. As it stands now, it looks like the stuck the screen in as an afterthought.

  6. Looks like the Time Steel has a thinner out bezel and thicker inner bezel.
    The normal Time looks more balanced to me.

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