Pebble Time Steel Review
The Pebble Time Steel is the upgraded version of the Pebble Time with a metal casing and extra battery life. Aside from those two differences, it is functionally the same watch as the Pebble Time. You may wish to read our comprehensive review of the Pebble Time here. This review will largely concentrate on the differences between the two models.
|Phone Compatibility:||Android 4+, IOS 6+|
|Screen Size (Diagonal):||1.25" (color display)|
|Screen Resolution:||144 x 168|
|Screen (crystal) Material:||Flat Corning Gorilla Glass, with oleophobic (anti-fingerprint) coating|
|Strap Type:||Standard 22mm Watch Strap|
|Sensors:||Accelerometer, Ambient Light Sensor, Magnetometer, Microphone|
|Estimated Battery Life:||10 Days|
What's in the Box?
Opening the box reveals the Pebble Time smart watch, the charging cable, and a quick-start guide to help you get the watch set up. Like all Pebble smartwatches, the Pebble Time is charged via a supplied charging cable which magnetically attaches to the side of the watch. It should be noted that the charging cable for the original Pebble or Pebble Steel do not work with the Pebble Time Steel, so don’t lose it!
History is repeating itself here. When Pebble introduced their first watch in 2012, many people loved it in use, but some were not in love with the youthful design and plastic construction. Their answer to that was the Pebble Steel. Fast forward to the introduction of the Pebble Time. It introduced some great enhancements to the operation, and again some were less than enamored with the construction. Enter the Pebble Time Steel.
The plastic body has been replaced with a more premium steel body. The silicone strap has been replaced with either leather, or metal as desired. The body changes have made the Pebble Time Steel 1mm thicker, reassuringly heavier (at 62.3 Grammes), and has introduced a higher capacity battery. This upgraded battery promises ten days’ use as opposed to the Pebble Time’s seven days—the longest time between charges of any Pebble so far. And, of course, far exceeding the battery life of any other smartwatch currently available.
It is available in three color choices (stainless steel, gunmetal and rose gold), with coordinating straps—both leather and metal. Our review unit is in gunmetal with the two-tone leather strap pictured above.
While we’re on the subject of straps, it is worth noting that as much as I like the feel of the leather strap attached to our unit, it is not going to stand up to immersion in water for any length of time. Given that the Pebble Time Steel is water resistant to 30m, you may wish to opt for the metal strap if your activities tend toward the aquatic. Fortunately, like the Pebble Time before it, this watch can accept standard 22mm straps, so finding straps to suit should be no problem.
One area which has seen much improvement is the buttons. After all, buttons are the way you interact with Pebble watches, so they had better be good! I find these buttons superior to the standard Pebble Time. They sit a little higher, which makes them easier to reach. They have a textured surface, and offer much more tactile, reassuring feedback.
Although the large bezel surround that was found on the Pebble Time has now gone, it has left a larger area of empty glass on the face. These large bezels are somewhat a point of contention among some and, honestly, they could benefit from some reduction. I find that this perception tends to disappear after a couple of days of use, and are largely forgotten about—particularly if you use a watch face with a black background.
Talking of glass, the Pebble Time Steel now sports a larger area of Corning Gorilla Glass. Overall, I think this version should fare better if you’re one who is a little hard on their watches. The metal bezel surround on the regular Pebble Time (the only part of that watch body which was metal), tended to attract some scratches. Overall, the Pebble Time Steel feels more rugged; more able to withstand the occasional contact with immovable objects.
Pebble promises up to ten days of battery life with the Pebble Time Steel. So far, I have been able to achieve an easy seven days. To be fair, most smartwatches don’t reach peak battery life until a few charging cycles have passed. That, combined with the fact that we are playing with new watches more during initial ownership and testing suggests to me that the promised ten will be possible.
I feel that the Pebble Time Steel is a worthy upgrade from the Pebble Time. However, it is an incremental upgrade which is largely aesthetic. Given that it is basically the same watch as the Pebble Time underneath, some may wish to save money by going with the Pebble Time. If the looks of the Pebble Time Steel work better for you, or the extra three days’ battery life is important, then the steel version it is. Isn’t it great to have a choice?