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Pebble's new $250 Steel smart watch aims for high end of wearable market

post #1 of 55
Thread Starter 
Pebble is targeting the high end of the smart watch market with its latest wrist-worn offering dubbed Steel, sporting a more premium metal look, a scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass face, and access to the all-new Pebble appstore for new watch functions -- coming later this month for $249.

Pebble Steel


Pebble Steel sets out to answer the question, 'Can you wear a smartwatch and not look like a social outcast?' Instead of last year's plastic design, Pebble Steel uses either brushed stainless steel or a black matte finish and is available on a matching bracelet or leather strap.

Pebble Steel also uses a Gorilla Glass crystal in place of the plastic front face of the previous model, making it one of the first watches to ever have the Corning glass.

Pebble Steel works with all existing Pebble watchfaces and apps, but also introduces the Pebble appstore, which will also work with the classic Pebble which raised over $10 million on Kickstarter. Apps are sorted into 6 categories: Daily, Fitness, Remotes, Tools & Utilities, Notifications, and Games.

Pebble Steel


Daily covers the sorts of quick access to stocks, weather and news, Remotes controls home appliances, thermostats and cars, Utilities include currency converters, finding local services and so on.

The use of notifications are particularly interesting, as previously the Pebble watch would use the iOS Notification Center to manage such alerts. But with the upcoming launch of the Pebble appstore, it's possible for app developers to send customized notifications directly from their app to Pebble Steel, meaning app developers can create a more unified experience from phone to wrist.

Pebble has promised to push a firmware update called OS 2.0 to existing Pebble users toward the end of January. The software update will be compatible with SDK 2.0 apps that will be available in the appstore.

Pebble also has been hard at work on creating partnerships, including an alliance with Mercedes Benz. The Mercedes apps allows users to do things like check fuel level, find their car, or control the entertainment system of a Mercedes from their wrist.

Other partnerships highlighted by Pebble include ESPN, Yelp!, GoPro, Foursquare, Pandora, and iControl. iControl covers home automation lighting and alarm systems, where GoPro is a popular iPhone-connected action camera which AppleInsider reviewed last fall.

Pebble app store


Up until now, watch faces could only be designed at a computer, either by a developer or using third-party websites. With the launch of the Pebble appstore, it will become possible to make watch faces on the connected Android or iPhone using Pebble Canvas, an app for the phone.

Pebble Steel retails for $249 USD at getpebble.com, with pre-orders are set to ship January 28. The Pebble appstore should launch for classic Pebble users around the same time.

AppleInsider will be in Las Vegas, Nev., for CES this week, and will be offering full hands-on impressions of the new Pebble Steel lineup, as well as other wearable devices scheduled to be on the show floor. For more, see our ongoing coverage of CES 2014.
post #2 of 55

Huh...no. Just another irrelevant "smart watch" release.

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post #3 of 55
Ugly, the lot of them.
post #4 of 55
Looks good to me. Leagues better than the original geekbait they released.
post #5 of 55
Terrible traditional style watches. They need to get past the traditional watch "face" paradigm. These devices are not watches.
post #6 of 55
Actually, this is the closest to 'non repulsive' that I've yet seen. Decent band and nice watch face. All text screens still look like crap to me.
I'm thinking that the uptake will happen when the following can be accomplished...
1) color screen
2) good resolution
3) good battery life.

With those 3 in place, these things could actually contribute to tasteful fashion. THAT is what will make people wear them. Nothing else.
post #7 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ingela View Post

Terrible traditional style watches. They need to get past the traditional watch "face" paradigm. These devices are not watches.

Yup.

post #8 of 55
I prefer a 6th gen Nano and a watch band.

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post #9 of 55

Loved my 6th gen Nano too, I was often approached by strangers whenever I wore it on my wrist outside.  The most common question was whether I could surf the net BTW!  Just wish there was a Bluetooth option to stream music to headphones, hated the way the cord hung from the wrist to head.

post #10 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

Actually, this is the closest to 'non repulsive' that I've yet seen. Decent band and nice watch face. All text screens still look like crap to me.
I'm thinking that the uptake will happen when the following can be accomplished...
1) color screen
2) good resolution
3) good battery life.

With those 3 in place, these things could actually contribute to tasteful fashion. THAT is what will make people wear them. Nothing else.

"Actually, this is the closest to 'non repulsive' that I've yet seen...." Love it.

 

I think Apple will come out with a futuristic wrap around style. Better than the mock-up that has been pictured so often.

 

Think about the orig. iPhone compared to that "round" BB that was like holding a cheeseburger up to your ear! :)

 

Something a young Sig. Weaver would wear with her tight flight suit! Or Tom Cruise's movie-wife in Oblivion would wear while "swimming!"  :)

post #11 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ingela View Post

Terrible traditional style watches. They need to get past the traditional watch "face" paradigm. These devices are not watches.

What do you suggest?
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"I got the answer by talking in my brain and I agreed of the answer my brain got" a 7 yr old explaining his math HW
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post #12 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


What do you suggest?

Something a young Sig. Weaver would wear with her tight flight suit! Or Tom Cruise's movie-wife in Oblivion would wear while "swimming!"  :)

post #13 of 55
Apple is never at CES but whatever is happening there it like apple was also there.
apparently all this is just to prove that the tech world can never function correctly without Apple.
Apple is then the king who can't be missed
post #14 of 55
Um, wouldn't Pebble OS 2.0 be POS 2.0? Not great PR :-( lol
post #15 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

Something a young Sig. Weaver would wear with her tight flight suit! Or Tom Cruise's movie-wife in Oblivion would wear while "swimming!"  1smile.gif

Sorry I wasn't paying attention of any watch they might have been wearing. lol.gif
"I got the answer by talking in my brain and I agreed of the answer my brain got" a 7 yr old explaining his math HW
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
"I got the answer by talking in my brain and I agreed of the answer my brain got" a 7 yr old explaining his math HW
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
post #16 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


Sorry I wasn't paying attention of any watch they might have been wearing. lol.gif

Yep, you have to really concentrate to notice! :)

post #17 of 55
Whatever Apple designs will be better as it will in addition have iOs7 built into it.
Next.
post #18 of 55

Cool story, Pebble.

 

All fun and games until Apple releases theirs - if they even plan to.

post #19 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post
 

Cool story, Pebble.

 

All fun and games until Apple releases theirs - if they even plan to.

 

They don't.

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post #20 of 55
Nice chassis improvement, shame they don't seem to have made any major roads with the screen quality, which I think is the biggest problem.

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post #21 of 55
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Originally Posted by brlawyer View Post

They don't.

I'll gladly take any bet against someone who doesn't think Apple will eventually release a wearable computer.

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

 

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post #22 of 55
I recently receive a Pebble as a gift. My normal watch is a Rolex, but the idea of a pebble interested me for the following uses: I'm an active person. I like to bike, run, and ski. However, during these activities, my phone is often stuffed away in the bike back, in the jacket pocket, etc., and it is not easily accessible. Yet, I because of work, I need to be accessible 24 hrs/day. The pebble allows me to get notifications (SMS, phone calls, etc.), and if it is something important, then I can pull off to the side of the road / ski run, and pull out my phone and respond.

Thus, during normal activities I wear my Rolex. But, when I'm active, exercising, or otherwise indisposed (think movie theater, etc.), the Pebble is nice to have on.

No, it's not the prettiest watch in the world, but for the right uses the Pebble is fantastic. Sure, a better resolution would be nice, as well as color, but for now it suits me just fine for those activities. I have really enjoyed having it much more than I thought I would. For those who are criticizing it, try using one for a day and see what you think of the concept - it's an excellent one. I will be one of the first ones out to get the so called iWatch, but for now I love the Pebble.
post #23 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I'll gladly take any bet against someone who doesn't think Apple will eventually release a wearable computer.
"Eventually" covers a long time. Doubt you'll have any takers.

In the next year though, I think there's a reasonable doubt. iWatch has been a whole load of huff puff so far, and no direct evidence.

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post #24 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


I'll gladly take any bet against someone who doesn't think Apple will eventually release a wearable computer.

 

Bet taken - just don't mix "smart watch" with "wearable computer", please...the latter can take ANY form possible; watches can't - besides, Apple has already launched one a while ago: it's called iPod Nano.

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post #25 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by brlawyer View Post

Bet taken - just don't mix "smart watch" with "wearable computer", please...the latter can take ANY form possible; watches can't - besides, Apple has already launched one a while ago: it's called iPod Nano.

People have such a narrow view of the term watch so when I say wearable computer I mean a digital device that is designed to be worn, which technically does include Apple's short-lived BT headset and possibly their other headphones if they have a micro controller in them but those are excluded. I mean a wearable computer from Apple that is designed to be worn on the arm between the humorous and metacarpals, if you want me to be specific. Something I would mostly likely assume is worn on the "wrist" but could extend the definition to the upper-foream like with the MYO under the right usage conditions.


The wrist makes as much sense today as it did when the wristwatch was first invented. It's an area we can both quickly look upon as well as interact with the opposite hand but also doesn't get in the way of most tasks.

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post #26 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by CustomTB View Post

Um, wouldn't Pebble OS 2.0 be POS 2.0? Not great PR :-( lol

It would be a well-deserved acronym.

post #27 of 55
What's wrong with Pebble OS? Seems pretty well executed to me.

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post #28 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by pazuzu View Post

Whatever Apple designs will be better as it will in addition have iOs7 built into it.
Next.

Excellent point! :)

 

 

Similarly, I'm putting off buying a new HDTV, a DSLR, a stand alone GPS or a car with GPS installed...

 

...mainly b/c they don't have iOS7 installed! :)

post #29 of 55
Thinking you could ease your product into the high end simply by building it with pricier materials and declaring it a high end product?

Good luck to that.
post #30 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraboy View Post

Thinking you could ease your product into the high end simply by building it with pricier materials and declaring it a high end product?

Good luck to that.

That is how it normally works.
"I got the answer by talking in my brain and I agreed of the answer my brain got" a 7 yr old explaining his math HW
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
"I got the answer by talking in my brain and I agreed of the answer my brain got" a 7 yr old explaining his math HW
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
post #31 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

Excellent point! 1smile.gif


Similarly, I'm putting off buying a new HDTV, a DSLR, a stand alone GPS or a car with GPS installed...

...mainly b/c they don't have iOS7 installed! 1smile.gif

Saves one from having to abandon those when Apple ships theirs 1wink.gif

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #32 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraboy View Post

Thinking you could ease your product into the high end simply by building it with pricier materials and declaring it a high end product?

Good luck to that.
Seems right to me 😕

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post #33 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skiersteve View Post

I recently receive a Pebble as a gift. My normal watch is a Rolex, but the idea of a pebble interested me for the following uses: I'm an active person. I like to bike, run, and ski. However, during these activities, my phone is often stuffed away in the bike back, in the jacket pocket, etc., and it is not easily accessible. Yet, I because of work, I need to be accessible 24 hrs/day. The pebble allows me to get notifications (SMS, phone calls, etc.), and if it is something important, then I can pull off to the side of the road / ski run, and pull out my phone and respond.

Thus, during normal activities I wear my Rolex. But, when I'm active, exercising, or otherwise indisposed (think movie theater, etc.), the Pebble is nice to have on.

No, it's not the prettiest watch in the world, but for the right uses the Pebble is fantastic. Sure, a better resolution would be nice, as well as color, but for now it suits me just fine for those activities. I have really enjoyed having it much more than I thought I would. For those who are criticizing it, try using one for a day and see what you think of the concept - it's an excellent one. I will be one of the first ones out to get the so called iWatch, but for now I love the Pebble.

Sounds good, Steve and welcome to Ai. I think Apple will be doing something similar. I hoping for all you mentioned and extensive health/exercise/running/HRM, etc., emphasis, as well!

post #34 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowley View Post

What's wrong with Pebble OS? Seems pretty well executed to me.

 

What's wrong with it is that it trades on geek appeal, which might sell to people who frequent websites like this one, but will not sell to a wider segment.  To break out of the nerdy niche, a smart watch has to appeal to the people who buy real watches and that ain't gonna happen, for one, with an LED or OLED face.  People who buy watches buy more than one because they treat watches as jewelry/fashion accessories.  They need more than one to be able to match different occasions and outfits.

post #35 of 55
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


Saves one from having to abandon those when Apple ships theirs 1wink.gif
 

Yep...wouldn't it be great for Apple to ship a DLSR similar to this bespoke Leica Jony had a hand in? :)


Edited by christopher126 - 1/6/14 at 3:36pm
post #36 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraboy View Post

What's wrong with it is that it trades on geek appeal, which might sell to people who frequent websites like this one, but will not sell to a wider segment.  To break out of the nerdy niche, a smart watch has to appeal to the people who buy real watches and that ain't gonna happen, for one, with an LED or OLED face.  People who buy watches buy more than one because they treat watches as jewelry/fashion accessories.  They need more than one to be able to match different occasions and outfits.
Assuming you're correct, that it trades on geek appeal, how does that equate with the post I responded to, claiming that it was a "POS"?

i.e what is poor quality about the Pebble OS, irrespective of its target audience?

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post #37 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowley View Post


Assuming you're correct, that it trades on geek appeal, how does that equate with the post I responded to, claiming that it was a "POS"?

i.e what is poor quality about the Pebble OS, irrespective of its target audience?

I think it was a joke, i.e. Pebble OS, has acronym of POS

post #38 of 55
It's like Apple is letting everyone lower expectations for them.
post #39 of 55
I'm waiting for apple's move. Not gonna spend 260 on a watch I won't be wearing come WWDC
post #40 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by leesmith View Post

It's like Apple is letting everyone lower expectations for them.

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