Pebble is gearing up with the latest wearable, a more refined, premium-feel version of Pebble Time, Pebble Time Steel.
Pebble Time has been around for just a few weeks. Nonetheless, Pebble considered it opportune to release Pebble Time Steel for pre-order. It is expected that shipments will be heading out anywhere between six to eight weeks.
The numerous Kickstarter backers of the wearable are already collecting the bounty for their efforts, as Pebble announced that shipments are already on their way starting this week.
Pebble’s Time Steel doesn’t differ much in functionality from its Time predecessor. The premium materials used for the slightly improved design is what marks the difference. With its leather strap and the full steel casing, Time Steel is certainly an upgrade in feel.
The price however is rather game-maker in this case. Time Steel comes at 249 dollars for the leather strap version or 299 dollars for the steel band one. At these price tags, users might be compelled to dig deeper into the wearable smart devices market for other similarly priced smartwatches, yet offering better designs, software or functionality.
Compared to the silicone-plastic combo of the Time smartwatch, Time Steel is definitely an improvement. The display is still a color e-paper spin with 64-color LCD. Compared to Time, the display is certainly easier to read indoors and arguably an upgrade from the Time display.
One area where Pebble Time Steel fares best is battery time. Quite promising, battery time is estimated at 7 days.
As for the interface, the software is the same as with Pebble Time. One added feature is the Timeline that effectively and methodically allows users to scroll through notifications in chronological order.
However, what Time Steel makes up for in design and functionality, it loses with the limited number of apps available. Compared to the Apple smartwatches where the app market is brimming with big name developer applications, Pebble lags behind. More first-party options would be recommended.
Particularly for justifying the 250 to 300 dollars prices. At this threshold, the Apple Watch seems like a more viable option, while Android smartwatches are a notch under the line, which might mean serious competition on the continuously developing smart wearable device market.
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