Behold, the Pebble Steel, retail version. We're still not big on unboxings around here. But, damn it, when a company puts a little effort into it, we'll suck it up.

Pebble Steel comes in a box about twice the size of the original Pebble. And there's a good reason for that — Pebble Steel is transported on a billowy, cushiony cloud. As a $250 smartwatch should be. The leather strap came attached, and you'll find the steel links (I went for stainless) behind the first-level flap, which helpfully points you to start out at go.getpebble.com. And beneath that you'll find the new proprietary charging cable. 

The only thing missing, really, is any explanation of how to swap out the bands. You're on your own for that. And if you're like me, you're going to need some help with it.

I'll have some more thoughts on Pebble Steel once we've got more time with it on our wrist — and, more important, once the Pebble appstore is official available on Android. For now, make do with some pics after the break.

 

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Pebble Steel retail unboxing and hands-on

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Man that Steel is Sweet! ...Martin, Pebble or The Next Big Thing!...All for $250... which one to choose?

Posted via Android Central App

While most companies are going to "ecofriendly" packaging..... Pebble says screw you Earth! I love it

Posted via Android Central App

From being a mild watch aficionado. I can tell you that the stainless steel band is going to popping open all the time on you especially because of that design with no 2nd lock like most metal banded watches have. Pretty big fault for the price.

Posted via Android Central App

The metal band on my fancy watch has a double clasp, and it pops open all the time, the single clasp on my old timex never popped open, sooooo, give it a shot.

BaAAH

That is a hell of a good looking watch. I still don't get the point of a smartwatch so I'm not gonna get one because its clearly not for me, but its is definitely good looking.

Now that I have been using a smartwatch for a few months, I couldn't live without it. You should try one for yourself.

Sent from my Note 3 running Crash ROM.

Proprietary cable.

Show stopper

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This post approved by the NSA.... at least I hope so.

We're not going to see a smartwatch with any kind of universal charger for a long time. They absolutely have to be water resistant, so a standard microUSB port is right out unless there's a rubber plug, and no one's going to wear a watch that has a plug over the charging port.

Wireless charging would be nice, but at this point, any watch that supports Qi would have a price point that we would bitch about endlessly.

Sony Smartwatch 2 uses a micro USB just like your phone. :) Its also water proof and dust proof.

Sent from my Note 3 running Crash ROM.

Phil,

Removing links from the watch is easy, it only requires a safety pin. I have a watch with the same style band.

I just took six links out of mine. It was relatively easy, but it takes quite a bit of pressure to get the long pins to slide out of each link.

I don't think I could have done it with a safety pin. I used a jeweler's screwdriver to pry them loose, and also to unscrew the long pins in the watch.

My Matt black steel will ship during the last week of February. Feels like an eternity. Want it now especially after seeing this video.

Posted via Android Central App

Nice catch at 3:08 Phil ;-). Also were you channeling your inner Paul Bearer there at the beginning?

Have to say it is impressive at what Pebble has done in such short time for smartwatches. With the addition of the Pebble Steel to the lineup, they are definitely doing pretty much all of the right things.

Thanks for sharing Phil! Still waiting for FedEx to deliver mine. Four business days to ship from San Jose, CA to San Jose, CA!?!? Search FleaBay for "watch strap tool" if you want to change and adjust the strap yourself. Quality watch store instead if you're worried about scratching your precious. :*)

For the band removal, all you need is a tiny flat head screwdriver this time around (no spring bar). Just unscrew the metal bars to remove the band. I also bought a pretty cheap watch tool kit from amazon which includes what you need for any watch.

You can use a tiny phillips screwdriver to remove the links. On the links that can be removed there's a tiny arrow. Get a screwdriver that can fit in the little hole where the arrow is pointing, push down and push the pin in the direction of the arrow to pop it out. Here's a nice animated guide: http://www.wikihow.com/Adjust-a-Watch-Band

I got my stainless steel pebble this morning and wore it all day! I can confirm that the fit and overall look is 10x better than the original(kickstarter orange pebble). I actual got complements instead of strange looks while wearing the Steel. I too bought the watch repair toolkit on eBay from Jomashop recently, best $6.99 I've spent in a long time. :-) the kit has everything I need to switch out the bands and adjust the links to my tiny wrist. I actually had to remove five links for the watch to fit correctly. I'm looking forward to changing my batteries myself now for my analog watches. Saved $10 at the jewelry shop so the kit paid for itself in a couple trips.

Posted via Android Central App

The Pebble Steel looks really nice. If I owned one, I'd probably favor the steel band. Anyway, I wish smartwatches didn't look so big and goofy on my wrist. I'll likely give a smart bracelet a try, instead.

Posted via AC App on HTC One

Yeah they are huge! I have big wrists and arms and it still looks pretty big on me. I have the Sony smartwatch 2 though, its a little wider than the pebble.

Sent from my Note 3 running Crash ROM.

wow that brushed steel looks great with the leather band. I was thinking about getting black, but that contrast looks amazing.

I got mine yesterday as well. The look of the watch is very nice. And with all the hype, I feel like I'm missing something, because so far I'm not impressed-enough to keep it. (The packaging was excellent, have to agree there.)

Is it just my copy, or does anyone else feel a "rough edge" to the SS face/edge of the watch when you run your finger across the face (and over the edge)? That feels really cheap and poorly fit to the glass. With the rest of the materials seeming to be very good and high quality, this really struck me as odd.

In general, and I'd prefer not to be flamed by all the Pebble aficionados out there, but I'll say it...for $250, trying to play with 3 or 4 buttons like an 80's handheld game to change screens and scroll messages is just clunky. Plus, there's really no decent explanation about where the buttons take you if you have anything installed. Does "back" go to the watchface after notifications? What if you have Glance installed? How do I get to notifications if I have one of the "replacement apps" for notifications? Did that just replace the default one, or is that somewhere too? How do I remove previously-read notifications on the phone? What good is it to know an email arrived if I can only see part of the subject and then have to scroll to see the rest -- isn't it still easier to take my phone out and see it all at one glance?

I guess if I received a lot of txt's, this might be more fulfilling, but the lack of real-estate on the screen and the old school button-based navigation is a real downer for me.

I'm also going to guess that the raised edge is to help prevent scratching the glass, samsung did the same thing with the note 3's. If you set it on the face it doesn't matter because it only touches the edge.

Sounds logical, but it shouldn't feel like you're running your finger over the edge of a knife. Should be rounded somehow. (Don't get me wrong, I have no fear of cutting myself, I'm just trying to describe how it feels.)

samsungs corners are well rounded and not even noticeable unless you look for it, maybe pebble went overboard and didn't shape them enough. I haven't played with one yet so I dunno.

A little creeped out at the intro...

I think I would actually like having the lip where the glass meets the steel. No matter how "tough" the screen is supposed to be, I'm the type that will put a screen protector on it. If I could cut it to meet the edge of the steel and thereby make it flush rather than the protector film having a raised edge to catch on things an pull away from the glass that'd be great to me. I like it when phones have a lip around the screen for that very reason.

So is it just the stainless ones that are shipping now? I ordered the black on day one of pre-orders and other than the initial confirmation that they received my order info I haven't heard a thing since. I think someone said they received a notice for a black model for the end of February, so maybe the black ones are taking longer?

Does Pebble have a technical reason for not making the watch compatible with standard watch straps? The biggest aesthetic failing for me is the three tabs on the top and the bottom connecting the watch to the band.

I was pretty amazed at the heavy weight of the box when it was delivered, but the weight and size of the watch and band are really comparable to the Seiko stainless watch I have been wearing. The Pebble itself is a bit thicker than the Seiko, of course, but in no way do I think it is huge, or out of proportion with my wrist.

I really like the release latch on the stainless band. I doubt it will ever pop loose accidentally.

Now this looks classy. The Steel body and leather strap looks really nice. On the other hand the steel body with steel wrist strap looks clunky and of low class.