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Pebble Steel, inside and out (pictures)

How does Pebble's revamped smartwatch feel? And what about its new apps? Take a look up close.

Scott_Stein.jpg
Scott_Stein.jpg

Scott Stein

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1 of 29 Sarah Tew/CNET
The Pebble Steel looks a lot sleeker than its 2013 predecessor, the Pebble Watch. Its charge cable has been redesigned, and so has the rest of its outer body.
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2 of 29 Sarah Tew/CNET
A new LED light glows orange when charging, green when done.
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The Pebble Steel (right) next to the original Pebble (left). Same size screen, but it looks less glossy.
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4 of 29 Sarah Tew/CNET
Another comparison shot. Buttons on the side of the Steel are spaced more closely together.
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5 of 29 Sarah Tew/CNET
Some new Pebble 2.0 apps include this watch face, which also shows the weather (look closely).
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Wrist-to-wrist comparison of the Pebble Watch and Pebble Steel.
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One more. The Steel looks a lot nicer, but it also costs an extra $100; it's $249 to the first Pebble's $149.
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From a distance, it looks like a regular watch.
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A newly redesigned Pebble application manages the watch's apps and easily loads and deletes files on the watch.
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There's also a new app store -- at long last -- that offers a central place to discover new apps and watch faces.
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Even early on, there is a decent number of apps to choose from: more than 200, and that's not even counting watch faces.
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Searching by category in the app store.
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Unfortunately, the Steel has just eight memory slots, just like the first Pebble. You'll have to keep loading and unloading apps as needed.
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Dots is one of several watch faces that stand out on the Pebble Steel through its Gorilla Glass-covered display.
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New apps add some useful functions. For example, Foursquare allows one-button check-ins.
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Smartwatch Pro, an app that contains sub-apps within it, is one of several that try to one-up the basic Pebble options menu. It requires an extra paid app purchase on Apple's App Store or Google Play, a common trend among premium apps.
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17 of 29 Sarah Tew/CNET
Yelp, one of a handful of Pebble's launch partner apps, pulls info on local businesses and offers shake-to-shuffle for a random suggestion.
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You can pull up reviews, too.
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Apps that require too much button-pressing end up feeling awkward.
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It would be nice to see more apps use gesture control.
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Trying out another watch face. The Pebble Steel has no shortage of those.
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Text messages and notifications pop up easily, the same as before, but old notifications can now be browsed after they disappear.
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The Pebble Steel's best feature is still acting as an everyday wrist-worn pager.
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A map app mirrors turn-by-turn GPS directions and shows what's around you.
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A peek at both the silver and matte-black variants of the Pebble Steel.
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The shinier steel version, from the side.
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A look at the back. Like the plastic Pebble, this one's water-resistant and shower-friendly (to 5 atmospheres).
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Both colors of Pebble Steel next to the original Pebble (right).
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All Pebble Steel models also come with an additional leather wristband. It looks nice; here it is on my wrist.

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