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Pebble Steel sexes up the Pebble smartwatch (pictures)

Brushed steel, a Gorilla Glass screen, and leather wristbands: take a look at the redesigned Pebble.

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Scott Stein
I started with CNET reviewing laptops in 2009. Now I explore wearable tech, VR/AR, tablets, gaming and future/emerging trends in our changing world. Other obsessions include magic, immersive theater, puzzles, board games, cooking, improv and the New York Jets. My background includes an MFA in theater which I apply to thinking about immersive experiences of the future.
Scott Stein
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The new Pebble Steel, arriving at the end of January for $249, revamps last year's Pebble smart watch with a new cosmetic design, smaller chassis, and all-metal construction, and is timed with a brand-new app store arriving around the same time. Read our hands-on take, and detailed conversation with CEO Eric Migicovsky.
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The Pebble Steel comes in brushed silver or matte black, and each also comes with a leather wristband. For comparison, the original Pebble (right) lies next to them.
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A new RGB LED light on the bottom right lights up for additional notifications.
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The buttons are effectively the same in number and placement as last time, but now in metal.
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New apps, timed to the release of a new Pebble app store coming by the end of January, will offer more advanced software than before. Mercedes has an app, seen here, which syncs car service data and can connects the Pebble to other car services while driving.
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The packaging for the Pebble Steel...a lot more high end than the last Pebble's cardboard box.
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The watch feels great, and very similar to the older Nano Hex wristband for the iPod Nano. The Pebble display feels smaller, but it's actually the same size: the bezel around it has been reduced.
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A look at the back.
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A new magnetic connector is smaller, color-coded, and has larger magnets.
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The Pebble Steels laid out in a box.
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The display is covered in Corning Gorilla Glass, which looks a lot crisper and clearer than the original scratch-prone plastic-screened Pebble.
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The leather wristband looks particularly nice.
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Pebble CEO Eric Migicovsky wearing his Pebble Steel.
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Pebble Steel, side by side with an original Pebble (right) for comparison.
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At times, it's hard to tell that the display isn't an actual analog watch face.
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The back of the Pebble Steel (left) with leather wristband.
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A few new watch faces seem to be baked-in, like this neat one.

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