"Cracking Open: Pebble Steel"
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Cracking Open: Pebble Steel
The Pebble Steel is definitely more stylish than the original Pebble smart watch, and thanks to its metal body and several design changes, it's also easier to disassemble.
I'm Bill Detwiler, and this is Cracking Open.
The Pebble Steel, is a clear step up from the original Pebble watch, in both design and construction.
It has a Gorilla Glass covered display, a steel body, and it comes with both leather and metal bands.
It weighs just under two ounces, which is about half an ounce more than the original Pebble.
The body, however, is actually just a tiny bit smaller.
The Steel also has redesigned buttons, a slightly different magnetic charging connector, and a new LED, which shows the charging status.
On the inside however, the Steel has basically the same hardware as the plastic Pebble.
A Cortex-M3 ARM MCU, a tiny bit of storage,a three-axis accelerometer, a magnetomer, and an ambient light sensor.
Now, unlike the original Pebble, opening the Steel, isn't that difficult.
First, remove the four torx T4 screws on the back cover.
Then gently pop the cover off and remove it.
Now once inside the Steel, we can detach the single ribbon cable, connected to the circuit board, and then gently pry the battery away from the adhesive underneath.
Lastly, using a thin metal tool, I was able to pop loose and remove the circuit board, and the attached components.
The Steel's e-paper display, button contact, and internal plastic frame, appeared to be glued to the metal body.
If any of the components were damaged, you could likely remove and replace the entire assembly.
But as I want to reassemble this device in working order, I'm going to call this tear down complete.
The Pebble Steel is definitely a smart looking smart watch.
And thanks to its removable back cover, you can replace the internal hardware, if it gets damaged.
I only wish Pebble had made the parts a little more modular.
Now, doing this, would have made it possible for Steel owners to upgrade their watches, as new hardware was released, instead of having to toss out their entire $250 watch.
Now for more information on the Steel, including real world tests, check out the full CNET review.
To see more teardown photos, and read my full hardware analysis, go to techrepublic.com/crackingopen.
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