Pebble Time Steel review: Does some added metal improve the Pebble experience?

Feels more premium, costs more, but is it worth it?

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For

  • Class leading battery life
  • Comfortable strap
  • Premium feel

Against

  • Large bezel remains
  • Lost charm of original model

Let's start off by saying the Pebble Time Steel is very similar to the regular Pebble Time, if you're interested in this smartwatch, we strongly recommend youcheck out our review of that device as well.

The Pebble Time Steel is the more premium, more costly, brother to the regular Pebble Time, it doesn't offer any additional functions in terms of usability, so this review will focus on how the Steel differentiatesitself from the regular Time.

Design and Feel

The Pebble Time Steel is visually similar to the regular Time, but it does have some differences.

Firstly, the body (as the name suggests) is made from steel. This makes the device feel more premium and durable, it also adds some weight to the watch, which is perfect for people who like a constant reminder they have something on their wrist.

The original rubber strap was very comfortable, but the incredibly soft leather strap that comes with the Steel feels even more comfortable.

It also doesn't collect dust and lint like the rubber strap does, which is a big positive.

The buttons have been machined to provide a grippy textured feeling, and the click more responsive and... 'clicky'

The Pebble Time Steel is actually 1mm thicker than the regular model, this doesn't sound like a massive difference but it's noticeable. At 10.5mm however, it's still slimmer than the Android Wear and Apple Watch competition.

Screen

In terms of technology, the 1.25-inch, 160 PPI colour screen is identical to the regular Time, but it's the bezel around the screen which has changed.

As you can see from the image below, the metal casing has shrunk on the front of the device, giving it a sleeker look with more glass.

While this does make it slightly more attractive, it's still not exactly a watch that would go with a dinner jacket, and doesn't do anything to hide the tiny screen.

Of course, if you rarely wear dinner jackets, that's not a problem.

Battery Life

With around five days battery life, the Pebble Time is miles ahead of the competition, and the Steel takes that even further.

Pebble haven't disclosed exactly how big the Steel battery is, but claim up to 10 days battery life.

We managed around eight or nine, which is still incredibly impressive.

Software

Software and user experience of the Pebble Time Steel is identical to the regular Pebble.

We love the simple, smart 'Timeline' UI, and despite the device's low-powered internals, we didn't experience any slowdowns or hiccoughs.

Want more info about the Pebble Time Steel software? Read our regular Pebble Time review here

Verdict

The regular Pebble Time costs a very reasonable £180, an extra £50 will get you the Pebble Time Steel. The ultimate question is, is it worth the upgrade?

We were really taken by the regular Pebble's geeky charm, it was cheap and plastic, but still managed to compete with much more expensive smartwatches.

The Pebble Steel is essentially the same, solid device, so it's no worse (in fact, better battery life is a major bonus), but it does somehow manage to lose the original's charm.

If you're not hopeless romantics like us, the Steel with a leather strap is a better buy, but there's just something about the cheaper version we can't help feeling a fondness for.