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Pebble said it would have a few surprises in store after it launched its new Pebble Time watch on Kickstarter last week. On Tuesday, Pebble shared two of them: A new Pebble Time Steel edition available in multiple finishes with longer battery life and support for watchbands with electronics and sensors built into them.
The introduction of Pebble Time Steel itself isn’t a huge surprise; the company offers its current watch in a Steel model. What is a little confounding is the timing of Pebble Time Steel. The answer may be in the availability: the metal version won’t arrive until July, which is after the plastic model ships.
Pebble says the new Steel edition has CNC-finished 316L stainless steel case and a larger battery; you can expect up to 10 days of run time on a charge. Finishes for the watch include Gunmetal Black, Silver Stainless and Gold, while bands will be made of leather or stainless steel.
The starting retail price of Pebble Time Steel is $299 but Kickstarter backers will save $50. Those (like me) who backed the Pebble Time can upgrade to a Steel model and not lose their place in line for delivery, but again, the newer model won’t ship until July.
Pebble’s new smart straps are an interesting approach to cramming sensors in a watch. Why do that when you can build them into the wristband and have the data read by the watch? It’s a clever idea, provided the bands don’t get too bulky. Pebble has outlined how the smart bands will work on its developer blog, hoping to drum up some interest as it begins to broaden its smartwatch ecosystem.