Pebble steel cheap build quality?

Hi All,

I've been following the pebble since it was a kickstarter campaign, I was very tempted to back it but couldn't because I thought it was too expensive. After it had come out I saw it in pictures and videos and the device looked like it was cheaply put together. I'm not talking about the technology that has gone in to it but the way it looks and the plastic band and casing.

Now after the pebble steel came out I ordered one as in the pictures it looked like they had upped everything about it, looked like a true premium product at $249 I would have hoped so. I have now relieved my product now having had a many steel watches immediately the steel band provided feels cheap light/thin and like a Chinese knock off of something. I can say the same thing about the leather band very thin and the leather adjustment holes look like after a couple months it will start to tear apart. It seems as if their motto is charge maximum and spend little. They are advertising it as a premium watch to have on you but when you rub your finger across the screen the edges of the casing where the metal feels the glass are rough to touch, it takes at least 2-3 times to get the charging cable to fully click in to place rather than hover over the holes. Not to mention the charging cable being proprietary is very flimsy. Don't get me wrong the functionality is great, it does everything it says it can but in a cheap housing. I'm not satisfied with spending $249. I will be testing it out for the next couple weeks to see how it holds up.


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Comments

  • BaranKeskinBaranKeskin Posts: 12Member
    Just to add a bit more, why do tech reviewers always have to give a good review about products. Or avoid the bad points and just talk about the good parts?

    Also I wonder what the went in to the discussion regarding the this 3 part watch strap connection? Hmm lets make it so regular straps don't work and we can charge extra for more useless straps for the watch. If it had a regular strap connection I could buy whatever I wanted. What possible benefit could that part provide to the watch?


  • clankfuclankfu Posts: 117Member
    Tech reviewers give bad reviews all the time.  
  • BaranKeskinBaranKeskin Posts: 12Member
    Show me a review where anything I've pointed out has been shown?
  • clankfuclankfu Posts: 117Member
    I was referring to tech reviews in general and not just the Pebble Steel.  Maybe they genuinely disagree with your take on it?  Or do you believe your opinion is the end all, be all?
  • iPebbleiPebble Posts: 48Member
    I understand how you feel but you must understand you get what you pay for. I didn't order the original because it was too cheap and plastic but a great watch if cheaply made doesn't bother you. The Pebble Steel advertised as premium is correct except that it's premium only compared to the original pebble and most other smartwatches. I prefer premium watches and can tell you a watch at $250 is NOT premium, I ordered one anyway just to get started with smartwatches until some high end brand starts making smartwatches. At $250 the steel bracelet will be cheaply made, you can see just by looking at the photos, the links are folded, that alone spells.....cheap. If you want a premium case and steel bracelet in a watch it does not exist at $250. But agree with you some watches at $250 have slightly better Steel Bracelets than the Pebble Steel. I haven't received mine yet and I'm confident the Steel Bracelet will be cheaply made and I feel the case will be similar BUT at the moment it's probably the best you will get in a smartwatch. I'm looking forward to using it especially with the new App Store, it's a great time to introduce myself to Smartwatches and happy it's made from Steel and looks great in photos. I won't be disappointed as I'm not expecting Swiss Made premium at $250, I will just enjoy it for what it is :)
  • iPebbleiPebble Posts: 48Member
    The 3rd part you are talking about between the lugs is a bad idea in my opinion because it doesn't allow you to fit a better quality leather or Steel bracelet. I definitely would have replaced the Bracelet if the case had normal lugs.
  • BaranKeskinBaranKeskin Posts: 12Member
    You have got to be kidding me right? that at $250 I shouldn't have expected any better? Yeah you are right in that it won't compare to the high rollers but that strap seriously looks like its at maximum worth $5. I have purchased a Rotary watch in the past which was £50 and that even had better watch strap than this and it was solid worn it for at least a year without a single scratch on it's glass. I'm guessing then that the $250 goes to the internals and "gorilla" glass? and everything else is from the $1 store....

    I agree on you that this has to be the best smartwatch currently out, that's the reason I purchased it. I love the notifications and the watch but they could have at least made it easier for us to change the strap :( I will be happy with using this until a better alternative is released.

  • iPebbleiPebble Posts: 48Member
    BaranKeskin, I am not kidding and at $250 you should not expect much better. They could have included a slightly better Steel Bracelet though. I agree with you that the bracelet looks like its worth $5 and pebble probably would have paid less for it in bulk. Like I said, the Lug set-up doesn't allow us to change to a better quality bracelet so we have to live with it. Also the $250 we pay for the watch isn't just for the watch, it includes future payments to people working with software to allow for updates, they have to be paid now and into the future.

    If the Pebble Steel had a superior quality solid link heavy Bracelet made in Switzerland and a better quality Swiss Made Case with a sapphire glass lens it would have cost much more but they would have sold a lot less.

    Honestly, for $250 including future software updates plus the cost for the App Store setup its reasonable. Yes they will make money with the Watch Sales and the App Store and thats fine because we are getting a good complete package for $150-$250. Pebble offers a complete simple working package including the App Store and future Updates.

    Enjoy the watch and just like you I too will hate the bracelet quality :)


  • BaranKeskinBaranKeskin Posts: 12Member
    iPebble said:
    BaranKeskin, I am not kidding and at $250 you should not expect much better. They could have included a slightly better Steel Bracelet though. I agree with you that the bracelet looks like its worth $5 and pebble probably would have paid less for it in bulk. Like I said, the Lug set-up doesn't allow us to change to a better quality bracelet so we have to live with it. Also the $250 we pay for the watch isn't just for the watch, it includes future payments to people working with software to allow for updates, they have to be paid now and into the future.

    If the Pebble Steel had a superior quality solid link heavy Bracelet made in Switzerland and a better quality Swiss Made Case with a sapphire glass lens it would have cost much more but they would have sold a lot less.

    Honestly, for $250 including future software updates plus the cost for the App Store setup its reasonable. Yes they will make money with the Watch Sales and the App Store and thats fine because we are getting a good complete package for $150-$250. Pebble offers a complete simple working package including the App Store and future Updates.

    Enjoy the watch and just like you I too will hate the bracelet quality :)


    I can live with that then, knowing that someone at least agrees and I guess you are right about the cost to them in the long term. The decision about the strap still puzzles me (the weird lug setup), hopefully we start seeing some other options and can get them replaced.
  • AlanCarrollAlanCarroll Posts: 2Member
    I'm not sure it makes sense to compare this to similarly priced conventional watches that have (cheaply) mass-produced movements. You can buy a very accurate quartz watch for $15. A $250 watch is probably $10 for the movement and $240 for the case and band? In contrast the Pebble electronics are new and produced in much lower volume, leaving much less money to put into the case and band. Presumably the plan to license the band to other manufactures down the road.
  • BaranKeskinBaranKeskin Posts: 12Member
    I get that, but the band still doesn't make sense. Why license something like that? is it a highly sophisticated design that is protected by patent? I doubt it... anyone can produce a band for that watch. But because they have done this we have to wait for companies to do it rather than use what is already available.
  • Owen01Owen01 Posts: 167Member Pebbler
    I get that, but the band still doesn't make sense. Why license something like that? is it a highly sophisticated design that is protected by patent? I doubt it... anyone can produce a band for that watch. But because they have done this we have to wait for companies to do it rather than use what is already available.
    Of all the decisions on the Steel this one is the one I don't understand at all. 

    Is there some killer reason why they could not have used a standard band size? I simply cannot think of any. 

    Which leaves us with 'innovation for innovations sake', or possibly as a styling statement; except that this is hardly innovative since it's been done before with little success, and other factors are far more visually important than strap attachment.

    The other thought is that if the supplied pebble straps turn out to be low quality then this decision to have a custom made strap is even more bizarre since they could probably have sourced standard fitment straps of rather higher quality for the same price.

    Of course; if the new 'app store' sprouts a parallel 'strap store', then we'll really know why.
  • StargazerStargazer Posts: 44Member
    I totally agree with the comments about the unusual bracelet with the folded links. What helped sell me on the original Pebble was the ability to easily swap straps. With the Steel, it's now what holds me back from wanting the Steel, even though I like the look of the case and traditionally prefer bracelets over straps. The bracelet looks thin, cheap, and uncomfortable. I would have liked to add an aftermarket bracelet like a Watchadoo (that I have purchased for another watch) that is very comfortable and solid.
    Dark Tamo Wrap and Screen Protector from GadgetWraps.com
    22mm Black Tire Tread MODENA Rubber watch band w/ White Stitching from Amazon.com


  • Owen01Owen01 Posts: 167Member Pebbler
    Some feedback on the strap from someone who has actually handled the real thing would be nice; there is a lot of speculation based on photos and an assumption that 'folded' cannot mean 'good' here, but none of the reviews have yet criticized the strap for anything other than the fitting. So I'm assuming it is not a particularly cheap or flimsy item until someone credible says otherwise.
  • EmmanuelSandersEmmanuelSanders Posts: 82Member
    I second all the comments about the custom strap, I find this to be very disappointing.
  • BaranKeskinBaranKeskin Posts: 12Member

    Owen01 said:
    Some feedback on the strap from someone who has actually handled the real thing would be nice; there is a lot of speculation based on photos and an assumption that 'folded' cannot mean 'good' here, but none of the reviews have yet criticized the strap for anything other than the fitting. So I'm assuming it is not a particularly cheap or flimsy item until someone credible says otherwise.
    I have the pebble steel already..... I can't say anything to the credible part but to me personally it looks and feels cheap in the hand, very flimsy.
  • Owen01Owen01 Posts: 167Member Pebbler
    I have the pebble steel already..... I can't say anything to the credible part but to me personally it looks and feels cheap in the hand, very flimsy.
    No; that's very credible; the first comment I've seen on the strap from someone basing their opinion on the real thing instead of a picture.
  • BaranKeskinBaranKeskin Posts: 12Member
    edited January 31
    Some close ups of the watch and watch band:

    Post edited by BaranKeskin on
  • Vance HugginsVance Huggins Posts: 211Member Pebbler
    I have to admit that based on the picture, the leather band looks dissapointing.  This would be my band of choice as I do not like bracelet style bands.  A croc or aligator style would make it far more attractive.  Additionally, a leather band with a steel watch doesn't look great, given you have an interconnected leather band with steel posts at the base.  I would now go for the black matte version.
  • BaranKeskinBaranKeskin Posts: 12Member
    the steel is terrible so I'm wearing the leather but the stitching inside the leather strap has been rubbing and scratching my wrist since I first put it on. That leaves me with 2 options either not wear it till I can find a new strap or endure the scratching and itching caused by it. (I've already thrown the steel band away).
  • EndOfLevelBossEndOfLevelBoss Posts: 128Member
    Was the steel band really that bad?  I'd have thought a bog standard steel band would be preferable to that rubbing.  It's only a matter of time before more strap options become available.
  • BaranKeskinBaranKeskin Posts: 12Member
    Nope when I use cheap steel bands it rips out all the hair on my arm :D I don't have this problem with decent steel straps. So I can't use it. I've tried it and everytime I move my hand the band catches the hairs on my wrist.
  • Henry02Henry02 Posts: 107Member
    Tbh been wearing my pebble steel with leather strap for well over 24 hours now (without taking it off) and I've experienced none of what you're saying. it feels really quite comfortable, i haven't tried the steel band as of yet though.
  • EndOfLevelBossEndOfLevelBoss Posts: 128Member
    edited January 31
    Fair enough.  If you could find a good strap though - once they become available - do you think you could make it look good?  Is the watch part itself good enough looking?  I tend to find that when I first get something I notice stupid imperfections but after week or so I forget all about them and just enjoy the damn thing.  

    The worst looking thing in your images is what looks like a hole in the back of the strap holder thing but even that would not be visible when worn.
    Post edited by EndOfLevelBoss on
  • AlanCarrollAlanCarroll Posts: 2Member
    I haven't seen the strap or bracelet yet so can't comment on them. However I would think third party manufacturers will jump on this quickly, as they have done with other consumer electronics accessories. There are already screen protectors available for example.
  • DavidHumberDavidHumber Posts: 20Member
    I'm not sure I understand the complaints. For the price it's exactly the build quality I was expecting. Having a Kickstarter edition I find the quality of the steel much better.
  • creativeguycreativeguy Posts: 24Member
    Its got the cheap folded metal link construction like a $100 seiko watch. I would expect a $250 watch to at least have molded links.

  • iPebbleiPebble Posts: 48Member
    Nope when I use cheap steel bands it rips out all the hair on my arm :D I don't have this problem with decent steel straps. So I can't use it. I've tried it and everytime I move my hand the band catches the hairs on my wrist.
    Looks like my prediction of the pebble steel strap being cheap and nasty is correct since you also say it pulls/rips hair as well. This is always the case with cheap folded link steel bracelets made in china.

    I have some vintage watches where the Steel Bracelets are made in Switzerland and they are of high quality and don't pull hair. I have a modern Seiko LCD watch that costs about $300 which has a solid link stainless steel bracelet (made in China) and its the only cheap watch that surprisingly has a comfortable non hair ripping watch band that also looks great.

    Still looking forward to getting my Pebble Steel :)
  • iPebbleiPebble Posts: 48Member
    I'm not sure I understand the complaints. For the price it's exactly the build quality I was expecting. Having a Kickstarter edition I find the quality of the steel much better.
    I definitely understand the first complaints about the straps. I think most expected just a little better quality for $250. The bummer is they included the middle lug which stops people adding optional straps.

    I'm glad you find the quality of the steel better and its the reason why I ordered the Steel as well. I hope I find it to be exceptable in quality for what we paid


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