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It is even possible to design custom watch faces on your smartphone and have them appear on the dial of the Pebble Steel watch. You can even get turn-by-turn directions on the watch. It is clear that Pebble is growing the capabilities of the device and giving developers an easier way to make their apps feel more native on the smartchwatch. Previously, notifications were generally text only and all looked the same, but now developers can make a notification from an app feel like an extension of that app experience itself. It really takes the smartwatch closer to being the type of device most consumers expect.

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Will the Pebble Steel be the smartwatch for everyone? That has yet to be seen, but this is perhaps among the most attractive smartwatch offerings so far. With Pebble’s strong name, proven dedication to improvement, and commitment to outside developers, this is perhaps on a short list of smartwatches that we can recommend to invest in this year. Retail price for the Pebble Steel is $249 USD with free worldwide shipping. Orders have begun now and the first Pebble Steel watches are due to ship January 28, 2104.

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