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New ‘Time Steel’ Smartwatch Propels Pebble to Top of Kickstarter List

After breaking the "fastest project to reach $1 million" record on Kickstarter last week, Pebble's new Time smartwatch is now the most-funded item ever on the crowdfunding site — powered by a new, all-metal version of the device. Time Steel is to the original Time what Pebble Steel was to the original Pebble — much the same, just shinier.

Anyone who backed the Time (well north of 50,000 people at this point) can upgrade to a Time Steel for $90 on top of the original $159-$179 they paid (but if you wait until it's available at retail, you'll have to pay the full $299 price). It gets you the improved case, a classy leather strap and a slightly improved battery that lasts for about 10 days rather than a week. You will, however, also be waiting a bit longer for your device: The Steel version ships in July, two months after the original. And it's a millimeter thicker, which doesn't sound like a lot but when it's on your wrist all day, might just make a difference.

The new smartwatch is still fairly minimal when compared to competing devices from Samsung and Sony, but Pebble also announced Tuesday that it will support "smartstraps," which are just what they sound like: straps with batteries inside, extra sensors, NFC support and so on. No word yet on when they'll be available.

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—Devin Coldewey