Review of "Lifemax Talking Big Digit Watch"

published 31/05/2016 | ryeb
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Super
Pro Large clear display, 4 useful alarms, comfortable to wear, can recieve hourly time reminders
Cons Voice volume not adjustable, shorter battery life than other watches,
exceptional
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"The watch that talks"

Lifemax Talking Big Digit Watch, the big grey/black one with my normal wrist watch for size comparison.

Lifemax Talking Big Digit Watch, the big grey/black one with my normal wrist watch for size comparison.

My mum has suffered many health problems over the last few years leaving her with vision, hearing and neurological issues. The last affects spatial awareness and gives her periodic difficulties with understanding an analogue clock face and confusion about the time of day. For this reason, I purchased her a talking digital watch so she could check the time without having to read a clock face. These kind of watches are often used by the visually impaired of course, and also by those with conditions such as Alzhiemers who can also find it hard to interpret a traditional clock display. Mum was not used to wearing a watch in the past and I was not sure she would adapt to wearing one now so I looked for a cheap but reasonable quality product. I came up with the Lifemax Talking Big Digit Watch on Amazon for just under £10, with the rrp quoted as £12.99. It is a unisex sporty style, rather than anything elegant but the face seemed easier to read than others so I ordered that one but bear in mind Lifemax offer many variations of talking watches if this style does not appeal.


QUICK FEATURE LIST


* Talking function - gives time aloud on the hour if desired, or when special button is pressed at any time

* Large LCD display features hour, minute, and seconds plus day of week

* Date can also be announced

* Has 4 independent alarm settings NOT 5 as mentioned in Amazon product listing

*Stopwatch function

* NOT waterproof

* Plastic strap/casing, with stainless steel back, buckle style fastener


IS IT EASY TO SET UP?


The print in the instruction manual is small and this seems an unwise choice in a product aimed at the visually impaired for one thing.. I did not find the setting up process at all intuitive so I am not sure anyone could easily try and work out how to set the time without using these instructions. What is more, the time will need to be set every time the battery runs out so keep them safe! The raised buttons are at least a reasonably good size to make this less fiddly to use than those with the sort of "buttons" you need to hold in with pen tip etc. A voice tells you the function you are using e.g it will announce you are in the set time function and it will announce the hours as you advance them, which is some help. Every button press during this time makes a loud noise, which is more than a little annoying, so pick your moment to tackle this.


IS THE TALKING FUNCTION LOUD/CLEAR?


The voice is a female and American, but quite on the robotic side. I can imagine many people would find it annoying, especially if you have set the watch to announce the time hourly. I have perfect hearing and I find the voice to be loud and clear BUT my mum suffered a decline in hearing during the time she had this watch and she says it is too quiet and lacks clarity. Many of her friends who are elderly and tried the watch out also said they thought the accent made the watch announcements hard to understand if there was a lot of background noise in particular. None of then wear a hearing aid but I am used to having to repeat things to them so I suspect several have slight hearing loss due to age. If you or the person you are buying the watch for may not have perfect hearing, or struggles with accents, I do not recommend you buy this watch for the talking function alone. There is no way to adjust the talking volume unfortunately so you are stuck with it.


NB. For those who already have the Lifemax Talking alarm clock, the voice is the same but not as loud, and that makes it clearer I think.


IS THE TALKING WATCH FUNCTION EASY TO USE?


The watch has 4 raised buttons around the edge. One can be pressed to hear an announcement of the current time in hours and minutes plus the AM or PM - you can choose a 12 or 24 hour clock. This one press function is therefore easy to use. Alternatively, you can press another button to hear an hourly announcement of the time given on the hour. Obviously, it is crucial to be able to turn this off easily for example at night and a second press of the button does just that. You can also choose to hear an announcement of the date. For mum, who only wanted to know the time, a watch with one button would have been easier to adapt to, which may be something to bear in mind if you are buying for someone with dementia like conditions. We used a sticker to mark the one that needs depressing for the time announcement so she could safely ignore the others which are used to set the time and change mode e.g to use the stop watch function.


IS THE FACE EASY TO READ?


Some days mum is able to read the time on a digital watch face and she loves the large size of the display here. (She is short sighted and likes the fact she can see it even without her glasses on but obviously this depends on a individual.) I have included a picture of myself wearing the watch on the same wrist as a conventional watch so you can have some idea of the relative size of display. I think it is very clear and having worn it myself on numerous occasions when mum can't but wants it with her, I can say it easy to read even in bright light. The display shows the day of the week plus hours, minutes and seconds but not the day of the month which may have made the display overcrowded anyway, but you can have this announced.

The watch has kept perfect time in the months we have had it.

.

IS THE WATCH COMFORTABLE TO WEAR?


I have worn the watch myself on numerous occasions when we are out and about, when Mum can't but wants to read the time herself. It isn't my usual style but it isn't uncomfortable. It is large and may be too chunky looking for some, see the pic I have attached to make up your own mind. It can't realistically be made much sleeker given the need for a large watch face. It felt heavy to me at first, but I suspect this was in comparison to the watches I am used to wearing which are smaller as I soon got used to it and Mum who was not used to wearing any watch at all found it ok. In warm weather it did not make my wrist sweaty despite the plastic strap. I have a small wrist and I nearly always have to have wrist straps adjusted to fit perfectly so I was pleasantly surprised to find I could easily find a snug fitting. It fits mum ok, and I got my dad and boyfriend to try it on and they say it is fine too so I suspect most people will be ok. The buckle style fastening is secure and easy to manage in addition.


OTHER FEATURES


The watch has 4 alarms - note not 5 as mentioned in the Amazon product description. It is suggested you could use these as reminders for example to take medication providing of course you don't need more than 4 doses a day. I can see this working for some but there is no way for the watch to tell you what the reminder/alarm is for specifically, and no choice of alarm sounds. But they are loud, and hard to ignore whilst one button press shuts them up promptly so they are functional.


There is also a stopwatch function which we have not used other than to see if it works, and it does. The button presses needed to get there are less complicated than the process of setting the initial time and the start/stop is responsive. The same voice that tells you the time normally tells you have accessed this function and the finish time etc, so it is really does talk through every function. The sporty minded should bear in mind this is not a waterproof watch.


BATTERY LIFE


The watch came fitted with a battery but obviously not a very good one. There was the usual plastic tag sticking out of the battery area which needs to be removed before use, and once done the watch came on once a side button was held down for several seconds as per the instructions. However, while the instructions say the button needs to be pressed for three seconds, you actually need to hold it down for twice as long so don't give up if nothing happens straight away. After that, there was enough power to set the correct time and date and try the watch out a few times but then the battery promptly died. A new battery fitted the next day lasted 6 months but my mum did not use the watch talking function consistently every day. I understand that talking watches do more than watch that just quietly tick away so I suppose it is not surprising the batteries run out faster than average.

Apart from that, the watch has shown no signs of wear, and the plastic strap has not faded, or got scratched.


WOULD I RECOMMEND THIS WATCH?


If you or a loved one needs help telling the time and has good hearing, then I would recommend this because of the low price and reliable time keeping. If you/they has less than perfect hearing, or trouble distinguishing speech with strong accents, then I do not recommend this if you were buying primarily for the talking function. You don't have to use the voice feature at all, and if it doesn't appeal, the very large clear digital display is still useful for those with impaired vision. For those like mum whose time trouble comes from neurological/spatial awareness problems, consider whether a simpler watch with fewer buttons/modes may be easier to get on with. Many people will need help getting the time set too. Mum stopped using the watches talking function when her hearing declined, but she will still used the digital display before recovering the ability to read a "normal" analogue watch display. This may well be temporary so the watch is put away for now but it proved useful and comforting at the time.


I bought this watch from Amazon but I have also realised you can buy it from Lifemax direct as well as places such as Maplin and Lloyds Pharmacy. See the Ciao price comparison below.

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Comments on this review

  • sellerleygirl published 29/08/2016
    Excellent review
  • Classicc published 28/08/2016
    An excellent review!
  • Violet1278 published 01/07/2016
    An outstanding review. E from me.
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Product Information : Lifemax Talking Big Digit Watch

Manufacturer's product description

Product Details

Gender: Unisex

Material: Plastic

Manufacturer: Lifemax

Type of Movement: Quartz Digital

Crystal / Glass Type: Plastic

EAN: 4891463103218

Functions: Stopwatch

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Listed on Ciao since: 30/05/2016