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I simply had to write this review after I found that they actually listed the product on Ciao as I feel I have to share my experiences of using the product with you. Thatís right my friends it is a watch phone!
My husband got a pair of these to try through his work, I donít know a great deal about the technical aspects of the watch phone other than what is listed by the manufacturer so Iíll mainly be focussing on the practical side of using the product.
The phone has gone through several stages of development and was due to be released in 2003, however Iím reliably informed that it has not yet been released as they are making some final adjustments to it before launching it. There have been several models and we are now the proud owners (at least for a little while until he has to give them back!) of a pair of Samsung GPRS Watch phones.
In true Samsung style the phone is a flip phone but the most exciting thing about it is the fact that itís so small and it fits on your wrist as a watch!
Iím sure by now some of you are remembering the Dick Tracy cartoon with the futuristic wrist watch and yes that is how it designed to be. To keep people in contact who are on the move. Why buy two products when one will do?!
After I got over the excitement of being able to test a new product I noticed how exceptionally light the watch phone is. It weighs only 80g and that includes the weight of the battery and is in fact lighter than some watches probably are so donít worry about having to carry around a lead weight on your arm, youíll hardly notice the difference between this and wearing your normal watch.
The watch phone is also smaller than a normal phone! The photo Ciao have featured actually makes it look bigger than it is I think, the dimensions of the watch phone are 37.8 x 64 x 17.7 mm. The face of the watch phone is a bit longer than my normal watch and overall it seems a bit bulkier, I have a very narrow wrist and it does look a little odd but it looks fine on my husbandís wrist. Perhaps itís just because Iím used to a small dainty watch but this seems a bit too big for a slender feminine wrist so that may put some women off.
The technical features of the phone that Samsung boast are:
*Speaker Phone support
*GSM 900 / 1800 MHz GPRS Class 10, PBCCH support
*94 x 64 pixels, OLED colour
*40 Polyphonic Ring Tones
*37.8 x 64 x 17.7 mm
*Under 80g (including battery)
*Li-ion: 400mAh (Slim)
*1h30m talk time; 80h standby
Thatís all well and good but what we really want to know is what is it actually like to use? Aha well this is the fun bit!
I canít deny speaking on the watch phone is such a strange experience. I honestly felt like something out of Star Wars as I raised it to my ear, I felt like I was on a secret mission or something and I almost felt like saying ĎBrava Two Zero this is Oscar Two Zero, come in, overí ĎYouíre mission should you choose to accept itÖ.í Iím such a kid when it comes to gadgets. Honestly, youíd have to try this out to understand what Iím saying, it seems so futuristic and you canít resist having a bit of fun playing with it!
The phone has polyphonic ringtones which I know a lot of phones have these days but it can store 40 which is a greater capacity than a lot of larger phones. The ringtones which come on the phone are good quality and thereís pretty much something to suit everyone from the classic Ďring ringí to classical pieces to some faster beats.
Aesthetically I think this watch phone is quite hard to judge. As a phone it does very well itís small and compact as well as light but itís got all the features if not more of standard phones. Itís got a colour display too which is a bonus. However I still canít help thinking it looks odd talking to your wrist, I havenít dared to use it in public!
As a watch it doesnít score highly, itís not very feminine and does look too Star Wars-stylee for me personally. My husband doesnít mind the size so perhaps it is better suited to men. On the other hand I think he may just like it as more of a novelty item, Iím sure this will wear off soon as heís got to write an assessment on it.
I donít think the idea of watch phones is really going to take off to be honest, simply because people will think they look to silly talking to their wrist and I wouldnít disagree.
I do like the voice recognition dialling but I would never use that in public either because people would probably give me funny looks as though I really did think I was something from Star Wars.
I have no idea how much the phone will cost when it is released onto the market but I donít think I would recommend it because I donít think it will catch on and if youíre one of the first to buy it then youíll juts be left with something that youíre too embarrassed to use in public, which defeats the point of having it. Iíd say itís more of a novelty item really but I expect it will be quite expensive when itís released so it probably wonít be worth paying for it just to use as a bit of fun. Itíd be more sensible to buy a phone that you actually want to use properly.
I do like the phone and Iím glad Iíve had the chance to test it out though. I have to say that Panasonic have done well to produce something this small that does so much and no doubt they are proud to show off their technical prowess since they have become an established mobile phone manufacturer. However I canít help thinking that perhaps the designers didnít think about how people actually use the thing.
Weíre used to seeing people holding mobiles but you look quite silly talking to your wrist and this lets the phone down, they simply canít have thought about the practical usage. I really canít picture commuter businessmen flipping up the lid to their watch for a quick business chat to their wrist, and all but very small children would think it looks ridiculous.
Overall it has many good features and combining two essential items into one is great in theory, except when itís a watch phone which is really not a good concept.
It would be all well and good if you could take it off to use the phone but if it started wringing this would be fiddly and far more annoying than retrieving your phone from your pocket.
Personally Iíd find it much to simpler get my phone out as most mobile phones have the time displayed on the screen. In fact Iíd rather just wear my normal watch and get out my mobile phone if it rings or if I need to make a phone call.
When they do launch this product Iíll be interested to see if it actually does take off, my prediction is that it will not.