The Talking Watch
By Sutlej Soin
While mobile manufacturers are churning out handsets with bigger screens and more features, LG has decided to try something different. The result is a phone that has a 1.43-inch screen and with basic features that you'll expect in a phone from 2000, not 2009. Now before you start wondering if LG's designers have gone off the rails, get this - it actually fits on your wrist.
LG's slogan for this watch-phone, the GD910 is "No Longer Just An Idea" and true enough, they have just made your wildest Dick Tracy moment come to life 19 years too late, but as they say, better late than never but somehow, this is one idea we wished had not come to fruition.
It's All on the Wrist
Weighing in at 92 grams, it weighs just about the same as many phones out in the market currently. Now while those phones feel light in your pocket, when you are wearing it on your wrist, there is bound to be some weight issues. After wearing it for several hours, we really wanted to take it off as the weight was getting to our wrist.
At 13.9mm, it's rather chunky looking and if you wear it underneath your shirt, it sticks out like a sore thumb. Worse still, if you top that shirt off with a jacket, it looks like you have a permanent bulge on your wrist. On the right of the GD910 are 3 buttons which represent the call, back and end options and are hard to access and press. We wished the back button was at the bottom of the watch phone itself for easy access.
There is no microSD expansion slot hence you can't have more than ten MP3 song files. You are limited to the paltry (by today's standards) 80MB internal memory.
A Few Issues
When we created a message, there were some problems. We found ourselves having to take the watch off in order to finish constructing a message. You will be better off spending a day editing and creating new templates so that you don't have to stamp out messages in a hurry and misspell words.
Battery life is a concern here. Talk time is rated at 2 hours maximum and with our usage, which included talk time of an hour, Bluetooth on and messaging here and there, the phone conked when we woke up the following morning. Ringtones were soft even at the highest volume.
It's not THAT Bad
Negatives aside, the multi-touch screen is easy to get used to and it's a breeze to browse through the menus on the 1.43-inch screen just by sliding your finger across the screen. We tried out the video telephony feature and it was easy to get it up and running. The question is how many of us out there actually use this feature?
In the imaging department, the camera features are limited to brightness levels and camera resolution is set at VGA CMOS standard.
LG's Other Rival
If you are really keen on getting a watch phone, perhaps you can consider the GD910's rival, the Samsung S9110. It has a larger screen at 1.76-inch, a better battery life at 630mAh and a slimmer body at 11.98mm. Price wise, it's around S$900. The minuses include a 40MB internal memory and no HSDPA connectivity. Also, it's not available in Singapore yet nor is there any word on its pending arrival so you might have to get this one off eBay.
Inside the box, you'll find the watch itself, the charger and a Bluetooth headset. This entire package will set you back S$1688 and if you are going for the watch under a 2-year contract, expect to cough up at least S$600 without trade-ins. It's an interesting concept but the implementation leaves much to be desired. Do keep in mind that at the end of the day, it's still a watch phone.