Summary: Seemed to work great for an hour
Review: I charged the watch for 4 hours and set up my MSN Direct service. All without a problem. The watch worked for about an hour and went dead! I tried to recharge, reboot and manually start the watch but it is just dead
Summary: outlook calendar sync rocks!
Review: I got the Dick Tracey version of the watch a week ago. As the other reviewers pointed out it is little bulky. But well, the bulkiness is kinda coolness factor too. The news, stock, weather updates are cool, but the outlook calendar reminders is the killer app. I dont need to write down in which room my next meeting is, even if I forget my pocket PC /PDA. I agree the price is little steep, but I got it through the msft employee discount, so it isn't bad for me, considering that its a Fossil watch.
Summary: Mine broke within 24 hours
Review: I had the watch for less than 24 hours and it stopped working. The screen went blank, and no matter how long I charged it, it never turned back on. I am going to try and get my money back, else I have to wait several weeks to get the old one fixed!
what a rip! As with any Microsoft Technology, wait until Generation 2!
Summary: Watch + Data = Smart Watch for MSN Direct
Review: I heard about Microsoft's Smart Personal Object Technology (SPOT) devices a while back, and it intrigued me. Although as a certified gadget geek I have a number of wireless devices that can receive news, weather, and sports, I had always thought that the perfect device would replace my existing watch. While this first generation device isn't perfect, it's not bad.
Opening the box containing the Abacus Wrist Net Smart Watch for MSN Direct (there's a mouthful!), you'll find two small manuals, the watch, and a two-piece charger. The charger consists of a plug (thoughtfully made to fold flat) and a rather clunky charger with an "arm" that rotates into place to hold the watch. You just lay the watch onto the arm and it starts charging through induction - no charging port or contacts to get dirty!
You need to activate the watch through MSN Direct to get your news, and it's best to take the $59 one-year subscription rather than go with the $9.95 monthly plan. You will need a credit card to subscribe. Once you've entered your unique watch ID and personal information, you get to pick the type of content you want sent to your watch. At this time (1/7/04) the sports channel powered by ESPN isn't available, but it's supposed to be ready soon.
It takes about 10 minutes to get a confirmation message on the watch telling you everything's OK, and then it can take up to 12 hours for all of your info to show up.
There are five buttons on the device that are used to turn on the white backlight (rather uneven, I thought), change channels, and navigate (enter, next, and previous). The buttons seem a little spongy, but not too bad. The Abacus AU4000 isn't waterproof but will survive splashes. If you're used to very expensive thin watches you'll hate this, but anyone who likes clunky multifunction watches will love this. From a design standpoint, the $299 Suunto N3 sure looks a lot nicer, but functionally it doesn't do anything different than this watch.
A charge is supposed to last 2 - 3 days, and I think I may just put my watch on the charging arm every night when I go to bed. Heavy use of animated screens will drain the battery faster; like any first-generation electronic device, battery life is an issue.
So far I'm fairly impressed, and find the display to be clear and easy to read. Just showing the Weather Channel info to friends has been good for a lot of positive comments, and folks have been sending me MSN Messenger "pages" just for fun. If you're an early adopter, you'll probably want to get one of these new watches; if not, wait for the second generation devices.
Summary: Smart Watch!
Review: I live in Chicago at the very edge of the coverare area. I found the watch setup to be quite easy and configuring channels via MSN Direct is easy as well. It took a bit of time before the data started flowing to the watch, but once the initial "download" was complete it updates quickly. The screen is very readable even for news articles, which is remarkable given the screen small size. The watch is a bit bulky, but given all the it does (time, stop watch, alarm, news, weather, calender and appointments) it is pretty amazing. I have loaded the Outlook addin that allows appointment to sent from Outlook to the watch. This is very, very cool. I really love my smart watch.
Summary: Beware Static Charges
Review: I loved the concept and the product, I was looking to buy one of these watches since last year. I am very disapointed by Fossil's design flaws: the antenna on the wrist is highly sensitive to static charges and my watch goes dead as soon as I enter my office building.
Summary: Impressed so far...
Review: I purchased this watch after a 3 year lack of a wrist watch. My Phone was too clumsy to look at time, and I wanted a tech saavy watch. This is my first delve into MS Watches, but so far I am impressed. Set up was a breeze, Once it had charged (overnight) the morning, it was ready with all my calander and news and stocks right there. I did purchase the extended warranty, why not its an expensive little new gadget...I want to be covered incase something happens...
One drawback...not water proof per say...it can get splashed...but you have to take it off to shower or swim... I have a big wrist so the watch is the right size, though it will be big on some people.
I love this thing so far...and no issues yet.
Summary: It works
Review: I read all the reviews and thought this was going to be a scary ride. I decided to get the cheap version vs the Suunto as the technology is really new.
The first thing you have to do is to adjust the watch band, this is easily achieved by using a tiny screwdriver or thumb tack to pop the pin. I'm not sure it will size for everyone. The band looks and feels like something that would be OK 1000ft under water and yet the watch is hardly splash resistant.
The watch looks Ok on my arm, a little big but not too out of place. For a fairly big sized guy it passes , if you're a petite female it might look very out of place.
The watch activated and charged OK and began receiving its signal. I tried sending messages to myself, this has up to a 10 minute lag. I altered my content and found that it changed within half an hour.
I have found that it loses all signal when I'm using my wireless laptop. I put the laptop down and it regains itself.
Overall it works better than I hoped for given the rest of the reviews.
+++> latest update
I've now had the watch for about 4 weeks, I went on a long trip to LA and managed to pick up local weather all the way. The battery lasts a good 3-4 days and seems not to be a problem. So far the watch has performed as advertized. People at home and work send me messages, I regularly track my stocks. I often compare notes with people whose watch only tells the time.
Summary: Don't believe the hype
Review: I suspect that the positive reviews of these watches are all from trolls hired by Microsoft and Fossil.
Read the reviews for other MSN/Fossil watches as well as this one. You'll find that the reviews that are not highly critical all sound like they are quoting from ads.
The large size, cheap plastic case, bad operating system, frequent charges and poor reception are what these watches are all about.
Ask yourself if you really want to spend $60 dollars a year on yet another subscription service to get 2-line weather reports on your wrist. Do you like removing your watch every night to charge it? Do you enjoy rebooting your watch all the time after it crashes like a PC?
Buy a PDA or a PDA cell phone. Don't waste your money on one of these watches.
Summary: Spectacular flameout! wait for next Gen.
Review: I wanted to like this thing... and I did until i realized that it is extremely susceptible to static charge-- which wipes out the data and resets the watch. At least 20 times a day, all of my data would be wiped out and the watch would reset to 12:00. Signal strength was always pretty good-- but the watch is completely unreliable in my opinion. I have read some message boards on this watch and this is a common problem. It is a defective design. COMP USA charged me 15% to return it and on top of that MSN would not refund the up front yearly MSNDirect charge (however, after a few days, a MSN supervisor called back to say that they would credit the money back). I have read that the SUUNTO watch should be much better because the antenna is in the watch, not the band. Much less susceptible to static charge. Bottom line= Fossil made bad watch, COMP USA has terrible return policy, and MSNDirect almost swindled my [$]-- but after some persistence, they made right.