Contact Me By Email

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Suunto N3 Watch Review After One Weeks Use

Suunto N3 Watch Review After One Weeks Use

I received my Suunto N3 watch on Monday March 15th 2004 during my lunch hour from Comp USA. The serial number on the watch is 40390095. I immediately clipped on the clothes pin styled charger. Nothing happened. There was no indication on the watch to let me know that the watch was charging. My job beckoned however so I let my watch charge for the remainder of the work day I glanced at it a couple of times during the afternoon but I observed no sign of life . Prior to leaving the office, shortly after 5pm, I disconnected the watch from the charger. I decided to call Suunto technical support. I was afraid that I had received a defective watch. I immediately reached a support representative who told me that all I needed to do was turn on the watch. He directed me to simultaneously push in the two left hand buttons and while holding them press in and hold the top right hand button. The watch immediately came to life. It was easy at that point to navigate to the registration screen and obtain the MSN Direct registration number. I then accessed the MSN Direct website; input my registration number, credit card information for the $59.00 yearly subscription and selected my channel content. This whole on line process took less than five minutes. I left the office and within ten minutes my watch was displaying the correct time and I was receiving my channel information.

The watch is large but light in weight. The black watch with a copper band around the face, which serves as fm antenna, gives the watch a high tech look though my wife’s initial impression was that its large size made it look like a child’s watch. She works with children so this may have colored her initial impression. The fit and finish of the watch is superb, befitting the watches $299.00 price. The black watch band is very comfortable. I have been wearing the watch around the clock since it was activated save for one three hour period in which it was connected to the charger.

The watch is easy to read. There are five digital clock faces which come with the watch, one of which allows for dual time zone viewing though the second time zone font is so small that it is really useless. On the Monday evening after obtaining the watch I received a watch face from Microsoft which I discarded. On Wednesday March 17th 2004 I received a new watch face, named Quarter, which I really like so I kept it. This face has become my default watch face when my watch is not in its glance mode. On the 17th of March MSN Direct added their much anticipated Sports Channel featuring at its inception sports scores for the NCAA, NBA and WNBA. These scores allow you to follow the progress of games, a few minutes behind real time, as the watch automatically updates the score. Yesterday afternoon I followed the NCAA Duke game and yesterday evening I followed the score of the Atlanta Hawk NBA game. I initially had a problem with this channel. I added this channel last Wednesday I had not received any information as of Saturday morning. I new that some of the teams I had added had played so I contact MSN Direct technical support. The overseas based technical support person directed me to reset my watch in the same way as I was directed by the Suunto tech to turn it on. The representative told me that she was resetting the data stream on my watch. Within an hour I was receiving sports score data.

The back light of the watch is accessed by pushing in the top left hand button on the watch. This causes the watch to glow with an incandescent dark green background with the information displayed in a light, yellowish green font. I have had no problem reading the information displayed on the watch using this feature. I was however worried that I would not like the watches monochrome display. My first pda, a Sharp Wizard had a monochrome display which I never liked. My first Palm also had a monochrome display. l returned the handheld two hours after its purchase for a color Palm IVA. This color device was much easier to read. I subsequently owned a color Handspring Visor Prism and three iPaq pocket PC devices.

The real issue for me with the Suunto N3 was whether this watch would fit into my large arsenal of gadget gear that I carry around with me in my Road Wired Podzilla gadget bag. Would the inevitable duplication of features keep this watch from being useful tool? In order that you might both understand my perspective on this watch and assess my gadget geek credentials I will tell you what I tote around in my bag. I carry an iPaq 5555 Pocket PC with a 512 meg sd card, a pc card expansion pack with both a 1 gig IBM Microdrive and a Kingston 5 gig pc card. I connect this device, when I am away from home, via Bluetooth to a Sony Ericsson T610 gsm cell phone for internet access and at home I connect it to the internet through my Netgear WGR 614 802.11g wireless wifi router. I carry a Creative Labs 60 gig Zen Xtra mp3 player, a Creative Lab 512 meg Rhomba mp3 player which I use for voice message recording and fm radio. I carry a Jabra Bluetooth headset a Canon SD10 digital camera equipped with a 256 meg sd card. As you can see duplication of information is a real issue for me.

My iPaq already provides me with news and weather through Pocket PC 2003 Today screen programs Stocks and Weather Today, Journal Bar, Pocket RSS and the Pocket Informant Today screen plug-in. My Sony Ericsson T610 also provides news weather and information through T-Mobile’s T-Zone service.

I’ll tell you this. The Suunto watch held its own. What sets this watch apart is its glance function. The glance function scrolls through the channels you choose. I have selected news, weather and calendar. The watch allows for transfer of your calendar information to your watch from an internet connected PC after the installation of a small Outlook plug-in found on the calendar section of the MSN Direct website. You receive the information you want as casually as glancing at your watch. I have stopped glancing at my ipaq for news headlines. I use it at lunch for browsing my Newsgator mobile RSS page on the web but the watch has taken over as my number one source for receiving quick news tidbits. The service is not perfect. Some of the news information is so truncated that it is impossible to glean from the headline what the story is about. MSN Direct should address this issue with its new partners. In any event you can always go to the MSN Direct website and view the whole news story. For some reason MSN Direct does not presently allow you to add sports scores to the glance function. This is a silly oversight on their part.

I discovered the real value of this watch about 5:30am on Friday March 19th 2003. I awoke with my watch on my wrist to answer natures call. I happened to glance at my watch. A news alert was displayed showing that the president of Taiwan had been shot. This was an important story for me. My daughter in law is from Taiwan. I have visited the island twice in the past fifteen months; in December of both 2002 and 2003. Upon viewing the alert I immediately turned to CNN on my television as well as on my computer to find out as much as I could about the story before calling my daughter in law. I understood then better than ever the utility of this watch. The information is right there in front you in an unobtrusive manner. You do not have to do anything new to receive all of this information. I have read some reviews where the reviewers do not wear watches. On what planet do they live? How can you function in the business world without a watch?

While at work the Outlook calendar function will alert you to upcoming meetings. The hour before the calendared event the watch will count periodically show you the time left before a meeting. With this watch there is no reason to overlook an upcoming meeting and keep your boss waiting.

Is this watch worth $299.00? Does it fit in with my assortment of digital gear? The answer to the first question depends on your disposable income, desire for information on the fly and your comfort level wearing a larger than normal sports style watch. If you are a news and information junkie like I am I think that you will be pleased with this new watch. It gives you news, weather stock, and weather at a glance. I have glad I have it. This watch is the beginning of many devices using this sort of technology. Welcome to a brave new world.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.