Need to buy a gift for somebody who loves technology but you can’t afford the big ticket items?
NV Mobile Sports Pro Mini Watch Phone
The NV Mobile Sports Pro Mini Watch Phone is an interesting concept, but it is difficult to use.
- Interesting form factor, wide variety of features in small device
- Bad call quality, very difficult to write messages
Although we respect the NV Mobile Sports Pro Mini Watch Phone for daring to be different, the low call quality and the difficulty involved in data entry mean that this is a hard device to recommend.
Price$ 549.00 (AUD)
The NV Mobile Sports Pro Mini Watch Phone is one of the first watch phones ever released in Australia. Although the concept has promise, the lack of speech recognition and poor call quality mean that you should only buy it if you truly love the idea of a watch phone.
Although the NV Sports Pro Mini Watch Phone isn't as small as most wristwatches it is much smaller than your average mobile phone. This black watch phone looks like a stock-standard sports wristwatch, except it's slightly larger and features a camera at the top. While we admire the ability to fit a working camera into such a small device, beach-goers may need to be wary of being labelled a peeping tom.
A 40mm collapsible stylus fits neatly into the wristband, but it is far too small to be comfortable when using the 1.3in TFT touch screen. The stylus can't be held like a pencil and doesn't stay extended for long.
The back cover of the watch phone is integrated with the battery, and the SIM card slips in underneath. The NV Phones Sports Pro Mini Watch Phone provides quad-band GSM connectivity, with an estimated talk time of 190min and a standby time of three days. Charging is achieved via the micro-USB port on the right side of the device.
Fortunately, using the touch screen is a pleasant experience, and a pen calibration program makes sure you will hit the buttons you aim for. The picture-based menu is clear and simple, and suffers from very little lag. A range of useful options are available, including a phone book, a BMI calculator and, unusually, a menstrual cycle calculator.
Data entry is difficult because of the NV Mobile Sports Pro Mini Watch Phone's small screen. Users will eventually get used to reading two to three words per line in text messages, but the tiny on-screen keyboard makes typing messages painful.
Handwriting recognition is available, but the software only allows one letter to be entered at a time and anything but neat lettering will often be incorrectly interpreted. Speech recognition would rectify this issue, but would also result in a more expensive mobile phone.
Call quality is unfortunately one of the poorest attributes of the NV Sports Pro Mini Watch Phone. When the phone is in standard mode, the signal is marred by intermittent bursts of static and hissing on "s" sounds. The Sports Pro Mini Watch Phone's speaker is also far too quiet. When the volume is set at a high level, the hissing and distortion become excessive.
The NV Phones Sports Pro Mini Watch Phone comes bundled with a wireless Bluetooth headset. The call quality when using the included headset is poor, though, and most phone calls are marred by static on both incoming and outgoing audio.
Connecting to a PC is easy thanks to the micro-USB port. No software is provided to synchronise the calendar or phone book with a computer, but images and music can be transferred to and from the Sports Pro Mini Watch Phone by dragging and dropping in Windows Explorer. You can also use the camera as a webcam while it's connected to your PC, but the resolution of the image is quite low.
If you've got your heart set on a watch phone, NV Mobile is one of the only brands you've got to choose from. Although we didn't appreciate the mediocre call quality, difficult text entry and lack of expandable memory of the Sports Pro Mini Watch Phone, we can't help but be impressed by the fact that a smartphone has been squeezed into a watch.
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