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    Fossil FX2008 and Suunto n6HR PDA Watches
    Author: Talon
    Date Posted:04/07/2005 15:40.56
    SLRating:Suunto SLRating: 7.5/10
    SLRating:Fossil SLRating: 8/10
    Bottom Line: Wristop,Computer and Advanced-tech watches still have a long way to go before general consumers and watch aficionados will consider them for normal use. But until then, both Fossil and Suunto have made commendable efforts in keeping the idea behind a wearable computer-esque tool alive.

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    Both the N3i and FX2008 have design modifications from their predecessors. Focusing first on the n6HR, the most obvious difference is Suunto's inclusion of a metal strap. Instead of the leather material that was the strap on the N3i, the n6HR features adjustable metal and hard leather links. Also, instead of a strap buckle, the watch is held together by a push-button deployment clasp. (That's jewellery lingo for "flip-lock"). These changes make for an even more stable and sturdy watch, something Suunto's active consumers will appreciate. Otherwise, the n6HR does not have any big design deviations from the N3i - their sizes are almost completely identical.

    As is the case with the N3i and N3, the n6HR's wireless transmitter is built into the watch face rather than into the strap. Upside: more flexible strap. Downside: bigger watch face. Also like its predecessors, the n6Hr is designed with a circular face and black under casing. It is not as heavy as the FX2008 and is much more comfortable to wear. (The bottom of the FX2008 is steel versus the n6HR's softer plastic /rubber material). Again, it is obvious that Suunto has sport-oriented consumers in mind by crafting an even more rugged watch than its predecessors.

    The other new item in the n6HR package is the heart rate monitor. This black strap wraps around your chest to read and transmit your well... heart rate. It is designed with a curved upper portion to better fit the form of your ribcage and to minimize discomfort. However, I still found it to be somewhat stiff. When I slipped the strap on before running, it feels fine. However, a few miles into the run and I can definitely feel some discomfort at having something wrapped around my chest. (Note that this discomfort is characteristic of many other heart rate monitors as well.) Perhaps Suunto should develop some kind of sensor that transmits the same information without being constricting.



    The FX2008 also sports some design modifications over its predecessor. The first major difference is a slight increase in the size of the watch face, and consequently the watch casing as well. This is to accommodate the promised 160 x 160 pixel screen, 8 Mb of memory, and other features required to run a scaled down version of a Palm Pilot. It may not seem like a big deal, but with watches, every millimetre makes a difference, and yes, the larger watch casing is definitely noticeable. Not a good thing. However, the design changes are not entirely bad. The new leather strap is much more comfortable than the stiff plasticky stuff the FX3005's strap was made of. It feels like high quality cracked leather, and it is.

    (Image credit:


    Formwise, Fossil has maintained the square shape of the watch from the FX2008, a good tactic to minimize space (though whether enough space has been minimized is questionable); if the watch face was circular, the size of the watch casing would be intolerable. Another similarity is the FX2008's solid steel casing. Shiny and heavy, just holding this thing gives the impression it was built with geeky tech-centric businesspersons in mind; it is obvious that you do not want to be playing tennis with this watch on. Oh yeah, and there are some extra buttons that you didn't see on the FX3005 (after all, the FX2008 is not a SPOT watch). Along with a rocker button (a button that can be pressed as well as "rocked" up or down), there are page up and page down buttons, as well as a back button that doubles as the back light toggle. Also of note are an infrared port and a compartment in the buckle that stores the stylus.

    Below are two pictures that illustrate the deign contrasts between the two watches.

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    Article Navigation

    1. Introduction
    2. Specifications
    3. First Impressions
    4. Design
    5. Functionality - n6HR
    6. Functionality - FX2008
    7. Functionality - Watch Faces
    8. Conclusion

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