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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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    Conclusion

     

    With the potential market for these watches, it is not surprise that Fossil and Suunto have both made attempts to revitalize their tech watch products. And while their design goals were divergent, both implemented features to further boost the appeal of their products. In Fossil's case, this was a wearable Palm OS; or, more accurately, the better-late-than-never release of a PDA watch they had been promising for years. For Suunto, this meant further targeting the sport-enthusiast market with a built-in heart rate monitor and included heart rate transmitter. In this respect, both Fossil and Suunto have succeeded in adding new features without visibly increasing the size of their last generation watches.

    But in their frenzy to cram features and functionality into their watches, both companies have declined to address the most prevalent roadblock to common adoption of these watches: size. If Fossil can cram a PDA into a watch, and if Suunto can add a heart rate monitor without deviating much from the N3i's size, then why not spend more time scaling down these watches to be more wearable instead of jamming extra bells and whistles into an uncomfortable product? Many people would love to own a watch that has advanced functions, but few (the niche market of large-wristed people with a geek streak and a small chunk of disposable income) are willing to sacrifice image or comfort in doing so. This is an issue both companies must address, and one that could open up a much wider consumer base if addressed.

    In the mean time, those with large or moderately-sized wrists and who enjoys sports as well as technology will find the n6HR to be a not unworthy choice. It tells the time, checks your heart rate, and gives you all the functionality of a SPOT watch, with only a little of the awkward factor of wearing a watch that size. But then again, you can get the same features by purchasing an N3i and the Timex I made reference to in the Functionality section. But if you want both features in one watch and are willing to shell out a little extra for it, the n6HR is a decent choice.

    On the other side of the fence, those with large or moderately-sized wrists who want to have a Palm Pilot sitting on their wrists will find the FX2008 a better choice. (For obvious reasons; the n6HR is not a Palm Pilot.) This thing is heavier and slightly longer than the n6HR, so it is not for activities involving harsh conditions or shock. This watch Fossil designed to appeal to big-time geeks or businesspeople who need to jot down quick notes. It gives you all the functionality of a Palm Pilot at the expense of a somewhat awkward-to-wear timepiece.

    "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. If the technology survives for a few more generations, my biggest hope is that the size barrier will be overcome. Only then will these units be able to compete seriously with other prosumer digital watches.

    Suunto n6HR - Verdict: 7.5

    Fossil FX2008 - Verdict: 8

     



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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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