When [Otellini] joined the company in 1974, most people didn't even know what a PC was - From the Wall St Journal 11-11-2004
Product: LG GD910 watch phone
System Specifications: 1.43-inch QQVGA screen, quad-band GSM, HSDPA, Bluetooth, MP3 player
THE LG GD910 WATCH PHONE comes from the South Korean electronics giant that seems to make everything, including spy gadgetry if this piece of apparatus is any indication.
Due to the delicate nature and the intricacy of the LG watch phone, it’s assembled by hand. This must have driven the price up somewhat due to the time and effort being applied. The initial asking price for the GD910 was around £1,000 before the mobile phone network Orange became involved and it’s now £500.
The watch phone is exactly that, it’s a watch that’s a phone. Not only that, but it’s also a watch that’s a phone with video calling. Yes, you are not only able to voice call someone using the watch, but also video-call that very person if they have a compatible device – it’s like living in the future, if it wasn’t so bleak and horrible right now.
There have been 2G watch phones in the past, but the GD910 is the first 3G phone to come along that has gained mass attention, capable of quad-band GSM and video calling.
Operating the GD910 is all done through its touch screen interface. The initial screen you are presented with at boot up holds a series of watch displays, which can be customised to show analogue, digital, dual world time or other similar traditional time piece fronts. This screen more or less acts as the screen saver, when the phone is not in use.
The watch is encased in a high quality metal casing, with a curved tempered glass face that feels sturdy enough to comfortably press down on without the feeling that any more pressure will shatter the screen. Running through the various menus is performed by swiping a finger from left to right or right to left, while top to bottom runs though the individual menu options in that particular section. It’s all very basic and simple in its operation and features.
The most important menu on the GD910 is of course the actual phone’s operation. This is the next menu along, with the only two options being presented of Video Calling and Voice Calling. Both of these functions of the watch phone can be used with the accompanying Bluetooth single-ear headset by LG. It’s needed and is vital to operating the phone, as if not in use the user ends up shouting at his or her wrist in a very Dom Jolly-esque way by shouting at their wrist “Hello?” in a rather comical loud voice.
Phone numbers can be entered from the touch screen manually, or selected from the contacts address book where numbers can be entered and updated. Connecting to a compatible video calling enabled handset is easy and simple, with a camera on the top right-hand part of the screen projecting the LG watch phone user’s image to the other person’s screen. Where their image takes up around half of the GD910’s screen, at any one time. Depending on signal quality, the video image varies from great to barely watchable.
We would have hoped the camera on the phone could be used to take pictures, or even record video. Unfortunately this isn’t an ability of the handset.
Subsequent menus of the watch phone hold the likes of text messaging, but it’s very cumbersome to enter text on the 1.43-inch screen. There is an added bonus as text to speech functionality has been included, all for reading text messages out loud when they arrive. This is a welcome aspect as the screen does not lend itself to viewing text particularly well, which is probably why there’s no web browser as that would have been rather useless in our opinion.
Other niceties thrown in for good measure are abilities such as voice dialling, which feels a little odd without using the Bluetooth headpiece as for all intents and purposes the user has to speak into his watch in a true Sci-fi moment. There’s also a good onboard MP3 player, where music can be added by connecting to a PC via the watch phone’s cradle, that’s also used for charging the GD910.
In our tests the accompanying Bluetooth hands-free piece fared much better than the GD910 in terms of battery life. While video calling to another device, the watch phone lasted just 55 minutes before dying, after fully recharging it lasted 2 hours and 40 minutes in making voice calls. The Bluetooth headset lasted for both of the tests that were repeated a couple of times, all without the need for recharging.
There isn’t a great deal to the GD910 watch phone from LG. It’s a watch phone that can be used to video or voice call and really that’s about it. It is however the ultimate gadget for gadget’s sake and is a novelty to behold and use. At £500 through Orange for what is a pretty basic mobile phone, though, you'll have to dig deep to look like Dick Tracy.
3G, video calling, novelty factor
Expensive, should have capitalised on its camera more
A gadget for gadgets sake