On Our Desk - 17

Written by bit-tech Staff

May 23, 2009 | 12:18

Tags: #esata #icybox #network-storage #on-our-desk #technic

Companies: #adata #lego

Premier MP4 Watch

Manufacturer: Premier
UK Price (as reviewed): £59.99 (inc. VAT)
US Price (as reviewed): $44.99 (exc. Tax)

With its hideously thick black rubber strap and bulky face the MP4 Watch doesn’t make a good first impression. In fact, it looks like something that only the Michelin Man would wear – and even then probably not when he’s out in public. The buckle is cumbersome, notoriously difficult to master and completely incompatible with small wrists.

In all honesty the MP4 Watch looks ridiculous. The screen is so oversized it should be classed as a Pip-Boy, not a Watch and bordering it with cheap black plastic certainly doesn’t help thin it down at all. The tacky white function buttons are like Tic-Tacs glued to the side of a matchbox

If the apparently nameless manufacturer (since we didn’t request the item and can’t find any details on them online) was attempting to replicate the retro look of an old Casio, it failed disastrously since the bulky face and strap just make the MP4 Watch look pathetically primitive even by those standards.

*On Our Desk - 17 On Our Desk - Premier MP4 Watch
Click to enlarge

While the MP4 watch boasts the ability to play movies and photos, these claims are actually a bit…unrealistic. The screen is so dim that it’s impossible to make out anything in even low light conditions and you wouldn’t believe how much dust can settle on a 1.5in space over the course of a few hours. The watch needs more wiping than a mobster's hard drive.

Despite its bulky and outdated appearance though, the MP4 Watch does have a few promising qualities. The audio meets the same standard as an average iPod, though that may not be saying a lot when compared to other MP3 Players and the volume level goes surprisingly high, for a watch.

On a practical level however, the MP4 Watch just cannot be used for watching movies. The screen is too small and with powerful competition from mobile phones and iPods, the MP4 Watch is never going to be your mobile video player of choice, especially when the framerate is so choppy and the image so dim. Most of the time all you can see in the display is your own reflection.

Rather than being ‘what wrists were made for’ the likelihood of being able to endure the weight of the MP4 Watch, without being struck down with serious arm cramp, is unlikely.

*On Our Desk - 17 On Our Desk - Premier MP4 Watch
Click to enlarge

Ignoring the multimedia capabilities for a moment and looking at the MP4 Watch as only a watch, it’s still not very impressive. The pseudo-James Bond-style aspirations only serve to devour the battery life, so the screen is always turned off by default – meaning that telling the time is a chore in constant button presses. The same problem works in reverse too. Generating enough battery power to play a two hour long film or maintain the supposed eight hours of music playback will undoubtedly destroy your battery, leaving you without a watch.

In terms of aesthetic appearance and practicality the MP4 Watch is certainly not ideal. But in all fairness, having downloaded a five minute section of a film, the MP4 Watch does what it promises. The small screen naturally jeopardises the picture, distorting details but in terms of an overall image the film is certainly watchable. The audio quality is slightly muffled and the earphones are awful, but you could theoretically cope with all this. The MP4 Watch is obviously not an incredibly sophisticated piece of equipment but it remains true to its word and plays movies at a reasonable quality – for a watch.

Overall, the MP4 Watch does what it says but for a whopping £59.95 the device borders on daylight robbery. It’s just too big, heavy, ugly and disappointing to be worth the price.

Verdict: Although the software is easy to install and transferring movies is a reasonably quick process, the 1.5in screen is a joke. There are better ways to entertain yourself on those long train rides where the MP4 Watch might be useful. May we suggest some books to read instead?
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