Guest from the future. LG Watch Phone GD910 review

By: Pavel Urusov | 29.07.2009, 02:38
Guest from the future. LG Watch Phone GD910 review

I don't know about you, but for me the clock in my phone is something out of the realm of half-forgotten childhood anecdotes about the achievements of Japanese industry. However, it so happened that it was not the Japanese but the Koreans who were destined to make the "fairy tale come true". LG Watch Phone GD910 is the first watch with a phone that made its way to our market and one of the most interesting gadgets of 2009. Interested? More on that below.

I will not be going into details about some of the functions or characteristics of the device - I was more interested in the viability of the idea and the general usability. Besides, we have already had a prototype of the device (quite stable, but a prototype), so some of GD910 specifications may well change by the time the sales start.

Appearance and Design

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The device is not at all feminine, solid and even somewhat brutal. This is a big thing made of metal and tempered glass. On my hand (and I'm over six feet tall) the LG watch looks big. In principle, the height and width could be tolerated, but the thickness seemed excessive to me: the GD910 is about one and a half times thicker than my own Timex watch (also, in principle, not insignificant). It's nice that the strap is made of normal quality leather. I was told that a metal bracelet would look better, but I absolutely reject this opinion, because, firstly, a bracelet would be monstrous from the aesthetic point of view, and secondly, it would increase the already considerable weight of the device.

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The watch has few buttons, only three. They are located on the right side (accordingly, the device is more suitable for right-handed people). Their functions, I think, are clear from the caption.

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On the back there is a round lid like a real watch. It can be unscrewed with a coin, under it there is nothing but a slot for the SIM card. There is a rubber band around the perimeter of the cover. It is made to prevent sweat from penetrating into the case and destroying the delicate electronics.

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Next to the cover there is a contact group. To connect the watch to a computer or charger you have to first plug it to a special adapter with a clip-clip, and into the adapter you insert a standard LG interface cable.

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In the beginning of this section I mentioned tempered glass for a reason: the LG GD910 surface is very durable and I wasn't able to scratch it with a key or a knife.

Display

The most usual TFT-screen with a resolution of 128x160. It's a pity, but it has no mirrored backing, so the readability of the display is rather conventional in the sun. In other respects, there are no claims to it. The touch screen is made by capacitive technology, which means that it does not respond to styluses, nails, gloves and other objects.

Menu and control

I personally prepared for the worst in terms of control convenience, but the interface of the phone turned out to be unexpectedly well thought-out. By and large, the control is reduced to horizontal or vertical strokes of the finger on the screen.

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To bring the phone out of standby mode, you need to press any key. A nice clock with arrows appears on the screen.

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Now with horizontal movements we move between different screens. This is what the "home screen" looks like: here you can quickly switch the profile (normal/silent), check the events in the calendar or put the GD910 in flight mode.

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From the following menu you can make a voice or video call. Since I was using the watch on the MTS network, I wasn't able to test video calls.

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The dialing screen looks quite standard, it is also controlled: you dial the number and press the button with a green handset.

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The main menu of the phone.

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Message menu.

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And this is what the SMS dialing screen looks like. Let me tell you that you can write messages with LG GD910 but you don't have to - it is a very bothersome process.

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Phone settings menu.

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Alarm Clock - as in every decent device, you can create a few, each with its own settings.

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MP3 player - however, it is not clear why you need it with the built-in memory capacity of 70 megabytes. You can listen to music through the Bluetooth headphones with A2DP support.

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And finally, the last of the screens of LG GD910 is the calendar. Handling the calendar on such a small (and touch screen) screen is a dubious pleasure. It is easier to fill it out on the computer and synchronize it with the device.

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LG GD910 as a phone

Quality of communication LG GD910 is good, it catches the network at the level of conventional phones. Due to the nature of the design without a headset to talk you can only in speakerphone mode. The speaker of the device yells very loud, the microphone is also not pumped up, so you can hear your interlocutors well as they hear you. However, we cannot speak about any confidentiality of the conversation. With a Bluetooth headset, on the other hand, the watch performed much better. I have used the Jabra JX10 Cara with it, no problems at all. A long press on the central button activates the voice control system (in our prototype it only supported the English language) and the device tries to recognize commands and names from the phonebook you say. You can say the number in English and the machine will dial it. For example, to dial 8-050-3836869 you must say "Call eight zero five zero three three eight six eight six nine". In my opinion, it is easier to press the on-screen keyboard several times.

In my opinion, the watch is most suitable for use as a simple "caller" - simply because the additional functions on a small touch screen is inconvenient to manage, especially the calendar. In the extreme case you can still write messages on GD910, but all kinds of players, currency converters and other stuff is not for it. By the way, in the "caller" mode the phone lives for about two days, but when you use additional functions this time is reduced significantly.

In the end

As a result we have an extremely unusual, beautiful and attractive in all respects gadget... which it is not clear who will use it. To clear all doubts at once I'd like to tell you that LG GD910 will arrive in Ukraine closer to the New Year and the supply volume will be very low, but the price will be just the opposite. To be more precise, it will be noticeably over a thousand dollars, even closer to two thousand. In my opinion, any sensible person in this situation would give up the idea of buying a "watch phone". As a result, this entire small batch is likely to be sold to very well-to-do fans of exotics. Another option is buying it as a New Year present to the director of some joint stock company from the board members who sincerely love him. Do not forget that the LG GD910 has already appeared a serious competitor - Samsung S9110, which will be sold in Europe for about 450 euros. Samsung has not yet announced its intention to bring the watch to Ukraine but I personally hope that it will happen (and that the S9110 price will not rise to obscene heights).