The World's First E•Ink Ana-Digi Watch — Product Review
I admit it. I love watches. When I win the lottery, I’m going to go buy lots and lots of watches so I can wear something different on my wrist every day. So when I was asked to review The World’s First E•Ink Ana-Digi Watch from Phosphor—I couldn’t wait. Having read all they hype about E•Ink I figured this watch could be cool. But since cool isn’t everything, here’s the skinny on what makes this new watch tick.
For starters, the E•Ink Ana-Digi watch from Phosphor is listed at $250 on their website and comes in two models. One with a leather band, the other with a black Polyurethane sports band. I demoed the model with the Polyurethane sports band. It has a large face, a thick band, chrome edging, a large E•Ink logo that you can’t miss on the face. Here are a few more specs:
• Water resistant to 5 ATM – 50 Meters – about 150 feet
• Stainless steel case and caseback
• Mineral glass crystal
The E•Ink watch from Phosphor is billed as the World’s First E•Ink Ana-Digi Watch. In case you haven’t heard of E•Ink yet, E•Ink display technology is the same stuff that’s built into Amazon’s new KINDLE book reader .
According to the Phosphor website: "Products made with E•Ink's revolutionary electronic ink possess a paper-like high contrast appearance, ultra-low power consumption and a thin, light form. High resolution products which use E•Ink® Imaging Film can be seen easily in direct sun, can be read at virtually any angle and are capable of very long battery life.”
I would agree that the watch is highly visible even in brightly lit settings. The fonts are clear, sharp, have good contrast, and are highly legible from all angles. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a built-in light to illuminate the face in the dark. Not a huge deal – but a bit annoying nonetheless.
So here’s the really cool part—the thing that would put this watch in my consideration set (as a gadget geek) if I was seeking out a new watch. Thanks to this new E•Ink technology, I could change the look of the face of the watch by simply pressing a button. The unique, user-configurable dials of PHOSPHOR watches allows users to choose one of 4 unique dials depicting the digital date and time. And then you can choose the look—high contrast positive (black on white) or negative (white on black) display—for a total of 14 analog/digital designs. Frankly, I found this simply fun to play with. I would toggle back and forth between face designs throughout the day, hoping someone would notice. Eventually, I found it necessary to draw attention to my cool new watch. And indeed, it was a conversation starter – as very few people have seen E•Ink in action.
All in all, I would say the E•Ink Ana-Digi watch from Phosphor is a watch worth checking out if you’re an early adopter or if you simply like the idea of tweaking the look and feel of your watch on a whim. Personally, I would have liked the logo on the face to have been a bit smaller, or have the ability to be turned off—which would be easy thanks to the E•Ink technology. I’d also like to see some truly hot designs beyond just an analog or digital facing. Perhaps we’ll see those features in Version 2.0 and beyond.
You can purchase the E•Ink Ana-Digi watch from Phosphor through Amazon or the Phosphor Watches website for $250 USD. The Phosphor brand is owned by Hong Kong based Art Technology.