Technophile: Feature sets to upgrade the lowly wristwatch

Curt Brandao reviews three timepieces that could make wearing a wristwatch a hip thing to do again.

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MBW-200 Bluetooth Wrist Watch

How it looks While it still has a loyal following, the trusty wristwatch is increasingly looked upon as an anachronism in the digital age, a one-trick pony in a multi-trick universe - just something else we have to put in the plastic tray at airport security. But the wireless-enabled-yet-still-elegant MBW-200 is one of a tiny collection of timepieces that aims to bridge the technology gap.

The time and … ? The Bluetooth-enabled MBW-200 can display caller ID information when your smartphone rings and allows you to reject or mute calls without having to frantically search through your purse or pockets. It also alerts you to incoming text messages. Its rechargeable battery can last up to four days.

Who it's for Busy travellers or executives who get a lot of calls and texts during business meetings, but are too polite to do anything about them other than quickly glance at their wrists. However, keep in mind the band itself is not of the best quality.


Sony Ericsson LiveView

How it looks The Sony Ericsson LiveView comes with different attachments that allow it to be worn as a (rather large) watch with a Velcro band, or clipped to your belt or purse strap like a 1990s pager.

The time and … ? The LiveView works in tandem with your smartphone as a sort of early warning system. It can be programmed to display Twitter and Facebook notifications, text messages, incoming calls and calendar event reminders.

Who it's for Works best with Android users. However, if you're waiting on a life-changing telephone call, don't trust it to work 100 per cent of the time because the Bluetooth connectivity can be rather random at times.


iWatchz Q Series

How it looks The iWatchz, which comes in five colours, isn't a watch so much as a watch-like holder for your sixth-generation iPod Nano, which now comes with several watchface interfaces preloaded from Apple. Any such iPod Nano slides and snaps quickly and easily into place and the housing keeps all the device's buttons within reach of your index finger.

The time and … ? Using the iWatchz strap, you can select any of 18 watchface "wallpapers" in your Nano's preference settings. Of course, once you turn your Nano into a watch, you then have a timepiece that can display photos, play music and tune into FM radio.

Who it's for Loyal Apple customers who like to keep an eye on the time and their tunes at the same time. It's perfect for joggers, of course - just make sure you have enough length in your earbud cord to match your stride.