Review of the Swatch Paparazzi MSN Direct (SPOT) Watch
The MSN Direct service takes yourwireless content to the next level. Althoughit's a very decent watch without the service, adding MSN Direct gets youthe ability to install new watch faces, synchronize appointments with Outlook,and to receive surprisingly detailed news, messages, weather information,stock quotes, sports scores, horoscopes, movie information, "diversions,"and lottery numbers. (Moreon the MSN Direct service, and each individual channel, below.)Internet Time. Internet Time is to time what the metricsystem is to measurement. The downside is that it only seems to be supportedby Swatch. Moreon Internet Time below.Water resistant. Only to 3 ATM, though (3 BAR, 30 meters,or 100 feet). My recommendation would be to try to keep this watch as dryas possible. Don't worry about getting caught in a rain storm, but don'twear it while swimming the English Channel or diving for sunken treasure, either.Rechargeable battery. Don't panic. This isn'tas bad as it sounds. If you're as much of a gadget freak as I am, right now you're thinkingthat you need another charger in your life like you need a tax audit, but it'sreally not that bad. It's small, light, portable, and after a two hourcharge, your watch will be good to go for between four and five days, dependingon its configuration. Ithink I could actually squeeze six days out of it if I really wanted to,but there's no sense in trying to set a world record, especially if it couldmean having to be disconnected until you can get back to home base. Iknow a watch charger is just one more thing you have to remember to pack(and re-pack after the security personnel at the airport remove it from yourbag), but it's better than keeping a hefty supply of hearing aid batterieson hand (remember the Timex Messengers?).Separate power for radio receiver.Check out the Paparazzi photo galleryto see it in action, but basically, you get a full seven-column calendarwhich you can scroll backward and forward. No more counting on your fingersand toes trying to figure out whether your birthday falls on a weekend thisyear.Wireless time calibration. All MSN Direct watches are calibratedthrough the MSN Direct network (via FM radio signal), whether you have subscribedto the MSN Direct service or not. If you're the type of person who isperpetually late, don't worry -- you can even configure a +5, +10, or +15minute offset to make sure you're always on time or a tad early.Free wireless content. The Swatch Paparazzi receivesa limited amount of content from the MSN Direct network even if you don'tactive the watch. Free content includes entertainment news (specific to yourcurrent geographic region), general news headlines, and local weather conditions. Youwill find the Paparazzi to be fairly feature-rich before ever giving Microsoftyour credit card number.MSN Direct Service.