Review: Phosphor Watches E Ink curved world time watch

It isn’t often that we review watches here on Gadling – and we figure most watch owners fit in two categories; settle for cheap or pricey is good. Since we’d feel a tad out of place reviewing $3000 watches on the site, we tend to decline most of the watch pitches we receive. One recent email that got our attention introduced us to the Phosphor watch lineup. Their assortment of watches stands out in the busy watch market thanks to their use of E Ink display technology. If you have ever used an e-reader like the Amazon Kindle, you’ll know how clear and crisp E Ink is.

The newest watch from the Phosphor brand is the World Time Curved. This watch comes in four versions – white plastic band, black plastic band, black leather band and stainless steel band. In all four versions, the watch portion is the same.

Features on the watch are controlled with a single button, which means you may need to carry the compact user guide with you for the first couple of weeks. As can be expected, the screen really is very crisp and clear, but the lack of a backlight means it is relatively useless in the dark.

If you are the kind of watch owner that finds $20 for a plastic Timex to be your absolute spending limit, then the $150 for a Phosphor E Ink watch will probably seem like a preposterous concept. However, if you like your watch to show off your style, and wear something innovative, then you won’t be disappointed with this E Ink powered timepiece. Sure – there may be many other options out there in this price range, but none have the same “wow” factor as an E Ink watch.

The watch covers 24 different time zones and is water resistant to 5 ATM (50 meters). Its basic features include local time, world time, date and options for five layouts (dual time, calendar, big time, small time and world time). One feature lacking is an alarm, but since most people have switched to their mobile phone for wake-up calls, I doubt this is something that could be considered a dealbreaker.

As previously mentioned, prices for the World Time watches start at $150 for the white or black plastic bands, $165 for the leather band and $195 for the stainless steel version. The entire assortment of Phosphor E Ink watches can be found at

Amazon Kindle 2 – making a great gadget even better

It’s no secret that I love the Amazon Kindle – the electronic book reader made our top 25 lineup of best travel gadgets for 2008, and despite several minor shortcomings, most readers picked it as their favorite gadget as well.

The Kindle has been a massive success – and ever since it was released, it’s been fairly hard to get, with shipping often taking about a month.

That is probably not going to improve any time soon, as Amazon just announced the new Kindle 2 – thinner, smarter design, and a host of other new features make this $359 device a clear winner.

In fact, I’d say the new design is so good, that we’ll see the “iPhone effect” where many original Kindle owners upgrade to the new version.

The device has a better e-ink display, capable of displaying 16 shades of gray, a faster refresh of the screen, and the ability to convert text to speech for the new “read to me” feature. But best of all, they updated the page turning buttons, which were always a massive annoyance.

Needless to say, the new Kindle is probably going to be just as successful as the old one, and should help keep Amazon on top of the ebook market.

Daily deal – Amazon Kindle wireless reading device $50 off

My daily deal for today comes courtesy of Oprah Winfrey! On Friday, Oprah announced that her newest favorite gadget is the Amazon Kindle. The Kindle came out almost a year ago, and is an electronic book reader with wireless access.

What this means to us travelers is that when you are stuck at the airport, you can wirelessly browse and order books directly to the device. The screen uses E-Ink technology, which looks a lot like regular paper, and is very easy on the eyes.

The Kindle usually retails for $359, but if you use coupon code “OPRAHWINFREY” at checkout, you’ll get an additional $50 off. The deal is only valid till November 1st.

One thing to keep in mind is that the Kindle will not be able to access wireless downloads outside the USA, the network only operates within the Sprint coverage area. If you are abroad, you can still purchase books using a computer, and you’ll be able to transfer them using a USB cable.

I managed to get my Kindle the day they were released, and it’s been a very impressive little device. No longer do I have to rush into the local airport book store to buy a book for my flight, and in addition to books, I’m also able to keep up with news and other publications like Time and Forbes. The Amazon Kindle even has a built in MP3 player for adding some background music to your book!

You can read more about the Amazon Kindle here.

Amazon’s Kindle: Where are all the guidebooks?

This weekend, I broke down and bought a Kindle — Amazon’s eBook reader. The benefits are obvious: the ability to store over 200 books in the on-board memory (with an expandable SD slot), E Ink for paper-like, easy-on-the-eyes reading, and instant access to thousands of titles from

While the concept of an eBook reader is not new, the Kindle’s brothership with the world’s largest book store makes it revolutionary.

In short: this thing is a book-loving traveler’s dream. No longer will you have to carry around multiple books on your next trip. If you’re traveling within the U.S., simply use the Kindle’s built in Sprint EVDO Internet access to order new books instantaneously; if you’re traveling abroad, the Sprint connection doesn’t work, but you can still order the book from any computer connected to the Internet, and transfer it to your Kindle via the included USB.

But there’s one market that is bizarrely void of any Kindle coverage: guidebooks. Imagine the possibilities — no longer lug around a thick, heavy Lonely Planet: Wherever. With the Kindle, you can buy your destination’s guidebook from all the top publishers — Lonely Planet, Fodor’s, Moon, whatever — for a fraction of the cost, and store them in one small, light, easy to use gadget. Plus, the Kindle gives you the ability to search for phrases in your entire library, so pulling up all the information from every guidebook on Ulaanbaatar, for instance, is only a few button clicks away.

How come guidebook publishers aren’t taking advantage of this?