NV Mobile Sapphire
The NV Mobile Sapphire is the first watch phone designed in Australia.
- Simple navigation, responsive touch screen, wow factor, multimedia features, built-in camera
- Poor call quality, ugly design, chunky and heavy, flimsy battery cover, touch-sensitive buttons only work from home screen, not waterproof
Although the idea of a watch phone isn't new, this is the first time they've been sold in Australia. NV Mobile does deserve some credit for the user interface of the Sapphire, but we feel the idea of a watch phone is a gimmick that will quickly wear thin.
Price$ 999.00 (AUD)
The top-of-the-range model in Australian company NV Mobile's line of watch phones, the Sapphire is heralded by its manufacturers as a revolution in mobile communications. Although we do appreciate the "wow" factor, this watch phone does have its flaws.
Classified as a "smartphone" that can be worn as a watch, the NV Mobile Sapphire is chunky and rather odd-looking. It is finished in a brushed gold and matte black plastic colour scheme, and it looks like a watch that may have been fashionable in the early '80s — but not in 2009. While we understand that people's tastes vary, we couldn't find one person who didn't describe the Sapphire as ugly. It is also one of the bulkiest watches we've ever worn, and its weight makes it uncomfortable to wear for long periods. The NV Mobile Sapphire isn't waterproof either.
Build quality is a mixed bag. Designed in Australia but built in China, the NV Mobile Sapphire feels like it can take a few knocks, but the rear battery cover is flimsy and the battery itself needs to be pushed awkwardly into place. The plastic flap covering the proprietary USB port on the left side feels cheap, and it is difficult to pry open with your fingernails. Like most regular watches, the wristband can be adjusted to suit most wrist sizes.
NV Mobile does deserve credit for the general operation of the Sapphire, which is controlled via a resistive touch screen. A small stylus is included and it slots into the wrist band (it's difficult to remove when it's pushed all the way in). The touch screen is responsive, and the interface is simple, well designed and speedy. This makes general operation fairly straightforward. Some of the buttons and menus are quite small, however, so you do need to be fairly precise with the stylus.
At the bottom of the screen is a row of four touch-sensitive shortcut buttons that provide quick access to messages, dial pad, music player and camera functions. Annoyingly, they only work from the home screen, so if you are in another application, pressing them does nothing. A button on the left side of the watch takes you to the home screen, but we still think the way the shortcut keys are implemented is odd.
Unfortunately, call quality is mediocre, whether you are using the included Bluetooth headset or the watch itself. Our callers regularly complained of a lack of clarity and volume in outgoing audio (despite using the highest volume level), while incoming audio was also well below average. This was especially evident when you make a call without a Bluetooth headset.
Text messaging is tedious, but this is to be expected. Handwriting recognition is an option and it works reasonably well, but the symbol buttons across the bottom of the write screen are too small, as is the regular ABC keypad. There is no T9 or predictive text option, though you can send MMS messages and access your voice mail.
Despite the small screen and limitations of a watch phone, NV Mobile has included in a number of multimedia features. A VGA camera sits on the right side, and the phone also includes an image viewer, video recorder, audio player and sound recorder. The screen isn't the best when viewed in direct sunlight and its viewing angles are poor, but video playback is reasonable. Audio quality through the built-in speaker is poor, but A2DP Bluetooth means you can use a compatible set of headphones or speakers.
Next to the SIM card slot is a microSD card slot, so you can expand the Sapphire's memory. When you connect it to your PC the watch acts like a normal USB drive, so you can simply drag and drop multimedia files onto the unit. Other features include a WAP browser, calendar, to-do list, alarm, world clock and an e-book reader.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Acer Swift 7
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Huawei Mate 9
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Lexar® Portable SSD
Google Daydream VR headset
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Surface Pro 4
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 5 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
Latest News Articles
- Europe moves to develop standard mobile phone chargers
- Michael Jackson's death knocks Google & Twitter offline
- Palm CEO: We don't have to beat each other to prosper
- RIM patches BlackBerry PDF vulnerability
- Big Profits from App Store? Maybe Not for Apple
GGG Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSAP BOBJ ConsultantACT
- FTJunior Software Developer - SASACT
- FTSAP BW ConsultantACT
- CCPMO ManagerNSW
- CCSystem EngineerSA
- CCWindows AdministratorACT
- FTMonitoring Tools Support l NimSoft , SMARTS, ehealth, TivoliNSW
- CCSenior Technical SpecialistNSW
- CCADABAS Natural DeveloperNSW
- TPLead Change Manager - ERPVIC
- TPLinux Desktop Support SpecialistWA
- FTSenior Systems AdministratorWA
- FTNetwork Solution ArchitectVIC
- TP.Net DeveloperSA
- FT.Net DeveloperVIC
- TPFront End DeveloperNSW
- CCSAP Consultant - SAP Native HANA to DesignWA
- CCSenior .NET DeveloperNSW
- CCAgile CoachNSW
- FTMicrosoft ProgrammerSA
- FTIT Information Security AdvisorNSW
- FTPMO Specialist - PermanentACT
- FTStorage Solution ArchitectVIC
- TPDrupal Developer - Immediate startQLD
- CCSenior consultant/ Solution ArchitectNSW