The E Ink watch saga continues over at Phosphor as their World Time watch (that I reviewed here) gets turned into the World Time Sport. This less expensive model gets a bit more hip and loses its buttons. It it hard to visually miss this all-white model, and you'll also find that Phosphor offers the World Time Sport in all black and in a black case with orange strap version. I think E Ink is more than ready for mainstream.
People love the high-contrast look of E Ink watches. I have reviewed a few Phosphor watches and in each case I have found that people who check out the pieces are really drawn by the screen - yet no one knows what it is. I was totally under the impression that widespread marketing of the Amazon Kindle more or less informed people of what E Ink is. Yet the mainstream consumer seems to consistently ignore these little details. Glad I have my geeks around me.
Rather than a techie metal look, the World Time Sport is in a colorful plastic case with silicone strap. Like I said, it makes for a hip, more trendy look that appeals to a large range of people - the same type of people who sport G-Shocks most of the time. The Phosphor World Time Sport offers them a more exotic option.
E Ink screens currently don't offer backlighting, but do offer very easy to see screens that use very little power. As is the case on Phosphor E Ink watches, you can reverse the colors of the display for that "negative" look. The watch has five different screen options that either have different functions on them or display the time in a slightly different way. In all, the watch has the time, calendar, and world time zone function. One small issue that existed as well in the World Time is the lack of a memory feature. When you switch to the world time screen it does not "recall" the last time zone you were looking at.
On the wrist, the watch is thin and wide, and quite comfortable. The tonneau shaped case is 38mm wide and pretty tall. Having it curve a bit more might actually help it look properly sized on most wrists. On the back of the watch is an easy-to-use battery compartment. That statement should imply that the movement is quartz (in case it wasn't obvious).
While the World Time has buttons to adjust the watch, the World Time Sport does not. It has two touch areas under the screen that you touch or swipe to get it to work. The system is a bit touchy! Oh yea, silly pun. But really, while I like the touch concept, I wish the buttons registered actions more consistently and there is not much of a performance gain. It really only offers a more sleek look. What I also find interesting is that the metal World Time watch is water resistant to 50 meters while the plastic World Time Sport is only water resistant to 30 meters. I think I would be more into the touch areas if they offered some benefit over buttons aside from mere style.
Having said that, it is clear that most people wearing this watch will rarely adjust it and be more into its ability to tell the time. I really feel that Phosphor needs to expand this "Sport" range and add to it with more E Ink watches, just not just the World Time. Colorful and fun cases with a cool E Ink screen will prove to be really popular. The Phosphor World Time Sport watch is not without its little quirks but it is an overall nice watch with a good look and technology you will appreciate. Price is a reasonable $99 and you can get them via Phosphor's website.
Thanks to Phosphor for the review unit. Opinions are 100% independent.