Review of the Swatch Paparazzi MSN Direct (SPOT) Watch
What Exactly is MSN DirectLet me start this section by *** sure that I have thoroughly debunked the misconceptionthat this watch is useless without paying a monthly subscription fee. Nottrue at all. The Paparazzi is very feature-rich right out of the box, howeverthe free data the watch receives is really just a taste of what is possible withthe MSN Direct service (and, presumably, Microsoft will be adding additionalchannels in the future). WhetherMSN Direct channels are actually of any use to you is another question, but thedata is definitely there for the taking. (Or, at least, for the purchasing.) Shouldyou decide to active the watch, the process is quick and ***, consisting ofentering the identification number of your watch into a web inte***ce at theMSN Direct site along with payment information, configuring the watch througha very well done web application, then waiting for the watch to be activated,and for all your content to be transmitted. Activationonly took about an hour in my case, but it was several hours before all the contenthad fully downloaded. I recommend watching the Star Wars Trilogy while youwait in order to keep yourself from obsessively monitoring its progress. Don'tattempt anything like work or I guarantee you will be completely distracted.Here are all the channels currently available to MSN Direct subscribers:Additional watch faces. The Paparazzi came with fivewatch faces, and I was able to download two more out of a possible sevenafter subscribing to MSN Direct. The two faces I use most would not havebeen available to me without subscribing (no coincidence, I'm sure).That's the mostelegant way I could think of to say that you can toggle the watch's abilityto receive FM signals independent of the watch's main power, *** it kosherfor in-flight use.Settings. I'm not sure this qualifies as an actualfeature, but I think it's worth mentioning. The Paparazzi (and all MSNDirect watches) have a very cool settings/configuration screen more reminiscentof a PDA than a watch. Youcan also use any channel as a watch face, as well. When a channel is leftidle, it will start scrolling through its data, and a little bar with thetime, date, and signal strength indicator will slide down and sit at thetop of the face.Glance. The Glance "channel" is basicallya configurable slide show of other MSN Direct channels. The idea is thatjust by glancing at your watch, you can quickly digest vital pieces of information. Thisdoesn't work for me since I'm the type who would rather go through all thenews headlines or stock indices when I have a sufficient block of time,but I suppose for some, it makes sense.Messages. Receive "instant" messages fromMSN Messenger.