Phosphor Touch Time Is a “Smarter” Watch

4 Gear Diary Phosphor Touch Time Mar 21 2014 12 27 PM 34

Phosphor launched a line of watches using an E-Ink display some time ago. Now they have released their brand new Phosphor Touch Time. This new line used an LCD display, sports a touchscreen and “smartwatch-like” apps. No, this is not a smart watch, but it is a smarter watch. Lets take a look at this $159 item.

The first thing you notice about the Phosphor Touch Time is how substantial it is. This is watch is designed to be unisex. It is 34mm by 10.7mm and extremely solid. It has enough heft to feel like a serious timepiece, but it is not too heavy to be comfortable on ones wrist. As Phosphor explains, “Touch Time features a modern, button-less case design, and is sized perfectly for both men and women. The low profile stainless steel case and soft silicone strap delivers the performance and comfort that is expected of a watch to be worn every day.”

7 Gear Diary Phosphor Touch Time Mar 21 2014 12 28 PM 36

As a watch the Phosphor Touch Time is great. The watch face on it as shipped is clean and easy to read. And if you don’t like the dark face and light watch hands, then you can invert the colors. Like my Pebble smart watch, the Touch Time lets you change watch faces on the fly.

Screenshot 2014 03 21 11 19 43

There are six different faces so there is one… Or two… for everyone. Add in the ability to invert the LCD screen, and you have a total of twelve different watch faces from which to choose.

Screenshot 2014 03 21 11 19 52

Then there are the apps. As I mentioned, this is not a smart watch. There’s no connection to your smartphone, and no way to customize it beyond the options offered as shipped. Still, there are some nice options on the watch “as shipped”. These include a calculator, an alarm app, a calendar, a world time app, a stop watch, a reminder app and a lunar app that displays the current phase of the moon. Most of the apps are pretty rudimentary but they still a layer of functionality to a watch that, even without the apps, is quite a nice offering. I don’t personally see them as a huge selling point but more of a “value-added” aspect of the watch design.

App Rundown:

  • Calculator with oversized numerical and mathematical symbol buttons
  • Alarm with the ability to set up to 6 different alarms
  • Calendar displays past, current, and future monthly views
  • World time allows display of up to 3 different time zones
  • Timer and Stopwatch that display lap data
  • Reminder to keep track of future daily events and tasks
  • Lunar displays moon phase, days to full moon, and horoscope

What is nice is the ability to customize the watch on the fly. As Phosphor explains…

One of the most notable features of Touch Time is the ability to select from five different built-in time displays with a simple swipe of your finger. The display itself can also be inverted, giving you up to 12 different watch dial appearances ranging from oversized digital to analog time dials. Touch Time is also one of the first watches ever that like your Smartphone allows you to customize the language displayed and supports English, French, Spanish, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, and German.

It took me some time to get used to using the touchscreen interface, but once I did I found it to be nicely responsive.

Features of the Phosphor Touch Time

  • Bright white LED backlight
  • Low power, high resolution (144 x 168) LCD display that is “always on”
  • Up to 1 year of battery life with replaceable coin cell battery (CR2450)
  • Select between either 12 or 24 hour time display modes
  • Water resistant up to 30 meters (3ATM)
  • Unisex sized (34mm wide and 10.7mm case thickness)
  • Multilingual support built-in: English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Swedish, and Norwegian

8 Gear Diary Phosphor Touch Time Mar 21 2014 12 28 PM 49

My Assessment of the Phosphor Touch Time

I like the watch quite a lot. For me the apps are a nice gimmick but I honestly don’t see myself making serious use of any of them other than the alarm for the stopwatch. The big news for me – and the advantage of this watch design – is the ability to switch between six different watch faces with the flick of a finger, and its ability to invert the color scheme so you get a total of 12 different looks from eight single watch. There is no question the touch time is a well made, thoughtfully designed and beautifully executed watch. It strikes a nice balance between the overly techie-looking smart watches currently available and a simple timepiece. That noted, I did find myself wishing this was actually a true smart watch. The design, look and feel are superb, and those qualities coupled with the smart functionality of something like a Pebble would be awesome.

MSRP: $159 or $199

What I Like: Sturdy, well made and attractive; Water resistant and runs for up to a year on a battery; Various watch faces are great for changing the look of the watch; Apps a great for those who want that sort of thing

What Needs Improvement: Apps are a bit of a gimmick in most cases

Source: Manufacturer supplied review sampleof the Phosphor Touch Time

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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.

1 Comment on "Phosphor Touch Time Is a “Smarter” Watch"

  1. Gary Bunker | March 23, 2014 at 6:12 pm |

    Some of us can’t wear a smart watch at work, so something without a USB connection or radio, but still geeky, is pretty appealing.

Comments are closed.