The first impressions of the WristPDA covered housing, package contents and shipment(Update: The charger can take 230V 50HZ AC, altough the plug is not prepared for it). Now, we woll focus on size, mechanical properties and the screen. Part 2 of the review will cover the software side and the classical ‘gimmick’ features!

Here are a few size comparison shots next to a 2 Euro coin:
 Fossil Abacus WristPDA review part 1  Fossil Abacus WristPDA review part 1
Here are a few PDA’s:
 Fossil Abacus WristPDA review part 1  Fossil Abacus WristPDA review part 1
One box is 5 mm:
 Fossil Abacus WristPDA review part 1  Fossil Abacus WristPDA review part 1
And here is it next to a programmer’s watch:
 Fossil Abacus WristPDA review part 1

The orange band looks nice as well:
 Fossil Abacus WristPDA review part 1

The lowres 4bit greyscale screen-um-is rather average, a Palm V beats it in terms of contrast(its background seems less dark). But the low size has one benefitp-one doesnt feel the lowres pixelation! The backlight is blue and a bit stronger than the Palm V’s-but be warned-it looks stonger in the image than it is in reality!
 Fossil Abacus WristPDA review part 1  Fossil Abacus WristPDA review part 1
The stylus is a funky construction that hides itself in the band of the WristPDA. It must be unfolded prior to use and has a rectangular form:
 Fossil Abacus WristPDA review part 1  Fossil Abacus WristPDA review part 1
 Fossil Abacus WristPDA review part 1  Fossil Abacus WristPDA review part 1
The WristPDA has a mini USB port. It is hidden behind a little door that can be opened pretty easily. But removing the cable needs loads of force!
 Fossil Abacus WristPDA review part 1  Fossil Abacus WristPDA review part 1
You can see the back button in the image above. ON the other side, there are the page up butons and the rocker switch(similar to JogDial). The button’s tactical feedback is above average, altough a Tungsten T3 feels better!
 Fossil Abacus WristPDA review part 1
Overall, I am not sure what to say so far. The WristPDA is usable-but I would prefer a IIIc if I had to choose my primary handheld. The size of the whole unit is no problem for me, but the screen is indeed very small(especially if you try to use SrcEdits mini font). Screen contrast and pixel density(HiRes were unusable) is enough, and the backlight does a decent job.

Tune in soon for the second part of the review covering software and hardware details(IR system, battery, charging..). And please, please-keep those comments and questions flowing!

Related posts:

  1. Fossil Abacus WristPDA Review part 2 – WristPDA benchmarks
  2. Abacus or Fossil WristPDA
  3. WristPDA screen contrast shootout: WristPDA vs Palm V
  4. Quo vadis, WristPDA
  5. WristPDA screen size

16 Responses to “Fossil Abacus WristPDA review-part 1”

  1. The next one will be the third part of the review, not the second, won’t it? :-)
    For me it would be interesting how the text input works on the small screen. Also, you could try some browsing through the IR :-) (I meant WAP).
    And please many close screenshots about the system, and some “photos” to see how much the 4bit is!
    If the screen would be color, I would have bought one, but so… It was sadly an old idea when it came out too…

  2. I carry with me a pen stylus – red ink, black ink, pencil, and a stylus.
    How usable is this watch-palm with a regular sized stylus?
    The provided stylus appears to have a sharper point than most other styli, right?
    Since the screen is sooo small, the digitizer would also have a very small resolution compared to a palm-sized unit. So maybe a regular stylus would be a pain to use on this watch?

  3. Hi,
    the first part was just first impressions;).

    I will have loads of real screenshots waiting for you in the next part of the review-dont be afraid of that;).

    BTW, I currently evaluate a full sized Belkin LightStylus on the watch and have had no problems so far!

    Best regards
    Tam Hanna

  4. Concerning the 2/17 comment – I use the wrist PDA all the time and carry and use the pen stylus – red ink, black ink, pencil, and a stylus. It works great. Somethime you have to recalibrate the touch screen input points.

  5. Hi,
    I can fully second that. Should be no problem IMHO! My OmniPen Pro made no problems either, so what;).
    Best regards
    Tam Hanna

  6. Hello.

    Thanks for the excellent site! I’m trying to find someone, anyone(!) who can upgrade the battery and sound on the WristPDA for me?

    Help!

    Thanks in advance…

  7. Hi Matt,
    sorry, no idea. But I am working on an external battery!

    Best regards
    Tam Hanna

  8. Thanks for your reply Tam. Could you upgrade my battery for me?

    Thanks,

    Matt

  9. Hi,
    so far not, but I am onto something…

    Best regards
    Tam Hanna

  10. [...] WristPDA deep discharge problem By Tam Hanna The Fossil WristPDA is a very cool device(TamsPalm review here) – but it has its problems too. One of the most annoying ones occurs in combination with the Boxwave MiniSync. [...]

  11. I see that Tam Hannah is onto something with a better battery… I am too looking for something like that. Have you had any luck so far Tam? Is there a way to upgrade the internal battery? So far the only other solution I’ve found is an external source from Thinkgeek.com:

    http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/electronic/8900/

    You put in AA’s or AAA’s and and the USB enclosure will convert the power into rechargeable power for a USB device. But still, an internal solution would be far better. Let me know!

    p.s. anyone else have any input on this..?

    Anthony

  12. Hi,
    I will get an external solution soon. About the internal one…too scared to try it out =(

    Best regards
    Tam Hanna

  13. Hi Folks,

    I’ve just finished the prototype of an internal solution, for details see:
    http://www.1src.com/forums/showthread.php?p=970326#post970326

    so long mclien

  14. Wow, I never knew that Fossil Abacus WristPDA. That’s pretty interesting…

  15. Hello,

    do you look for new battery for your Watch? (original design for Abacus), you can buy it now :-) Contact : dragonfist@seznam.cz
    I am from Czech Republic (Central Europe), but I can send it to every country.

    Price of battery is 25 USD or 18 EUR or 450 KC + shipping.

    Picture :
    http://www.sweb.cz/blee/Abacus_Fossil_Wrist_PDA_Battery.jpg

  16. Hi Folks,
    just to let you all know – I didnt test the guy above.

    So be careful…

    All the best
    Tam Hanna

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