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My iPod Nano watch (photos)

We try out the Nano as a watch with several Hex watchbands, and compare it with the Fossil Palm watch.

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Scott Stein
I started with CNET reviewing laptops in 2009. Now I explore wearable tech, VR/AR, tablets, gaming and future/emerging trends in our changing world. Other obsessions include magic, immersive theater, puzzles, board games, cooking, improv and the New York Jets. My background includes an MFA in theater which I apply to thinking about immersive experiences of the future.
Scott Stein
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1 of 14 Sarah Tew/CNET

My Nano watch

Seen here: a 16GB graphite iPod Nano with a Hex Vision stainless-steel watchband ($69), gunmetal color. The watch face is one of the new varieties available in the 2011 iPod Nano software update. With this band and at this angle, it's hard to tell this isn't just a funky watch.
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2 of 14 Sarah Tew/CNET

My Nano watch (side view)

The Nano as watch has a slim profile, despite its wide face.
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3 of 14 Sarah Tew/CNET

Nano with Hex Icon watchband

Hex's Icon watchband ($39) has links made out of polycarbonate, and a blockier face with a snap-in design. The plastic-toy look didn't appeal to me nearly as much.
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Nano with Hex Icon watchband

A second look.
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Nano watch vs. Fossil Wrist PDA

I unearthed my 2004 Fossil Wrist PDA, tucked away in a gadget drawer, to compare with the Nano watch of 2011. The Fossil watch has 4MB of memory and uses a stylus tucked in the buckle to control the Palm OS touch screen; the Nano has finger-based multitouch and no PDA functions, but 8GB to 16GB of memory. They're spiritual cousins.
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6 of 14 Sarah Tew/CNET

Hex watchbands for the Nano

The Hex Vision and Icon watchbands, side by side.
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7 of 14 Sarah Tew/CNET

iPod Nano as watch: Clock faces

Another of the 18 included faces. Some have elaborate gear animations, others have different date/time/second features. Honestly, Apple should just sell packs of new watch faces on iTunes.
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8 of 14 Sarah Tew/CNET

iPod Nano as watch: Clock faces

Another face, combining analog and digital.
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9 of 14 Sarah Tew/CNET

iPod Nano as watch: Clock faces

This one's a dead ringer for an e-ink-style watch.
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10 of 14 Sarah Tew/CNET

Nano watch: Side view

Three buttons line one side of the Nano. One's a sleep/wake/on/off/track-skip button, while the other two control volume.
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11 of 14 Sarah Tew/CNET

Nano watch: Other side

A large, exposed 30-pin port connects with a standard, included Apple cable to charge. The headphone jack sits adjacent. That's a lot of exposed ports on one side. I'd be worried about accidental water damage while washing my hands, but thankfully this side is hidden under my shirt sleeve when I'm wearing the Nano as a watch.
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12 of 14 Sarah Tew/CNET

No Bluetooth

If you want to listen to your music, you must use wired headphones--there's no Bluetooth. That helps battery life, but it can cause tangles. The headphone wire also acts as the FM radio's antenna. When headphones with a mic are connected, you can also record voice memos.
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13 of 14 Sarah Tew/CNET

Radio mode

The radio has live pause and station favorites. If this had an AM radio, I'd be in sports heaven.
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Clipping the Nano in

The Hex Vision band seamlessly lets the iPod Nano clip in. The fit is secure, and the Nano won't be able to come off your wrist while you're wearing the watch.

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