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Suunto N6HR review: Suunto N6HR

The N6HR has the same features that all MSN Direct watches have. When you subscribe to MSN Direct (which costs $40 a year), you sign up for a variety of channels. Microsoft's MSN Web portal beams data to the watch via an FM radio signal, allowing you to receive short messages, news alerts, stock quotes, sports scores, daily horoscopes, and even movie times for theaters in your area. For an extra $19 per year, the service will synchronize with your Microsoft Outlook calendar, putting two days' worth of appointments on your wrist and serving up discreet reminders as they approach. In the year or so since its launch, Microsoft has been steadily adding channels to its lineup, so expect more as time goes by.

As for battery life, depending on how much you use the heart-rate monitor, you should be able to go about four days before the low-battery indicator comes on. That's not too terrible, but Swatch's less expensive Paparazzi models offer better battery life, lasting as much as a week before needing a recharge.

Currently, the Paparazzi is arguably the best deal among smart watches, but if price were not an issue, this reviewer would prefer to wear Suunto's more-comfortable N3i or N6HR. Hopefully in the future, Suunto will find a way to add even more features, such as the altimeter, barometer, thermometer, and compass found in its similarly priced X6-HR, X6-HRM, and X6-HRT non-MSN Direct models. With those features on top of MSN Direct, the N6HR would seem like a bargain. As it stands, it's just a luxury gadget for sports enthusiasts.

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