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Aigo F029 digital video wristwatch

The world's first wearable PMP?

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First Review How small can personal media players go? Right down to the size of a wristwatch if you believe Chinese manufacturer Aigo, which this month launched a PMP that matches its large-screen siblings on features yet is designed to be worn on your wrist. Heck, it'll even tell you the time. A case of miniaturisation gone mad? Maybe not...

aigo f029 digital media player wristwatch

The F029 measures 3.9 x 3.8 x 1.3cm and is held in place with a large, translucent plastic strap that wouldn't look out of place on a Swatch. The 1.3in, 160 x 128, 26,000-colour OLED screen is surrounded by a brightly coloured removable bezel which, with the strap, gives the gadget a real kid-friendly feel.

On the left side of the watch there are a pair of volume controls, a menu buttons and a 2.5mm earphone socket - so don't expect to be able to use a different pair in place of the set that Aigo bundles, which are almost identical to Apple's icon iPod set, right down to shape, size, colour and construction.

It feels slightly odd having your earphone cable running from your wrist, but you can always wear it tucked up your sleeve and out at the neck, I suppose. The F029 is crying out for Bluetooth stereo support, even more than regular MP3 players do.

The right side of the watch is home to the track skip and play/pause buttons. The top and bottom of the watch both have tiny holes that could be placed over microphones - the F029 certainly has a voice recording facility, but since it's unclear how it's activated, I couldn't be sure which hole was the mic. The watch's manual has yet to be translated from Chinese - another penalty imposed on early adopters. The top side of the watch also as a modified mini-USB port, though it'll take any mini-USB cable.

Pressing and holding the play button turns the F029 on, presenting its main menu: a ring of icons that are cycled round by pushing the track-skip keys. In addition to the self-explanatory music, video and photo icons, there's one for e-books - text files, basically - the aforementioned voice recording function - the icon's a rubber duck, for some reason - and a sixth marked System, which calls up a hierarchical file menu.

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Next page: Verdict

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