If there's one area of techno-gadgetry where the jury is well and truly out, it's watch phones or phone watches or watch mobiles or whatever it is that the world will finally call them once it's decided whether they're hot or not. The chances are that you rather like them. Why else would you click on a link entitled The Seven Sexiest Watch Phones? So, now that you have, here are the tip-top-time-telling-timepieces vying for a place on your wrist, and in your heart:
SMS Technology Australia M500 GSM
They may have been late on the iPhone but Australia was right in there with this little number back in 2007. With a 1.5-inch colour touchscreen, full SMS functionality, Bluetooth compatibility, USB connectivity and charging, 199 number memory storage, MP3 and MP4 player, 128MB memory, 80 hours standby time and 200 minutes of talk time - breathe - the M500 books a space in our list with ease. It's water-resistant, quad-band for worldwide use and weighs in at just 60g.
Availability: $125, 2nd hand market only (no pun intended)
Released around the same time but infinitely prettier was the Hyundai W-100. It offers a 1.3-megapixel camera, a 1.33-inch 260K touchscreen with stylus, A2DP Bluetooth, MPEG-4 and MP3 playback, MMS support and PDA functionality. It's only tri-band this time but you do get the bonus of microSD expandability.
Availability: Assorted online retailers from $186.95
Step forward to the present and Hyundai have had another crack with the relatively low-end MB-910. Again, it's tri-band and GPRS only but it includes features such as a Bluetooth headset, email client, video playback, music player and touchscreen controls. It weighs in at just 58g and measures 58 x 44 x 16mm with talk-time of up to 3 hours and 70 hours on standby. There's very little in the way of screen resolution (132 x 176 pixels) but you can WAP browse - good luck on that screen - and send and receive MMS and SMS.
Availability: Should have been out for £200 SIM-free by now but no sign so far
The Cool G108 is the only clam shell of the bunch which is no surprise given it was introduced well over a year ago now. But don't be put off, there is a distinct retro Dr Who-chic about the 65g, 51 x 51 x 20mm device. It boasts a sleek silvery finish and has a secondary outer LED display as well as the main 1.5-inch 128 x 160 pixel screen inside. It offers offers GPRS connectivity, a 1.3-megapixel camera, a media player and Bluetooth support. It only has half a meg of memory but, mercifully, is expandable by microSD.
Availability: Assorted online retailers from $135
Back in the now, it's the LG G910 that's got everyone's gums flapping. When it's out, which should be very soon indeed, it will have a full 1.43-inch touchscreen, 3G HSDPA (unlike the rest of the crowd), video-calling capabilities and will come complete with a Bluetooth headset. It's got a curved tempered glass face and a high quality metal that cases the watch which measures 13.9mm thick. Naturally, it'll playback MP3s and there's also an interesting voice recognition function. More details on launch.
Availability: Pre-order on Play.com for £500 unlocked or from Orange coming soon
Not to be out done, LG's Korean rival has come up with a watch phone of its own and in true competitive style, Samsung's is just a little bit cheaper. Launching in France first, the €450 unit will offer a 4.5cm touchscreen, metal body and leather strap, and you'll be able to check Outlook e-mail and make voice calls via the speakerphone. MP3 player and Bluetooth included, of course, as seems to be the fashion.
Availability: €450 on the Continent
If that's still too much for you, IWOOT has flown to the rescue - if not, the bandwagon - with the budget sWap. With a 1.5-inch TFT screen, the watch can make and accept calls via the hands-free kit or Bluetooth headset - once you've added your own SIM - and offers multimedia capabilities too with playback of MP3, MIDI, WAV, AAC and MP4 files. It can receive SMS and MMS messages, displays recent and missed calls and can store up to 300 contacts. You get a microSD expandable 512MB memory (up to 2GB), a touchscreen interface and built-in stylus, a 1.3-megapixel camera for pics and video and swappable fascias - presumably where the name comes from.
Availability: On IWOOT for £249