IS IT WORTH IT? Casio Baby G `Phys' watch, pounds 79.99

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Indy Lifestyle Online
You can tell Baby G's Phys watch is for women - it has a calorie counting facility on it. For this reason alone it's virtually guaranteed to powerwalk out the shops this Christmas (and be given diplomatic immunity until 1 January).

Baby Gs, of course, are those funky, chunky, plastic, luminously-lit watches, much loved by clubbers, surfers and urbanites. Now Casio is trying to add the female fitness fanatic (or the "athletic woman" as it optimistically calls her) to the fan club. Your pounds 79.99 will buy an array of functions, including date and time, stopwatch, lap timer, alarm, calorie counter - and the watch is water resistant to a depth of 100m. Unlike previous Baby Gs, some of which look like you have a small boulder attached to your wrist, the "Phys" is relatively petite and neat without being "girlie". In fact, it looks unashamedly sporty (colours include black with red, black with grey, white with grey, and yellow with grey) and is surprisingly comfortable to wear.

Favourable looks aside, the only problem with the Phys is that, while Casio has cleverly homed in on our favourite female bugbear, it has in the process unfortunately highlighted another major weakness (of mine at least): trying to work the technology. It took about an hour limping through the instruction booklet before I figured out how to imput my height, weight and average stride length (which I think I miscalculated) into the watch. Having said that, it should be pointed out that the calorie counter is kind of useless anyway, since any neurotic worth her salt will already know how many calories she burns if she bikes for 15 minutes, runs for 10 or lifts a wine glass to her mouth 30 times an hour. But let's not be churlish. The calorie counter is a fun gimmick on a watch that has offered me hours of amusement with its animated characters (including a pig which appears - all too frequently - to indicate that you're not working hard enough) and the opportunity to look as though, despite my mild office manner, I am secretly a wildly fit world class triathlete.

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