O2 Joggler review

£150
Price when reviewed

Billed as “your new fridge door”, the O2 Joggler is designed to “organise your family’s life”. It’s ironic then that the one thing that really lets the Joggler down is its organisational skills.

The souped-up, Wi-Fi-enabled digital photo frame synchronises with a free, online calendar on which you’re encouraged to enter appointments for each member of the family.

Appointments can be entered on the device itself or through your PC’s web browser, although there’s no way to synchronise your O2 calendar with your work Outlook diary (or any other calendar service for that matter). That, however, is the least of the O2 Calendar’s foibles.

The most appallingly obvious flaw is that there’s no option to set end times for appointments, so if you’re trying to find a free spot in Dad’s diary for a family meal, you’ve no idea if that golf club AGM booked in for 3pm Saturday afternoon will last for an hour or the rest of the day.

Worse still, the device is woeful at letting you know when these appointments arrive. Family members with phones on the O2 network can be sent a free SMS reminder of the appointment, but the Joggler itself will sit on the mantelpiece without as much a pop-up balloon to warn you of impending appointments. Unforgivably, you have to manually check the calendar.

Quite why you’d choose the combination of Joggler/O2 Calendar to organise your family’s life, when free services such as Google Calendar offer shared calendars, full Outlook synchronisation, plus email and (paid for) SMS alerts to phones on any UK network, is bewildering.

All of which is a shame, because the Joggler hardware itself is superb. The 800 x 480, 7in screen is sumptuously sharp and as bright as a Mastermind champion, with faultlessly wide viewing angles. This means the device can be put to good use as a digital photo frame (albeit a rather small one), video player or media streaming device, with 1GB of on-board storage for files and a USB port for transferring content.

The capacitive touchscreen is exemplary, with flawless accuracy making it easy to enter appointments using the on-screen keyboard, and scroll through the news and sport headlines provided by Sky Sports.

The other bundled apps are a bit limp: there’s a single game (a lacklustre Sudoku puzzle), traffic updates and a five-day weather forecast. O2 promises that digital radio and “messaging” services will arrive soon, but unlike the Chumby there’s no scope to build or install third-party applications, leaving owners with O2’s rather meagre selection.

The Joggler is undoubtedly an interesting concept, but it ultimately fails to deliver on its chief purpose: calendaring. If you want a 7in digital photo frame with a few extra bells and whistles it’s certainly worth considering, but at £150 it’s an expensive frippery.

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