Sony Ericsson has always been introducing some intriguing accessories. The old timer like accessories that look like a spy gadgets never took off that big because it was always high on the price but low on the functionality domain. But now scenario will be quite different because Sony Ericsson’s latest and newly baked accessory LiveView now offers a huge variety of features like pairing with user’s Android devices. So here is the detailed review about the gadget:
Hardware of LiveView
Sony Ericsson LiveView is one of those intriguing accessories and odd kind of product that from a simple user perspective looks nothing special but once worn on the wrist it is indeed an amazing mobile phone accessory which is one of its kinds. The physical dimensions are pretty small and simple; it weighs almost 0.53 ounce and is almost 0.4 inch in the depth. Overall, LiveView resembles with a simple black colored mini stop watch with two dedicated buttons on the top. The power, LED button is on the left and the select tab key on the right side. At the bottom of LiveView, there is nothing much except a micro sized USB port covered by a simple and a soft flap that can be easily put aside. Now coming over to the front display, LiveView has a 1.3 inch OLED display that is much reflective under bright light. The wrist strap or the wrist band of LiveView is also not that much of a style statement, it has a NATO style nylon strap that is not so pleasing and gives an ordinary look. Because of the elastic strip and Velcro, the looks die down a bit but who cares about the looks because it is more appropriate for it to be more comforting. The good thing is that the strap is easily washable and can be conveniently replaced as well. Being not equipped with navigation buttons, the user first imagines that LiveView is equipped with a scintillating touch screen interface as we see on a iPod Nano, but according to various consumer reviews it is not that simple and once powered up, many first time users get confused as it does not respond to the swiping gestures. However, once a user goes through its manual, it looks that the black border of LiveView is basically a four way navigation control that is very much touch sensitive.
LiveView Software Features
As it is common with all the Bluetooth pairing devices, once a user holds down the power button it powers up and initiates the pairing mode. Moreover, user can also keep track whether the pairing has started or not by seeing a blinking LED. Once the LiveView device is paired with the Android 2.x device, user can utilize the LiveView application that is easily available on the Android Market place to establish the final pairing connection. It is only after going through this final pairing process that we will get the access to the main menus on the device and we will see the Clock Screen vanishing. The LiveView houses the following mini apps: all events, Facebook, text messages, calendar, plug-ins, RSS and find a phone. Almost all the mini apps pursue the similar format and launching sequence, except the find phone and plug-ins. Once a particular application is launched, the user can scroll straight among all kinds of messages and the excerpts from different mini apps. This feature is very much useful and noticeable in certain situations like you are standing in a bus or train or in a crowd which is jam packed and you can’t take out your phone. At that point, instant LiveView will do the job for you with its amazing features. Moreover, if a particular user is interested in viewing a full article or reply to a particular message on the phone then all he has to do is select the action box at the bottom of the device’s page and the phone will be ready for that particular task the moment user gets the chance to whip it out. But in the case of Twitter mini app, this procedure only takes user to the mobile homepage but not to the account itself.
Now coming over to the notifications, the LiveView has pretty clear notification schematics. Every time a new message or a new item turns up, the LiveView starts vibrating and also shows an image at the top of the display. The user can also see the number of items that have arrived because a clear cut numbers indication is flashed above that corresponding app. The good thing is that user can tweak the update frequency of LiveView as well; means the user can set the time after which LiveView will notify him about the latest arrivals. It can be 15 minutes or 3 hours or a Never option is also present. But clearly, there is no giant looking Sync button on the device, so it means that you cannot feed your LiveView accessory straight away. One downside is that apps on LiveView only show you the updates that are coming through but they do not let you browse through the previous ones.
Alongwith the widely used social networking and text messages feed, there are some other good mini apps as well that LiveView houses; one of them is Find Phone. This particular mini app is very good as it prompts your phone, and you can work out where your phone is if you have lost it somewhere nearby. As far as you are using the LiveView app on the Android phone, choosing the mini app Find Phone on LiveView will sound an alarm enabling you to find it easily. One other good feature is the remote app; while holding the select button for quite a while a remote app pops-up that facilitates in controlling the stock media player on your Android phone. Last but not the least is the incoming call app on LiveView that shows users the caller ID alongwith the option of silencing the ringer on the Android phone, but the incoming call app does not boasts the feature of canceling the call altogether.
Battery life of LiveView is not that extra ordinary and it will definitely require a charging at the end of the day, so it is very much advisable for the regular phone users to charge it every night.
On the whole, LiveView by Sony Ericsson is not that outstanding accessory as it is indeed marred with several bugs, and there is no option present to update the firmware of it. However, the apps are brilliant and Sony Ericsson will definitely add more apps in the time to come. When Sony Ericsson will come up with bug free software and an official support for Gmail, then this Bluetooth watch will be worth buying.