Sony Ericsson LiveView Review

Performance:
 
The Sony Ericsson LiveView is certainly a pretty sweet package when you take into account its price, but when it comes to performance, the device is hampered by poor usability and stability issues among other things. Without an Android connection, the gadget won't even tell the time. It needs to be synced in order to do even that, making it's functionality wholly dependent upon an Android device running 2.1 or higher. Using the LiveView as a watch replacement is therefore totally unrealistic unless you always have your phone on hand, as with every power down, the time resets to 00:00 which is a shame.



Working around the Sony Ericsson Live View isn't particularly intuitive on first use with no indication of button function on the unit itself, though it doesn't take long to get to grips with how it works. In addition, the LiveView app is required to make any changes to the unit. On-board functions include a text message reader, call alert, RSS reader, Facebook and Twitter as well as control over your music player and a “find your phone” function which makes your handset remotely ring. You'll notice email support missing from the list - a huge let down. One of the appeals of the Sony Ericsson LiveView, at least in principle is the support for plug-ins, offering potentially unlimited functionality. The reality however is that of the 5 plug-ins we tried, only two worked relatively smoothly, with one plug-in making our LiveView vibrate until it ran out of juice, buggy to say the least.



As far as the core features go, these are also hit and miss. We found the Facebook functionality didn't work right which in itself is a bad start. Notifications for calls and text messages come through instantly, as do calendar notifications, while other updates make their way to the Sony Ericsson LiveView at set intervals of 15, 30 minutes, 1, 2, or 3 hours. These set time frames are a bit restrictive and we would have preferred more control over update intervals. Once updates are on the unit, you can navigate them on the screen. These appear in a plain text stripped down format with your only option being to scroll through them until you reach the bottom of the update. Once scrolled through, you can send the update to your phone so next time you switch your phone on, it'll be available there. The calendar will notify you when an event is coming up, though there is no access to future or past events which is disappointing. The functions which we found to work the best are call / text alerts, music control, followed by RSS and Twitter support.



With battery life quoted at 4 days, we found more realistic expectations being two and a half with medium usage and the vibrate alert switched on. As mentioned earlier, the Sony Ericsson LiveView needs to be connected to an Android device running 2.1 or higher, and we tested it with the Sony Ericsson X10 (2.1) and a Dell Streak (2.2), finding similar hit and miss performance between devices.

Conclusion:

Suffice to say, the Sony Ericsson LiveView isn't great across the board. The functions Sony Ericsson have perfected in their MBW range work well (text / call alert and music control), however, most of the additions feel like a bit of an afterthought, making the unit perform like a beta with dodgy connectivity here and there as well as strained plug-in support. Hopefully this is the first of an improving line of devices, as the potential for something like this could be huge, but sadly, the LiveView in its present state doesn't hit the mark. If you can overlook the issues, then at around $70 it's a reasonable Bluetooth watch, albeit one with limitations. Otherwise, you may want to consider other watches in the MBW line which are more expensive, but look more attractive and function even in the absence of your phone.

Sony Ericsson LiveView Video Review:



Pros

  • Versatile functionality
  • Small and light-weight
  • Call / text alerts work very well

Cons

  • Entirely dependent on phone to work
  • Poor plug-in support
  • Stability issues

PhoneArena Rating:

4.5

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4 Comments

1. balaradu unregistered

Here is a tutorial on how to connect the Sony Ericsson LiveVIew micro display to your phone and also the re is one for salehttp://www.sh-phones.com/?page...

2. harvey

Posts: 1; Member since: Aug 26, 2012

can you store mp3's or videos in this device?.. plss.. answer asap... thank you.. :)

3. hi_tech

Posts: 1; Member since: May 16, 2013

Please, what is the name of plugin to increase vibration time on liveview notifications? Thanks

4. adnan.gopang4

Posts: 1; Member since: Aug 01, 2013

he connect to nokia asha 311??? or any bluetooth phone

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