Denial of service
Sony Ericsson is promising a firmware update to sort things out, but my deadline arrived before it did. As it stands, the wayward connection firmware is a hot, steaming turd on top of the LiveView's otherwise tasty treat.
Potentially very useful, but currently dogged by instability
According to Sony, third-party LiveView plug-ins will soon start cropping up left, right and centre. Currently, there are twenty-odd in the Android Market (listed here) but you can only access six at any one time.
Of these plug-ins that I downloaded, I couldn't get the HTC Gmail or HTC Music Control plug-ins to work at all – the latter crashed the music player on my Desire every time I launched it. However, ContactCall – which lets you scroll through your phone book and dial out – proved to be handy when used with a Bluetooth headset. Also, the Calendar plug-in gives you a full month view with the ability to drill down to individual entries for the day.
SE reckons a full charge of the LiveView will be good for four days of use, but the best I managed was about half that. Admittedly, a lot of that time was spent trying to get the bugger to reconnect.
LiveView is a handy way of accessing your phone remotely if, for whatever reason, you don't want to get it out in public and wave it about. Still, I'm not sure the basic functions and current free plug-ins justify the price, even though I found it on-line for under £50. More importantly, the connection issues need to be solved urgently, as there's little point in having it otherwise. ®
More Phone Gear Reviews...
Sony Ericsson LiveView remote phone viewer
Got this for Xmas
.... after telling my wife about it.
The random connection problems are an issue but it has many major flaws:
#1: whilst it is great that it has a find my phone feature, over xmas, I was hoping for a "find my LiveView" feature as the unit pops off the wristband far too easily. And no, you can't glue it on, as it needs to pop off the wristband in order for the charging usb port to be accessible. Thus, since you charge it rather often (more on that in #2), the unit needs to be removed and put in place, which means it becomes even more likely to jump off the wristband...
#2: maybe it's a side effect of having to attempt to connect an fail so often, but the battery life was closer to a single day than anything, often far less than that.
#3: the unit reset many times, after which you'll not have a working clock until you get reconnect. It would reset sometimes spontaneously, sometimes when I powered it on to tell the time. Other times I'd have to reset it to see if it would connect or not... Often the battery would die before I managed a reconnection.
The three above issues are quite problematic, and make this feel like a prototype/experiment product that was rushed out to cash in on the Xmas sales - before much testing was done.
Having spent most of the xmas break wearing a non-functional device (dead battery), or a pointless device (couldn't connect after a reset so could not tell the time), or wearing just the wristband whilst retracing my steps to find where the little black square had gone to, I wasn't impressed. Then, after an LiveView app update was pushed to the market, the new Liveview client on my up-to-date, non-rooted & factory unlocked HTC Desire phone (supposedly one of the few supported devices), it worked perfectly from one glorious evening! (This was unfortunately after Xmas, after my family got to see their 'tech guru' show off his latest innovation that doesn't function (last year I had an Archos 5IT which after an OTA update decided to not connect to any wifi network - &*%!). That device got working after a few tweaks and updates, but it lives in a drawer and will be recycled soon enough.
So, back to the LiveView - it was WORKING !!! - I was living the dream finally! I got a call notification, then later a gmail notification and even read most of the email on my wrist. All the while I was able to tell the time whenever I wanted without taking my phone out of my pocket - I've not worn a wrist watch this century. Fantastic.
Alas, the next morning, the power button (one of only two buttons on the unit) stopped working rendering the unit completely useless.
It's being repaired at the moment by SE.
I love it, but it needs stability and a redesigned strap. At least it wasn't crazy expensive.
I'd recommend waiting for the next generation, or at the very least until a proper firmware update is released.
Not the only one on the market
I saw a number of similar devices when I stopped over in HongKong during New Years.
Perhaps these more generic types will prove more compatible to a greater variety of Android handsets.
Attend two "no phones allowed" 6 hour meetings and let's talk again
instead of leaving your phone in your draw before such meetings, where it can receive messages, that you cant read or respond to, receive phone calls, that you cant answer etc... you will now have a little gizmo (and why you could have one of those, but not a phone in such a meeting i dont understand) that will let you receive messages that you can read, but can't respond to and receive phone calls that you cant answer.
So instead of being in a meeting without your phone (I'm guessing because it's an important meeting, with no outside interruptions), your now in a meeting WITH your phone, but still unable to use it. Seems a bit odd to me.
is nearly here!
I wouldn't be surprised if Apple's next iPod Nano expanded on this idea- already people are buying straps to turn it into a watch. Apple would have an easier time allowing it to control many functions on a paired iPhone than Sony have with a multitude of Android phones since Apple know their own software and hardware. Doing so would provide a reason for iPhone users to buy a Nano too.