Note: When I requested the LiveView, I had an Xperia Arc. However a fault in that phone meant I had to switch to the Desire S before I had a chance to try the it with the Arc. The LiveView works with just about any Android phone, however is optimized for Xperia phones. This review is based on my experience with the Desire S.
When I had my Arc, a gadget that always popped up when browsing forums was the Sony LiveView. Other Xperia owners seemed very interested in it, but were equally cautious of it’s price tag. £30 might not seem much for a gadget that looks as smart as this, but it’s difficult to see from photos just how functional it is.
I’ll start of by quickly discussing the design. As I mentioned above, it is very smart. It looks a bit like the current iPod Nano, except a little bulkier. It comes with a strap so you can use it as a watch, and you can also clip it to your belt. It doesn’t attract too much attention, as the screen isn’t all that bright. Whilst we are on the topic of the screen, i’d like to say that you shouldn’t expect anything like the Nano. It has a 1.3″ OLED display. It’s very unimpressive, especially compared to the remarkably good Xperia screens. That being said, it’s not a device that really needs bright, sharp colours.
The controls are quite difficult to get used to. It has two buttons, one for switching off the device, and one for just about everything else. The button on the right can take you to the media player, be the and select button and turn of the screen. It’s a lot of functions for just one button, and something you need to take time with to get the hang of.
Now onto the purpose of the LiveView, to be able to check your phone without having to take it out of your pocket. The LiveView connects to your phone via bluetooth and lets you check messages, see who’s calling and who’s calls you have missed, read your RRS subscriptions, tweets and Facebook updates as well as view your calendar and e-mails. It’s a lot of functions for such a small device, and is impressive that it does all of those things. It does them all well too, navigating the LiveView you will encounter very little loading time.
At the end of the day, it’s only you who can decide if you need this product. Personally, I don’t have any need to use the LiveView as I am fine using my phone to check my stuff. I can see how it would be useful to people in a different working condition to me, and the watch strap definitely increases the amount of times you would use it. Although it might not be for everyone, it is certainly a product you should consider purchasing. For the pretty reasonable price, the LiveView packs a lot of features which will leave you amazed with how much it can do.
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