Sony Ericsson LiveView Smartwatch IRL Review

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Sony Ericsson Liveview IRL Review– I don’t even know when the liveview (I will call it that from now on) was made. It was a quiet release likely around the time that the first Sony Ericsson Android phone, the X10 was released (when I got my Blackberry 9700 which was eons ago). It was actually one of the first smart watches ever made. In fact, most reviewers forget about this model and assume Sony had only made 3 smartwatchs thus far in 2015.  I actually had read about it earlier but dismissed it because it was an Android product and I was strictly a Blackberry user at the time. Funnily enough, it actually hit on my deepest darkest desires of device interconnectivity but my instant dismissiveness of the product meant that I would not use it for some time. After reading about some very very terrible reviews about it, I bought it on a whim for a very very small fraction of its MSRP on eBay. The following is my IRL review of this device after owning it for several years. Spoiler alert- it was never a good product and it should never be bought regardless of price.

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Design- this thing looks like a gadget. It looks like a prototype product that was released onto the public prematurely. In particular it just looks clunky, despite being relatively tiny overall. It’s a rounded square plastic design with a Velcro strap (high class for sure!) and an oddball metal clip you can use to clip on a shirt pocket or bag strap if you don’t want to use the watch style to wear it. Overall, this looks like you like gadgets when you wear it. I’m not impressed with its original MSRP. It definitely fit the bill of Android users being geeky and not in a geek chique manner. The only thing I liked about this was that it had two LEDs that could be used for notifications, something I much prefer over screen messages (or at least I prefer both in conjunction which this offered).

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Build Quality– overall, this felt like a light plastic cereal box prize. The Velcro strap made you feel like you were wearing a less cool Casio watch. The metal clip FELL OFF ALL THE TIME, meaning that it never felt secure attached to anything- specifically the clip was really strong but the way it attached to the watch made it fall off repeatedly – worst yet, the attachment mechanism wore down over time and so it became less reliable over time easily. The mictoUSB plug cover also fell off easily or was difficult to access. Overall, a non-premium device for sure. Honestly the only positive thing is that I liked Sony Ericsson’s silver/green logo on the back. To take the picture with me wearing the watch, I had to hold it down on my hand, otherwise it would pop off.

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Battery- terrible and unpredictable- even if it maintained Bluetooth connection, it lost battery quickly. Considering it always lost Bluetooth connection, it ALWAYS drained super fast. It would not be surprising to look at it be completely dead on your hand.

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Usage– TERRIBLE. Aside from limited things that could show up as notifications, this had the absolute worst quality of any Bluetooth device- it required it to be re-paired any time it lost connection. This meant when you went out of range of your smartphone, you had to actually go back to pairing mode and redo the whole process again. RIDICULOUS. This got so tedious, that someone actually made an apt to try to fix it- it was a bandaid solution alas and it still ended up being a total turd of a device. Furthermore, I thought the user interface was a total turd. Seriously this thing was gadgety at best. It just did not offer an experience that was seamless. It required a ton of work to make it work in your workflow and as a result, it was very disruptive overall. You knew you were using it. You had to go out of your way to use it. I CANNOT BELIEVE THIS WAS A SELLABLE PRODUCT.  I mean I don’t even expect much from a smartware device- just notifications. But it couldn’t do that reliably because you didn’t know if it had unpaired and you were not notified it had unpaired. Oh, it would send notifications it had lost pairing and BUZZ NONSTOP but not try to pair again. SO STUPID. Like first generation Bluetooth or something. Concept interesting, execution terrible. The funny thing is that looking at its reviews on Google Play shows repeated anger. Even with the LiveView Charm fix, it still was a mediocre user experience. Another really annoying thing was getting pop ups saying LiveView was disconnected. REALLY. SO RECONNECT. It made me so mad that this was such a terrible experience.

Conclusion. I can’t even write a full conclusion. Don’t buy this. It’s a terrible product, even at a seriously reduced eBay price. What was Sony Ericsson thinking?! This doesn’t even deserve a TLDR.

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