Jump to content


Photo

My thoughts on this little device


  • Please log in to reply
20 replies to this topic

#1
maniac_mouse

maniac_mouse

    Regular

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 122 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Devices:Galaxy Note 2, KFHD 7`
I got one of these to play around with from Amazon a few weeks ago, its megacheap (£16) now. My verdict?, it has a nice screen and looks pretty cool but is VERY tempermental and has some major design faults.
First off, I would recommend getting an app called liveview charm, this seems to solve most of the bluetooth disconnection problems, auto reconnecting when it goes out of range of the phone 99% of the time. The other main problem seems to be android killing the liveview app, thus disconnecting the watch, liveview charm tries to stop this, but doesnt always succeed, resulting in a manual reconnect being required.
Next, to solve the major hardware design fault of having to disconnect the thing from the watchstrap to charge it, modify a paperclip as per these instructions http://forum.xda-dev...d.php?t=1926897 to fashion a new strap pin. This is a biggie as its actually quite well held into the strap and quite difficult to remove with just your fingernails. It also feels like it could break easily if you do it wrong.
I found that the plugins were quite unstable, sometimes just completely failing to start for no obvious reason, and only working again after a reboot of the watch and reinstall of the plugin. Occasionally every single plugin would fail to start at the same time, meaning having to uninstall/reinstall the lot.
Of the plugins that worked, i quite liked the binary clock, ah watch, launcher (lets you launch any app from the watch, very useful), livewatches and the 2 camera plugins that let you control the phones camera shutter via the watch. Some of the gps apps showed promise as well.
The rss function works very well, as does the sms bit but i couldnt get any of the custom notification plugins to run, which is annoying as theres a k9 mail one that would be handy.
I like the vibration and strobing led function when a new message arrives.
The music controls work well, but it only lets you skip through and play/pause the current album, you cant select a different album from your library to listen to without using the phone to select it (at least i think you cant, im using the headset control emulation, the default music player controls just didnt work, probably due to the rom im using).
Find my phone is a bit pointless as bluetooth hasnt got much range and if its too far away it will have disconnected and wont work anyway.
The touch sensitive bezil works fine although the buttons on the top of the watch feel very flimsy.
Battery life is pretty good, i get a good 5-7 days out of mine depending on use.

There is also open liveview , an open source replacement for sonys software, and its looking promising already. This one lets the watch read any notifications android can display (you can white or blacklist which ones). I have it set up for gtalk, gmail and a few others.
It adds a phone battery level indicator and a text viewer to the standard media controls,sms and find my phone functionallity of the origional sony apk. the rss function is gone, but it can be replicated using any rss app that uses notifications. Its a bit `flickery` at times and i couldnt get it to forget notifications without clearing them from the app on the phone, but it seems to work well and is less flakey than using the sony plugins. There is no plugin functionality as yet, but it is promised in a future release.

Such a pity they didnt test and refine this little device a bit more, it has great potential but to be honest, its too unreliable to use as anything other than a watch as you dont know if its synced properly unless you check, and if it isnt you miss all the sms notifications etc that occured since it disconnected (it doesnt queue them for the next sync, it just forgets they ever happened).

EDIT: Since writing this little review, i have pretty much solved all the watches little foibles and apart from requiring a manual push of the sync button when it dissconnects it actually works quite well. I posted how i did it below.

Edited by maniac_mouse, 08 March 2013 - 03:04 PM.

  • 1

Device History: Samsung Tocco Lite (retired) , Blackberry Storm 2 (retired), Zte Blade (sold), Htc Desire (retired), Samsung Galaxy Note (retired), Kindle Fire HD 7` (current), Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (current)


#2
The Soup Thief

The Soup Thief

    Hardcore

  • MoDaCo Silver
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,029 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Dublin
  • Devices:Nexus 5 (N4 etc retired)
  • Twitter:@TheSoupThief
I was interested in picking one of these up a while back when they were a good bit more pricey, but at less than 20 quid delivered, I'm v keen
One thing - your review mentions battery life of 5-7 days. I'm looking on the amazon web page and reviews there are quoting 6-8 hours!
This was an old review so maybe updated software has helped, but even the most recent review (a few days ago) suggests 24 hrs.
Do you reckon they've had a lot of screen on time?
Is 5-7 days realistic?
V interested in the Open Liveview project

  • 1

#3
maniac_mouse

maniac_mouse

    Regular

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 122 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Devices:Galaxy Note 2, KFHD 7`
I get at least 4 days, depending on use. I only get a few notifications every day and use the media controls, so the device is basically doing nothing, with the screen off for most of the time.
Its disconnected for a lot of the time as well due to its flaky connection. Im pretty sure you would have to either have the screen on for ages using it for displaying gps coords in realtime or something or hammering it with rss, twitter or one of the plugins to only get 6 hours out of it. I imagine that the vibrator would drain the batt pretty fast if you had loads of notifications per day. At the 24 hour mark my battery indicator is still pretty much on full. The quality control/time in storage might mean some units have crap battery life and others good as well, i might have just got lucky.
There are a few battery mods documented in various forums, such as a usb tricklecharge pack mounted on a second strap or just replacing the built in one with a higher capacity unit.

Openliveview is actually really nice, Its not as pretty as the sony one, but i prefer the inline media controls, phone battery display and the clock looks nicer. Only having 1 apk for android to mess up helps as well, i think a lot of problems with sonys software stem from plugin apk`s crashing or being closed by the system.
I got mine working pretty well by doing the following....

Installing the openliveview apk as a system app,
Using minfreemanager to wack the secondary server value down to 8mb to stop Androids memory management killing it so often,
Installed automateit and set rules to restart the apk and give an audiable warning if the watch disconnected from bluetooth or Android killed the openliveview app,
Set openliveview to filter notifications so i only got sms, calls, email and gtalk squirted to the watch. The whitelist filter didnt work for some reason so i had to use the blacklist instead.
Now when it disconnects i hear the voice prompt from automateit and just press the righthand sync button to reconnect the watch.
in conjunction with liveview charm, the sony software seems to autoreconnect the watch, but i couldnt make openliveview do it without pressing the button.
Im not sure if liveview charm is needed with the way i have the watch set up at the moment, it seems to work reasonably well without it.

If your interested, go for the latest version with a few more features on google code rather than the older play store one.

It is just a fun toy though, its fun to mess around with but i wouldnt really want to use it as my primary watch and even with all the tweaks and hacks, its still a bit flaky tbh.

EDIT: Iv just realised that openliveview doesnt loose notifications when its disconnected, it queues them up and squirts them to the watch when it reconnects. This is a major improvement over sonys forgetful apk. Im liking openliveview a lot, and brickbats to sony for not implementing such a vital function in their software right from the start.

Edited by maniac_mouse, 06 March 2013 - 04:30 PM.

  • 1

Device History: Samsung Tocco Lite (retired) , Blackberry Storm 2 (retired), Zte Blade (sold), Htc Desire (retired), Samsung Galaxy Note (retired), Kindle Fire HD 7` (current), Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (current)


#4
The Soup Thief

The Soup Thief

    Hardcore

  • MoDaCo Silver
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,029 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Dublin
  • Devices:Nexus 5 (N4 etc retired)
  • Twitter:@TheSoupThief
Thanks for all the info! Sounds a jolly little gadget to play with but on second thoughts I might give it a miss - sounds like quite a bit trouble before it gets anywhere near useful!

  • 1

#5
maniac_mouse

maniac_mouse

    Regular

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 122 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Devices:Galaxy Note 2, KFHD 7`

Thanks for all the info! Sounds a jolly little gadget to play with but on second thoughts I might give it a miss - sounds like quite a bit trouble before it gets anywhere near useful!


Yup, you hit the nail on the head there, if you like fiddling/hacking about with gadgets its a jolly little thing to play around with, but out of the box it really doesnt work very well.
I wear mine as a secondary watch and after all the mods its actually quite useful. If i could get openliveview to autoreconnect without pressing the sync button it would be perfect for my needs. Hopefully the devs will fix/add this feature in a future release.
Sony released an updated version called the smartwatch (about £60-£70ish on Amazon) that apparently solved a lot of the issues, although it still relies on the phone keeping the bluetooth connection alive, which seems to be very rom dependent. I think the pebble watch is the way to go if you want a smartwatch, its waterproof to 5 atmospheres, runs apps, has an sdk available and has a duel mode always on screen with a quoted battery life of a week. Il be investing in one as soon as funds allow.

  • 1

Device History: Samsung Tocco Lite (retired) , Blackberry Storm 2 (retired), Zte Blade (sold), Htc Desire (retired), Samsung Galaxy Note (retired), Kindle Fire HD 7` (current), Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (current)


#6
maniac_mouse

maniac_mouse

    Regular

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 122 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Devices:Galaxy Note 2, KFHD 7`
Just an update to my experiences of this device. The battery life seems to have deteriated significantly since I wrote my original review. I get less than 2 days of very light use now, it seems to loose charge even if the unit is switched off. The battery indicator seems to not accurately report the charge level now, it goes from 50% to nothing in about an hour.
Im probably going to try replacing the battery with a higher capacity one if i can find a suitable one.
Il post the results here.

  • 1

Device History: Samsung Tocco Lite (retired) , Blackberry Storm 2 (retired), Zte Blade (sold), Htc Desire (retired), Samsung Galaxy Note (retired), Kindle Fire HD 7` (current), Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (current)


#7
phil8715

phil8715

    Diehard

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 313 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Rishton, Lancashire
  • Interests:Mobile phones, mobile phones & mobile phones, football,playing snooker, watching poker, listening to music, reading & travel.

    Rooting and modding phones.
  • Devices:SG Note N7000, Huawei G300
  • Twitter:@philtheclaret
Which clip do you get? I got a V2 closed back clip and I can't attach the device to the velcro strap. Most reviews I've seen have the V1 which is a square and you thread the strap through it.

  • 0

#8
maniac_mouse

maniac_mouse

    Regular

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 122 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Devices:Galaxy Note 2, KFHD 7`

Which clip do you get? I got a V2 closed back clip and I can't attach the device to the velcro strap. Most reviews I've seen have the V1 which is a square and you thread the strap through it.


I got 2 clips in the box, one with a clip on the back for hooking into a shirt pocket etc, and one with the fittings for the velcro watch strap.
I ended up removing the metal clip fitting from the first one by prising it apart and gluing the remaining plastic backplate to the watch strap one. This raises the usb connector enough to enable charging without removing the unit from the strap.

Edited by maniac_mouse, 10 June 2013 - 11:10 AM.

  • 0

Device History: Samsung Tocco Lite (retired) , Blackberry Storm 2 (retired), Zte Blade (sold), Htc Desire (retired), Samsung Galaxy Note (retired), Kindle Fire HD 7` (current), Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (current)


#9
phil8715

phil8715

    Diehard

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 313 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Rishton, Lancashire
  • Interests:Mobile phones, mobile phones & mobile phones, football,playing snooker, watching poker, listening to music, reading & travel.

    Rooting and modding phones.
  • Devices:SG Note N7000, Huawei G300
  • Twitter:@philtheclaret
I rang Sony Ericsson and they are going to send me the V1 clip that slides through the velcro strap, should be receiving it in the next few days.

Will post my thoughts when I get it.

To be honest I'm not bothered about charging the unit when it's attached to the velcro strap.

Edited by phil8715, 10 June 2013 - 11:15 PM.

  • 0

#10
maniac_mouse

maniac_mouse

    Regular

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 122 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Devices:Galaxy Note 2, KFHD 7`

To be honest I'm not bothered about charging the unit when it's attached to the velcro strap.


Mine is really awkward to remove from the backplate, to the point where it felt like it could break something. Pull it from the wrong place and the watch body starts opening up instead of detatching from the strap.

As an aside, I recently flashed a new rom (pacman jb4.2.2) and openliveview doesnt work with it. The bluetooth briefly connects, then disconnects. I tried everything I could think of, but it just wont work. The sony software does sort of work, but its still got the disconnection and closing issues and seems to do something horrible to the phone after a while, making it so sluggish that a reboot is required. Guess the little guy will be retired to a drawer until/if openliveview is updated, unless anyones got any ideas.
Il actually miss the convienience of having media controls and notifications on my wrist and my phone safely tucked away in my backpack whilst cycling and hiking.

  • 0

Device History: Samsung Tocco Lite (retired) , Blackberry Storm 2 (retired), Zte Blade (sold), Htc Desire (retired), Samsung Galaxy Note (retired), Kindle Fire HD 7` (current), Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (current)


#11
phil8715

phil8715

    Diehard

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 313 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Rishton, Lancashire
  • Interests:Mobile phones, mobile phones & mobile phones, football,playing snooker, watching poker, listening to music, reading & travel.

    Rooting and modding phones.
  • Devices:SG Note N7000, Huawei G300
  • Twitter:@philtheclaret
I think that Sony Smart Watch addresses the problems of the LiveView. I was annoyed they dropped official Facebook and Twitter Support which was one of the reasons I bought one.

Edited by phil8715, 11 June 2013 - 06:05 PM.

  • 0

#12
phil8715

phil8715

    Diehard

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 313 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Rishton, Lancashire
  • Interests:Mobile phones, mobile phones & mobile phones, football,playing snooker, watching poker, listening to music, reading & travel.

    Rooting and modding phones.
  • Devices:SG Note N7000, Huawei G300
  • Twitter:@philtheclaret
I'm not actually sure if it's compatible With Jellybean. I've got the Beanstalk Rom which is a 4.2.2 based rom and when you search for the LiveView on my Note it can't found it on Bluetooth.

Edited by phil8715, 13 June 2013 - 02:34 PM.

  • 0

#13
maniac_mouse

maniac_mouse

    Regular

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 122 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Devices:Galaxy Note 2, KFHD 7`

I'm not actually sure if it's compatible With Jellybean. I've got the Beanstalk Rom which is a 4.2.2 based rom and when you search for the LiveView on my Note it can't found it on Bluetooth.


The official sony one is supposed to be compatable with jb, its still got the same disconnection issues it always had though. My note detects the watch on bluetooth and connects to the sony software fine, it just wont stay connected for long enough to be useful.
I just read over on xda that the dev of openliveview is aware of the problems connecting his app to bluetooth in jb 4.2.2, but doesnt know how to, or have the free time to solve them presently. Apparently google changed something in the bluetooth stack and that buggers openliveview (and probably other bluetooth related stuff) up.
On the plus side, Sony have just anounced that they are opensourcing the v2 smartwatch software, so hopefully they will also release the liveview code so we can solve this ourselves.
Im tempted by a v2 smartwatch, but might just hold out until samsung, apple and casio present their takes on it first. The pebble also looks good, but i have read horror stories of bricked devices and bad customer service, so theres that to consider.

Edited by maniac_mouse, 14 June 2013 - 03:20 PM.

  • 0

Device History: Samsung Tocco Lite (retired) , Blackberry Storm 2 (retired), Zte Blade (sold), Htc Desire (retired), Samsung Galaxy Note (retired), Kindle Fire HD 7` (current), Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (current)


#14
phil8715

phil8715

    Diehard

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 313 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Rishton, Lancashire
  • Interests:Mobile phones, mobile phones & mobile phones, football,playing snooker, watching poker, listening to music, reading & travel.

    Rooting and modding phones.
  • Devices:SG Note N7000, Huawei G300
  • Twitter:@philtheclaret

The official sony one is supposed to be compatable with jb, its still got the same disconnection issues it always had though. My note detects the watch on bluetooth and connects to the sony software fine, it just wont stay connected for long enough to be useful.
I just read over on xda that the dev of openliveview is aware of the problems connecting his app to bluetooth in jb 4.2.2, but doesnt know how to, or have the free time to solve them presently. Apparently google changed something in the bluetooth stack and that buggers openliveview (and probably other bluetooth related stuff) up.
On the plus side, Sony have just anounced that they are opensourcing the v2 smartwatch software, so hopefully they will also release the liveview code so we can solve this ourselves.
Im tempted by a v2 smartwatch, but might just hold out until samsung, apple and casio present their takes on it first. The pebble also looks good, but i have read horror stories of bricked devices and bad customer service, so theres that to consider.


I've got it working on my Note and it doesn't disconnect unless I switch off Bluetooth.

Still waiting for the v1 clip, Sony wrote my address down wrong and was sent elsewhere.

  • 0

#15
maniac_mouse

maniac_mouse

    Regular

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 122 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Devices:Galaxy Note 2, KFHD 7`

I've got it working on my Note and it doesn't disconnect unless I switch off Bluetooth.


What rom are you using?, is it Android 4.2.2?
If it is then my problem is probably the hybrid rom im using breaking something in Sonys software. It wouldnt suprise me, the PACman rom is really good feature and speedwise, but it does have a few stability issues.

  • 0

Device History: Samsung Tocco Lite (retired) , Blackberry Storm 2 (retired), Zte Blade (sold), Htc Desire (retired), Samsung Galaxy Note (retired), Kindle Fire HD 7` (current), Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (current)


#16
phil8715

phil8715

    Diehard

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 313 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Rishton, Lancashire
  • Interests:Mobile phones, mobile phones & mobile phones, football,playing snooker, watching poker, listening to music, reading & travel.

    Rooting and modding phones.
  • Devices:SG Note N7000, Huawei G300
  • Twitter:@philtheclaret
I'm using Beanstalk 4.2.2. Are you pressing the power button on the LiveView till the led flashes red and green? Then go into the app on the phone and select LiveView and it should pair up.

  • 0

#17
maniac_mouse

maniac_mouse

    Regular

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 122 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Devices:Galaxy Note 2, KFHD 7`

I'm using Beanstalk 4.2.2. Are you pressing the power button on the LiveView till the led flashes red and green? Then go into the app on the phone and select LiveView and it should pair up.


Yup, it pairs up and connects fine, it just wont stay connected for long or autoreconnect without pulling the phone out and tapping connect in the sony app (pressing the sync button on the watch doesnt seem to work anymore).

Im guessing its the rom im using as yours works fine on 4.2.2.

  • 0

Device History: Samsung Tocco Lite (retired) , Blackberry Storm 2 (retired), Zte Blade (sold), Htc Desire (retired), Samsung Galaxy Note (retired), Kindle Fire HD 7` (current), Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (current)


#18
phil8715

phil8715

    Diehard

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 313 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Rishton, Lancashire
  • Interests:Mobile phones, mobile phones & mobile phones, football,playing snooker, watching poker, listening to music, reading & travel.

    Rooting and modding phones.
  • Devices:SG Note N7000, Huawei G300
  • Twitter:@philtheclaret

Yup, it pairs up and connects fine, it just wont stay connected for long or autoreconnect without pulling the phone out and tapping connect in the sony app (pressing the sync button on the watch doesnt seem to work anymore).

Im guessing its the rom im using as yours works fine on 4.2.2.


You could try reflashing the firmware on the LiveView. Mine stays connected all the time.

  • 0

#19
phil8715

phil8715

    Diehard

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 313 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Rishton, Lancashire
  • Interests:Mobile phones, mobile phones & mobile phones, football,playing snooker, watching poker, listening to music, reading & travel.

    Rooting and modding phones.
  • Devices:SG Note N7000, Huawei G300
  • Twitter:@philtheclaret
Took it to watch Hut in my local shopping Centre and they put a strap onto the LiveView for £3.99.

Attached Files


  • 0

#20
maniac_mouse

maniac_mouse

    Regular

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 122 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Devices:Galaxy Note 2, KFHD 7`

Took it to watch Hut in my local shopping Centre and they put a strap onto the LiveView for £3.99.


Very nice, much nicer than my jerryrigged effort at improving the strap.

Looks like we might get a v3 smartwatch from sony quite soon http://www.theregist...hanghai_launch/
Lets hope they dont screw it up this time.

  • 0

Device History: Samsung Tocco Lite (retired) , Blackberry Storm 2 (retired), Zte Blade (sold), Htc Desire (retired), Samsung Galaxy Note (retired), Kindle Fire HD 7` (current), Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (current)





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users