49 of 55 people found the following review helpful
I was almost going to return this but then...,
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This review is from: Sony LiveView Touch Generation 2 SmartWatch Android Smartphone Accessory (Electronics)
So the story goes like this. Before buying this Smartwatch I did some research and found that expert reviewers had given it negative reviews early on however, their opinion changed to good recently. The reason being Sony released firmware upgrade and that fixed lot of issues.
I read Amazon user reviews and found more than 60% reviewers from US and UK gave this Smartwatch 3 stars and above. I looked at Pebble watch but got discouraged by its limited availability due to high demand. Finally considering all the factors and looking at Amazon price tag I decided to buy this watch.
Day 1: Charged the watch for 2 hrs as suggested by the user manual and did initial set up with my Samsung galaxy s3. As other reviewers have mentioned, watch does not come with any apps pre-installed (rather apps don’t really get installed on the watch but on the phone under Sony smartwatch app). So downloaded various Sony apps and third party apps from Google Play and started playing with the watch. I liked “Analogue clock” watch face so chose that from 3 available clocks that Sony provides.
Day 2: Even before day two started my watch died sometime in the night just after few hours of use. I charged it again and the battery was full with just 1 hr of charging. I played some more with the watch and since Sony mail app only works with Sony phones I installed one third party mail app called Mail Notification but had trouble using it with hotmail pop3. I also tried other third party notifier apps like watchit, notifysmartwatch, customnotifier etc but they all failed to work with Samsung standard mail client and did not notify me of any incoming emails from hotmail or yahoo. My watch died again not lasting even for one full day.
Day 3: I then tried trial version of Augmented Smartwatch Pro as lot of other users and expert reviews had mentioned it. This worked well and I was very pleased with it so I bought the paid version for £2.52. It does not show you the email contents on non rooted phones but gives you details about sender, subject and mail to. It gives you facebook alerts, sms alerts (shows the sms on watch), weather alert and supports various other apps from which you can get alerts like google now, google voice, google talk, skype, xabber, viber, calendar and many more and list is growing. It also supports google navigation on watch. This app is highly configurable and people even mention about how it improves the battery life of the watch immensely. I would highly recommend this app as after installing this you can get rid of various Sony apps like weather, messaging (sms), facebook, mail, calendar etc.
Watch died again. I was not sure why it was dying despite me getting rid of all these apps, using this highly recommended app, switching off all the notifications and deactivating all the widgets etc. I was very frustrated.
Day 4, 5, 6: I was very unhappy with the battery life and seriously started thinking of returning this back as the watch was great when it worked but only if battery lasted longer.
Day 7: I started searching for why this was happening and then got the answer. DON’T and I am insisting don’t use “Analog clock” watch face. This drains your watch battery as it stays on as long as smartwatch movement is detected. I recommend using “Large digital clock” watch face as that is the most battery efficient watch face. I hope Sony will change “Analog clock” watch face so that it turns off and stays off till you double tap as this is the most cool looking watch face. Sony guys if you are reading then please at least give this option to users otherwise you will have lot of unsatisfied customers.
After this change my battery lasted 5 days on single charge with all notifications on. I then activated all widgets, reinstalled all Sony apps and few third party notifier apps just to test the battery life and it still lasted 3 full days. If you switch off your watch at night then battery will easily last a week.
Conclusion: Sony smartwatch is not perfect but this is a new concept and will soon be the next best thing after smart phones. I have been using it for over a month and I love it as now I don’t miss any phone calls or any notifications. Battery life is great as long as you follow the advice of actual watch users. Yes screen is not so visible in sun light but here in UK we hardly see any sun. charging cable is fiddly as mentioned by other users and you need to make sure once connected ans showing battery charging symbol don’t move the watch else it will disconnect. Recommended apps are Augmented Smartwatch Pro for all your notifications and Endomondo for all your fitness needs. Giving it 4 stars.