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Mobile phones and accessories generally go hand in hand. Or at least that's the idea. But occasionally the odd gadget shows up that tends to cross into gimmick territory. Sony Ericsson's LiveView is one such add-on, says Joe Minihane.

Constantly checking your phone for the latest tweets, texts and football gossip is what smartphones are all about. But there’s no denying that even surreptitious checks can get out of hand, especially when you’re supposed to be concentrating on something other than whatever’s going down online on your mobile.

So, in theory, the new Sony Ericsson LiveView Bluetooth accessory for Android phones is a good idea. It’s about the same size as the current-gen iPod nano and can clip onto your clothes, or even be strapped to your wrist. That certainly makes changing music and keeping an eye on new texts a lot easier. But are we really in need of such an add-on?

Sony Ericsson LiveView

Pulling out a phone in a private situation can be tricky and is something we all try to do, but perhaps it’s time we stopped being so obsessed with what’s going on and realise that waiting ten minutes to check on a text or keep up-to-date with Twitter is okay! And, if we really do need to check what’s kicking off, then just get our phone out and be damned.

It’s clear that the LiveView is being billed as a solution for larger, more cumbersome Android devices, such as Sony Ericsson’s own capacious Xperia X10 and perhaps even tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Tab.

Now, with Android 2.0 and above compatibility, the LiveView will work just dandy with the latter. But don’t forget, Sony Ericsson’s Android phones are still stuck in 2009, with creaking Android 1.6 operating under the hood of the aforementioned X10. At least release an update before releasing such an accessory.

And there’s the overriding feeling that this is solving a problem that, frankly, doesn’t really exist. Yes, getting your phone out can be awkward, but are you really going to invest in this add on when you can use your hand to simply reach into your bag or pocket and check what’s going on. And if there is an urgent text, then you’ll need to reply, meaning you’ll need your blower in your hand.

As a music accessory, it is nifty, but no more so than headphones with controls for pushing through tracks. And while Sony Ericsson is without a doubt keen to big up its Android credentials, it perhaps wants to get its phones in good shape first before touting such needless accessories.

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