Sony's wristwatch remote for Android phones

A remote control for Android smartphones that can be worn as an accessory on your wrist is coming soon.

As smartphones get bigger--consider the pocket-busting Motorola Droid X and tablet-phone hybrid Dell Streak--do they need a remote control of their own? Sony Ericsson thinks so.

The phone maker's new LiveView is a watch-size, Bluetooth wireless remote that works with most Android handsets, allowing you to view text messages, Facebook and Twitter posts, RSS feeds, missed calls, and other vital information that's readable on a 1.3-inch screen.

LiveView, which sports a 128 x 128 pixel OLED display, can be worn as an accessory while your phone stays safely tucked away in a pocket or bag. For business users, particularly those hurrying through a crowded airport while lugging bags, a smartphone remote may prove handy.

Then again, LiveView's micro display does limit its usefulness--a drawback for an accessory expected to cost around $110 when it ships in "selected markets" in the fourth quarter.

LiveView is compatible with phones running Android 2.0 and above. It includes a clip, wristband, and a MicroUSB charger. The device will run about four days between charges, Sony says.

The device has buttons and a touch frame for user interaction. LiveView has some handy features, including the capability to find a misplaced phone. It lets you remotely control your Android device's music player too.

One drawback to LiveView: It's yet another mobile device to carry around. Similarly, the gizmo is tiny and easy to lose, particularly on a business trip. Does your phone need a remote?

Contact Jeff Bertolucci via Twitter: @jbertolucci or at jbertolucci.blogspot.com.

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