Feb 27 AT 2:23 PM Edgar Cervantes 25 Comments

One great thing about Android is the fact that we have access to a slew of accessories. Accessories can offer unique enhancements that our smartphones can make great use of within our personal lives. Video recording is one of the main functions for which people like to have their phones handy, but there haven’t been many good video recording accessories in the mobile industry until LooxcieCam – one of the better accessories we saw at CES.

While there are other good alternatives, this video camera looked much more promising due to its great portability and casual nature. Most of the competition tends to be aimed at active lifestyle personalities (unlike many of us), but this is where the LooxcieCam differentiated itself from the rest: it seems to be aimed at the regular consumer. As mentioned, it offers easy portability for casual use, but it also offers more social interaction.

After spending two weeks with this product, I can say that it has been one of the most fun accessories I have used, (and we’re giving you all a chance to win a Looxcie 1 so you can see for yourselves what Looxcie has to offer). But first, let’s get into the details of the latest from Looxcie.

Form-Factor and Wearability

To summarize it in a few words, the Looxcie 2 is a portable and casual social camera that records your viewpoint. It looks much like your regular Bluetooth headset (and can also be used as one), and the f 2.8 lens video camera points directly where you are facing. When worn in a casual environment, it will look more natural than most other wearable cameras, which only look normal when snowboarding, biking, etc.

The device looks like an elongated headset with a camera at the end. It features an on/off switch on the side that faces your cheek (if worn on your ear), and also features three buttons. These consist of a recording button, a call button and an “Instant Clip” button, (the latter being for creating, saving and sharing your videos which works in conjunction with the LooxcieMoments companion app).

The device also comes with different sized earbuds and loops to have more of a universal fit for everyone. The device’s hoop works very well for its purpose. While it is not as comfortable as a standard Bluetooth headset, it has a great grip and maintains the camera facing forward. It would be a bit of an annoyance to have to keep moving it and setting it straight while shooting videos, otherwise. Plus, you get used to the different feeling after a bit. I am not used to wearing anything in my ears, so it could have just been me.

There is also an array of extra accessories available (sold separately) that you can use when it is less convenient to have it in your ear. These include mounts, straps, tripods, lenses, cases and chargers. But let’s jump more into the review and go over the main details.

Video Recording and Quality

Users can record using the camera as a stand-alone device, or by using the LooxcieCam application. When using the application, you can preview what the camera will be recording. I found the application the most useful for setting the device to record correctly (except if you wear it a bit crooked, then that can impede on the quality of the video). You can also change the lighting options and view or download the clips.

The device is able to record video at 480p (30 fps) when used as a sole recording device. If used with LooxcieMoments, there is an option to record at 360p (15 fps), as well. This happens to be one of the main complaints about the device – the fact that it does not record HD videos.

Other wearable cameras are able to record at 720p or higher, but it must be taken into account that the competing devices are also much less portable. HD recording capabilities would affect both portability and sharing functions (uploading an HD video takes much longer). Similar devices lack the social features that this camera has. Sharing videos with your friends is a breeze when using the Looxcie 2.

Even if we put the resolution aside, though, the camera is not the best compared to other DVD quality recording devices. It is good enough for what it is – a simple, portable social device. But we found that the videos tend to be grainy. And depending on what you are doing with it, the shaking can really blur and affect quality. If you consider the success of the Flip video cameras, though, maybe the convenience of the device is the more important factor when it comes to deciding if it will work for you.

Even if the camera recorded at 1080p, the grainy effect can make the experience worse than if it was a clear 480p video. Here are some samples so you can take a look at this yourself.




Bluetooth Headset capabilities

As already mentioned, the device doubles as a traditional Bluetooth headset. Being able to talk on the phone with this device definitely makes it a more enticing product. You can simply invest a bit more with Looxcie to get a wearable camera along with standard Bluetooth capabilities.

I would use it to talk on the phone for about 30 minutes (not continuous and with different people) a day. I found that the sound quality was not bad compared to other Bluetooth headsets I have used in the past. People on the other end also claimed to hear me loud and clear. The background noise is noticeable, though. This may bother some people, but I find it to be at least somewhat helpful since complete silence in between sentences makes me feel like the call dropped.

One of the features that really impressed me was the fact that you could answer calls while recording videos. The recording continues, but doesn’t capture any sound as to keep your conversation from interrupting your progress. Sound will be picked up again once you hang up.

Social Features

Looxcie cameras come with two companion apps; LooxcieMoments and LooxcieLive. Both are meant for sharing, but the first works with social networks, while the other is a streaming service. There is also a desktop program that will allow you to change the settings and manage your content. Let’s take a look at them individually:

LooxcieMoments

While the LooxcieCam app revolves around recording videos, LooxcieMoments provides a portal to your social life. When using this application, you can record a video (in both definitions) and then share it with the world via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and e-mail.

This application (much like the others) is very straight-forward. The app gives you a preview of what the camera is recording, and you can view and manage the videos. After setting up the application with your e-mail account and your social networks, you can share your videos with ease – simply long press on the video of your choice and share away.

It is in this application where that “Instant Clip” button becomes handy. At any point during the recording, you can press that button and share the last 30 seconds that have been recorded. This is useful for those times when you just have to share in the moment.

If the “Instant Clip” feature isn’t what you need, you can just go to the “Video” section where you can see everything that the camera has recorded during that session. After choosing the “New Clip” option in that section, you can select what part of the video to save while the rest can be discarded.

LooxcieLive Beta

This app is still under Beta development, but I have to say that it is pretty fully functional. I found no issues while using it, but it does lack some features.

You can view and broadcast live video to friends, but only if they have the app installed. In order to access this application, users have to create a LooxcieLive account. After that, you can simply add and invite friends by inputting their e-mail addresses.

Once that is set, however, it is simple to view and share broadcasted videos with users utilizing the application (broadcasting requires a Looxcie device). The videos get saved in a server, from which they are accessible at any time, (both by yourself and your friends).

Another main issue I found with this app is that it seems impossible to download the saved clips. This is still a Beta service, though, so this feature should be available later on.

The app also features a chat messaging service, which can be used while recording. I thought a cool addition, though, would be the ability to voice chat while recording video. It seems logical – especially since the application is already able to do video recording and calls simultaneously.

Main issues with the apps

Putting aside the few features that LooxcieLive Beta lacks, the selection of apps have been great. There is a bit of a caveat, though. While all the apps are awesome, it would be preferable if there were more parallelism between them.

All three apps could be integrated into one single app. The separation of services has its purposes, but it also seems like this can greatly affect your experience. For example, I found that it doesn’t seem to be able to record stand-alone video right after using LooxcieMoments.

In order to do this, I had to open the LooxcieCam app, and then record regular video. This seems to be an issue with the settings, as they are also separated in the desktop client. You can’t choose video resolution options for both LooxcieCam and LooxcieMoment recording. While it is not much of a deal-breaker, it can become an inconvenience if you don’t have quick access to the computer (or smartphone).

It might also be important to note that all applications require Android 2.2 or higher. Fortunately, this means that most of you will be able to use them according to the latest distribution report.

Battery Life, Price and Internal Storage

Battery life is better than expected for such a compact device. It sports a 365 mAh battery, and can last up to about 4 hours of continuous recording (at 320p resolution). Of course, I never managed to record that amount of video. I found myself using the device as a Bluetooth headset more so than a camera.

Usually, I would leave it on most of the day, with some recording here and there. I always managed to get through the whole day with a single charge, except for the days when I recorded the video above, in which battery life would be a bit under 2 hours. This is recording at 480p.

There are two available versions of the Looxcie 2: one with 5 hours of video storage and another with 10 hours. The exact storage capacity is 4 GB and 8 GB, respectively. The 4 GB version goes for $149.99, but only an extra $30, (bringing your cost to $179.99), will double your storage space.

Another enticing feature is “Video Looping.” When recording on LooxcieMoments, you are able to keep recording even after the memory runs out. The new clips will replace oldest ones. This comes in handy if you know what you’re about to witness is going to happen fast, and will be far more interesting than what you’ve previously recorded.

Conclusion

Looxcie 28 / 10

I gave the Looxcie 2 a score of 8 due to its few downsides, but there are mostly good explanations for them. Most of my complaints about the applications are due to me being a bit nitpicky, and the lack of HD recording is easily overshadowed by its portability and sharing features. This took away one point.

The other point is due to the video quality. We certainly understand that this is not meant to take great videos – and we are ok with DVD quality – but we have certainly seen other cameras record much better 480p clips. As mentioned, it works great for what it is, but we would have really liked to see the video be a bit less grainy and have smoother sequencing.

Other than that, the Looxcie 2 would be good for those that like to share videos of their life with their friends and family – not only for its social capabilities, but because it works great when worn in your ear to record your point of view.

I personally would not find much use for it. I don’t usually record anything, and my phone’s video recording quality is more than enough for the times that I do. But some users may find it convenient, especially since you can make calls with it. I simply would not use it enough to record videos to justify its price. I also can’t justify the price for many Bluetooth headsets, though.

The Looxcie Cam isn’t exactly the cheapest, but a good quality Bluetooth headset can go for over $100. If you are already planning to get one of those, I would say the inclusion of a camera is worth the extra ~$50 bill (but if you’re looking for top-notch footage, you may need to shop around). As a wearable and discrete camera, it is very hard to beat the Looxcie 2.

Link: Looxcie Cameras and Accessories on Amazon

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Bonus: Looxcie 1 Giveaway!

If you’re interested in trying out a LooxcieCam, we have three Looxcie 1 cameras up for grabs for three lucky tweeters. It records at 460p (15 fps) or 320p (30 fps) resolution, and has an f 2.8 lens with 62-degree field of view. The battery life is said to be the same as the Looxcie 2 camera, 2-4 hours of continuous recording, as well as 6+ hours of talk time. The Looxcie 1 also has access to the apps, LooxcieMoments and LooxcieLive Beta, so the experience should be similar to what you saw in this review.

If you want to score one of these, you just have to send a tweet like the one below (or make your own). All you need to do is include mentions to both @androidandme and @LooxcieCam. Also, you don’t have to, but it might be smart to follow both @androidandme and @LooxcieCam to make sure we can send you a direct message if you win.

This contest is only available for US residents. Winners will be announced on Tuesday afternoon. Good Luck!

Images via Corita Cazares with Creative Commons

Hello, I am Edgar Cervantes. I am an avid Android fan, and keeping myself updated on the topic is part of my daily life. I will always work hard to give the best of me to our community of Android enthusiasts, and I am very honored to be part of this ship. Hopefully we can all enjoy sharing our knowledge and opinions!

    Most Tweeted This Week

  • thekaz

    Hmm.. wonder how my wife would feel about one of these…

    • spazby

      hahaha

      • Dan

        why is the above comment down voted??

        • Angel

          I’m guessing because no real words were used and it’s not a legitimate comment about the product or article…. just a guess…

    • http://ArtisticAbode.com BetterWithRoot

      …depends on what you are recording…

      • CJ LaFleur

        gigity gigity, alright!

  • Topher

    I LOVE my Looxcie (1) – I’ve used it here and there, but it was most useful at my kids’ birthday parties and Christmas. Can record their moments without hiding behind the camera. Really great.

  • Angel

    I’m sorry but no sale! The lack of an HD option in this day and age is simply inexcusable. Please note that I said ‘option’. The user should at least have the option to have a HD setting if they need it. It also needs to be able to be used in LOW light situations, or it’s going to become a grainy toy rather quickly. Love its portability, but NOT at the expense of true functionality.

    • e.friedman1992

      Lol, alright. While you’re over here being grumpy. I’m gonna go over there and play with my new futuristic, head-mounted, badass-looking camera.

  • Vance

    I want this for my daughters! My 2 year old is too clever now and always knows when I am recording with my phone or tablet and instantly stops acting like her brilliant, natural self and instead starts clamoring up to see the video I’m trying to record. This would be perfect for us!

  • Tyler Blackk

    pedophiles best friend

    • http://ArtisticAbode.com BetterWithRoot

      I thought that was an old school Econoline van with no windows and a puppy in the back seat.

  • fletchtb

    I think it is a great concept. I would love to get my hands on one to see how I could make it fit into my life.

  • Thomas Biard

    This looks super appealing. Would be fun to play with for the first few weeks so that it can settle down into my life with regular use. I wouldn’t mind using as a safety feature on my bike rides…just in case.

  • kzlife

    Would be nice to use when I’m snowboarding.. although I’m from Europe so I won’t be able to enter >.<
    Well.. will be buying this or the go pro =)

  • Zeratoda1

    should be good for when you get “Disciplined” by the Cops you’ll Haz proof :D

  • Chad

    I almost bought the Looxcie 1 but decided not to b/c of some disappointing specs…and here comes #2…still let down Looxcie lol smh. I agree the portability factor is awesome and the main reason why I’m looking to buy one in the future but the specs are not worth the price – needs HD and if possible a built-in stabilizer like the Sony Bloggie Touch. If it had those 2 things and decent GB’s I buy one in a hot minute! My brother and I go longboarding so capturing cruising and bombing hills would be great and Looxcie seems the best choice but just not yet I guess. Here’s hoping the Looxie 3 finally delivers or some other brand comes out with better deliverables and great portability.

    • Xroid

      Go Pro HD2 is your best bet IMHO, My son uses his for MX, snowboarding, and his long board
      It has great 1080p HD or you can choose lower quality settings for smaller files. It is in a water proof to 10 meters case, image stability is incredible and it has a great wide angle lens. And it has a ton of accessories and mounts. .

      • Angel

        Thanks Xroid, I checked out the Go Pro HD2 and it takes amazing videos (check out YouTube). The company seems to make a lot of different products so I’m sure one will fit in nicely. Just need to double check how it is in low light situations. My whole point before was that presumably anyone who is interested in a product like this wants to use it to make memories. What good are those memories if they are grainy like the LooxcieCam videos are? On a 4 inch by 4 inch screen they might look OK but on a regular TV then any of its sharpness will disappear. With video it’s the end result that counts, and that means at least 720p, but these days there’s no excuse for not offering 1080p. I just looked at a pair of sunglasses that records in 1080p so form factor isn’t an excuse anymore. From what I’ve seen the specs of the LooxcieCam are around 2 or 3 years behind the times. I’m sure they’re a good company and all but I wouldn’t spend my hard earned money on this product when other companies are offing much better tech in theirs. Since this is a product that you spend money on I’m just trying to be realistic. Thanks for the heads up about other products in the marketplace.

      • Chad

        Thanks I’ll check it out. I did little research when the first one came out but I never did go back to do more research and now I see they have newer models out so I’ll be sure to check em out!

  • http://htcsource.com Nick Gray

    The concept of the device is amazing, but they really need to put out an HD version. If out smartphones can record video in 1080p, why can’t a dedicated camera record in at least 720p? They also been to do something about the audio quality. Use the stereo microphones for active noise cancellation so that we don’t have to hear the wind then we’re on a run or bike ride.

  • delinear

    It’s a really nice idea, where I’d love this most is on my daily commute though. The number of people I see driving like maniacs always makes me wish I had some kind of dash cam, this sounds like the next best thing :)

  • iSuriv

    I have the Looxcie, I’m in the MWC recording, surely someone will recognize me, the flaw he has is not recorded in HD, but soon I’ll buy it

  • yankeesusa

    The looxcie 1 is a sleek looking device. Maybe the price will go down so I can give it a try. This would be great if it was hd so I can do a video of me on montu or shiekra at busch gardens.

  • MikeO

    So um… Who won?

  1. Hmm.. wonder how my wife would feel about one of these…

  2. TopherGuest 3 years ago

    I LOVE my Looxcie (1) – I’ve used it here and there, but it was most useful at my kids’ birthday parties and Christmas. Can record their moments without hiding behind the camera. Really great.

  3. AngelGuest 3 years ago

    I’m sorry but no sale! The lack of an HD option in this day and age is simply inexcusable. Please note that I said ‘option’. The user should at least have the option to have a HD setting if they need it. It also needs to be able to be used in LOW light situations, or it’s going to become a grainy toy rather quickly. Love its portability, but NOT at the expense of true functionality.

    • Lol, alright. While you’re over here being grumpy. I’m gonna go over there and play with my new futuristic, head-mounted, badass-looking camera.

  4. I want this for my daughters! My 2 year old is too clever now and always knows when I am recording with my phone or tablet and instantly stops acting like her brilliant, natural self and instead starts clamoring up to see the video I’m trying to record. This would be perfect for us!

  5. Tyler BlackkGuest 3 years ago

    pedophiles best friend

  6. I think it is a great concept. I would love to get my hands on one to see how I could make it fit into my life.

  7. This looks super appealing. Would be fun to play with for the first few weeks so that it can settle down into my life with regular use. I wouldn’t mind using as a safety feature on my bike rides…just in case.

  8. Would be nice to use when I’m snowboarding.. although I’m from Europe so I won’t be able to enter >.<
    Well.. will be buying this or the go pro =)

  9. should be good for when you get “Disciplined” by the Cops you’ll Haz proof :D

  10. I almost bought the Looxcie 1 but decided not to b/c of some disappointing specs…and here comes #2…still let down Looxcie lol smh. I agree the portability factor is awesome and the main reason why I’m looking to buy one in the future but the specs are not worth the price – needs HD and if possible a built-in stabilizer like the Sony Bloggie Touch. If it had those 2 things and decent GB’s I buy one in a hot minute! My brother and I go longboarding so capturing cruising and bombing hills would be great and Looxcie seems the best choice but just not yet I guess. Here’s hoping the Looxie 3 finally delivers or some other brand comes out with better deliverables and great portability.

    • XroidGuest 3 years ago

      Go Pro HD2 is your best bet IMHO, My son uses his for MX, snowboarding, and his long board
      It has great 1080p HD or you can choose lower quality settings for smaller files. It is in a water proof to 10 meters case, image stability is incredible and it has a great wide angle lens. And it has a ton of accessories and mounts. .

      • AngelGuest 3 years ago

        Thanks Xroid, I checked out the Go Pro HD2 and it takes amazing videos (check out YouTube). The company seems to make a lot of different products so I’m sure one will fit in nicely. Just need to double check how it is in low light situations. My whole point before was that presumably anyone who is interested in a product like this wants to use it to make memories. What good are those memories if they are grainy like the LooxcieCam videos are? On a 4 inch by 4 inch screen they might look OK but on a regular TV then any of its sharpness will disappear. With video it’s the end result that counts, and that means at least 720p, but these days there’s no excuse for not offering 1080p. I just looked at a pair of sunglasses that records in 1080p so form factor isn’t an excuse anymore. From what I’ve seen the specs of the LooxcieCam are around 2 or 3 years behind the times. I’m sure they’re a good company and all but I wouldn’t spend my hard earned money on this product when other companies are offing much better tech in theirs. Since this is a product that you spend money on I’m just trying to be realistic. Thanks for the heads up about other products in the marketplace.

      • Thanks I’ll check it out. I did little research when the first one came out but I never did go back to do more research and now I see they have newer models out so I’ll be sure to check em out!

  11. The concept of the device is amazing, but they really need to put out an HD version. If out smartphones can record video in 1080p, why can’t a dedicated camera record in at least 720p? They also been to do something about the audio quality. Use the stereo microphones for active noise cancellation so that we don’t have to hear the wind then we’re on a run or bike ride.

  12. It’s a really nice idea, where I’d love this most is on my daily commute though. The number of people I see driving like maniacs always makes me wish I had some kind of dash cam, this sounds like the next best thing :)

  13. iSurivGuest 3 years ago

    I have the Looxcie, I’m in the MWC recording, surely someone will recognize me, the flaw he has is not recorded in HD, but soon I’ll buy it

  14. The looxcie 1 is a sleek looking device. Maybe the price will go down so I can give it a try. This would be great if it was hd so I can do a video of me on montu or shiekra at busch gardens.

  15. MikeOGuest 3 years ago

    So um… Who won?