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Sony Ericsson Vivaz review

HD video recording - but is it better than the Satio?

Sony ericsson vivaz

This is Sony Ericsson's second effort at a touchscreen phone after the disappointment of the Sony Ericsson Satio, so there's a lot of pressure riding on it.

HD video recording is the headline grabber, but the rest of the phone needs to impress as well in this smartphone-heavy age.

We liked:

The Sony Ericsson Vivaz is lovely to hold – that ergonomic design really does pay off and the near-HD screen also plays a part in making it look and feel like a quality phone.

The touchscreen does a great job considering it is resistive, and the camera quality is high – not solely for recording HD video; still shots using the 8.1-megapixel camera come out very nicely too.

The clean and tidy home screen pleased us, and the tabbed functions were handy for quick access to our favourite apps and media.

We disliked

For all its nice design and screen, we couldn't help but feel the chassis was still a bit too plastic, particularly the back panel which gives it a slightly cheap feel.

The Sony Ericsson Vivaz also has quite a few little glitches and niggles – not least the frustrating screen and key lock mechanism.

Also having to constantly reassure the handset that yes, we do want to connect using the default internet connection made our techno-hackles rise.

The Android-esque interface lends itself to apps, so we'd have liked to have seen more good quality, low-cost apps in the PlayNow app store, but these may come with time.

And, although it may have been one of the best resistive touchscreens we've seen, it's still not a patch on a capacitive screen.

Verdict:

For a mid-to-high range feature phone, we were pleasantly surprised by how much we liked the Sony Ericsson Vivaz.

As a phone it performed well and we were impressed with the music player and camera functions – the main features of the phone.

Such a shame, then, that little things let it down; we were constantly annoyed by the key lock function, the temperamental auto-rotate and the schizophrenic internet settings.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported16 GB
Built-in Memory95 MB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA
GPS ReceiverYes
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 2100
Rear Camera Resolution8.1 Megapixel
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
Operating SystemSymbian
Brand NameSony Mobile
Battery Talk Time20 Minute
Product ModelVivaz
Screen Size8.1 cm (3.2")
Screen Resolution640 x 360
Weight (Approximate)97 g
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Operating System VersionSymbian S60
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Height107 mm
Width52 mm
Depth12.5 mm
Radio TunerYes
Battery Standby Time430 Hour
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product NameVivaz Smartphone
Processor Speed720 MHz
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer
Manufacturer Part NumberVivaz
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sony.co.uk
Marketing Information

Life as you see it. In brilliant HD with the Sony Ericsson Vivaz phone. Since you're there to enjoy it: why not shoot and share? Place yourself in the director's chair. Or just let the camera roll. One press on the dedicated video key and you're ready to record. Volleyball on the beach. Frisbee in the park. Continuous auto focus lets you catch all the action and movement in perfect clarity. Show the world what a big shot you are. Upload your masterpieces to YouTube or Picasa via Wi-Fi.