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Sony Ericsson Vivaz review

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

The definitive Sony Ericsson Vivaz review
The definitive Sony Ericsson Vivaz review

Our Verdict

A nice enough HD-recording phone, but too lightweight on features and too slow to be considered a decent buy


  • Nice feel and ergonomic design
  • Crisp LCD screen
  • Camera easy to use
  • HD video recording
  • Easy to set up
  • Comfortable level of customisation


  • Can be slow and glitchy
  • Resistive screen
  • Poor app selection
  • Internet settings never remembered
  • Extremely unintuitive screen lock

The Sony Ericsson Vivaz is the HD-video-shooting successor to the Swedish-Japanese firm's flagship Satio model.

With an 8.1MP camera that can also record 720p HD video, it is designed to thrill YouTube-rs with its easy video upload features as well as the bundled 8GB memory card for ample storage.

The touchscreen phone has been ergonomically designed to fit the contours of the hand and with social networking and multi-media features galore, the Sony Ericsson Vivaz is set to give the likes of the Nokia X6 and the LG InTouch Max GW620 a run for their money.

The handset itself has been ergonomically designed and does feel really nice to hold.

Also read: 15 best mobile phones in the world today

The curve of the back fits nicely into the palm and although it's a light handset, the Sony Ericsson Vivaz doesn't feel insubstantial. It has an abundance of very smooth surfaces, so we did find we dropped it quite a few times.

Sony ericsson vivaz

Aside from the LCD display, the handset is very plastic-heavy and does leave something to be desired in the design department.

Available in four different colour combinations, we tested the Sony Ericsson Vivaz Moon Silver with silver back panel with dark blue sides.

The touchscreen is resistive, unfortunately, but it's probably one of the best we've seen and gives the LG InTouch Max GW620 a run for its money.

Although it's not as smooth or accommodating as the capacitive screens found on handsets like the iPhone and HTC Legend, it is still quite responsive and swiping through menus doesn't require much pressure on the screen.

Sony ericsson vivaz

There is a sensible number of buttons on the Sony Ericsson Vivaz. The call, end and menu buttons are on the front of the handset, with volume/zoom and two camera buttons on the right side panel, and power/lock on the top.

However, the latter can be a little fiddly to hit when holding the Vivaz in one hand, with some juggling needed - this means you run the risk of dropping it.

Sony ericsson vivaz

We're glad to see a 3.5mm headphone jack and microUSB port, given Sony Ericsson's previous love for its proprietary Fast Port connector instead of a basic headphone socket.

In the box

The Sony Ericsson Vivaz comes with the basics – a plug, separate USB to microUSB cable to connect to the plug or to your PC, a pair of Sony Ericsson headphones and a standalone stylus.

The headphones don't come with sponge ear buds, nor in-ear fittings to accommodate different sized ears, but do double as a handsfree kit thanks to the built-in microphone.

Sony ericsson vivaz

Given the HD recording function of the handset, Sony Ericsson has also seen fit to include an 8GB microSD card - we would have preferred some inbuilt storage too, but at least this is a generous addition.