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

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With a heritage in music-playback devices like the Walkman, we always expect Sony-branded products to have an advantage over other handset manufacturers on the media side of things.

Usually we're a little disappointed, with previous Sony Ericsson handsets using the proprietary Fast Port headphone connector, last seen on the Sony Ericsson Satio.

Sony ericsson vivaz

We're glad to say that Sony Ericsson has done away with the Fast Port connection on the Vivaz, which houses a 3.5mm headphone connector flush to the left-hand side of the handset, bringing the brand squarely into 2010.

The music player interface on the Vivaz is also much more user friendly than older Sony Ericsson offerings like the clunky W205.

With a slick interface complete with animated background, the monochrome player plays host to all the traditional options – artists, albums, playlists, audiobooks and podcasts, as well as your own voice recording files.

Sony ericsson vivaz

Artists are arranged alphabetically, and while it's a shame that artwork doesn't appear in this list to give it a bit more colour, the artwork is available in the album list view and during playback.

Creating playlists on the fly is also very simple if you fancy a compilation approach. We did find the music a little bass-heavy at times – sadly there is no equaliser function to try and remedy this.

A handy widget on the home screen keeps you up to date with track names and offers easy access to skipping tracks when you have music playing in the background.

The media player makes switching to video playback or the photo library very easy as it's all part of the same application. Going to a video simply pauses the music playback, so you can return to the same place later.

Sony ericsson vivaz

Sound quality when playing music through the handset itself is less tinny than we've come to expect from phones at this level, although it is still a little crackly and no substitute for headphones.

Using a pair of Sennheiser in-ear headphones gave audio playback more depth and less audible noise.

The Sony Ericsson Vivaz also has an FM radio player located in the Apps folder. You can set this to play either through the headphones or the phone's loudspeaker but you have to have headphones plugged in throughout as they act as the antenna.

Sony ericsson vivaz

It's not the most intuitive radio player we've used, with radios on even very basic handsets like the LG Brio proving easier to use.

You can leave the radio playing in the background while using other functions on the Vivaz, but it's not possible to record the sound, as is offered on the Samsung Jet.

The onboard memory is around 75MB, but that won't store much alongside an HD video file, so the Vivaz can support up to a 16GB microSD card and comes with an 8GB card in the box.