Sony Ericsson Vivaz Pro review

Take one Vivaz, add a keyboard and suddenly, you're a pro

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

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The Sony Ericsson Vivaz Pro might be tipped to be one of the smartphones to take on the best HTC and Apple can throw at it, but sadly it falls to pieces when it comes to elements like the internet.

Firstly, it's based on the standard Symbian web browser we've seen for a number of years now. It's essentially the same one used on older Nokia phones from 2005 with some evolution and tinkering to fit onto a touchscreen, but it hasn't come far enough in our opinion.

The first thing you'll notice is the amount of data it sucks up - almost 1MB for most websites it's trundling through, with the exception of mobile-optimised sites.

Sony ericsson vivaz pro review

Not only does this mean you'll be worrying if you're on a fixed data tariff (although if you only use the mobile internet and a bit of emailing you're very unlikely to touch a 500MB limit) but the speed is also a little too slow.

Compared to the whizziness of the iPhone, the internet browser on the Vivaz Pro crawls along, resulting in a poor experience.

Sony ericsson vivaz pro review

Add to that the resistive screen making it very hard to hit links unless you zoom right in, and we found ourselves almost desperate for a stylus at times.

The text reflow option is also missing - on other smartphones like the HTC Desire, when you zoom in closer on text, the words will rearrange themselves to fit the screen to prevent you scrolling left and right.

Sadly, this isn't the case with the Vivaz Pro, meaning you either have to squint or constantly swipe the screen to see what Perez Hilton has to say for it/himself these days.

Sony ericsson vivaz pro review

That's not to say the browser doesn't have some charms - you can subscribe to RSS feeds from within a web page if supported and the phone will remember web addresses you've previously entered.

It does support Flash Lite, which means some websites will play, such as the full version of YouTube – but with no full screen option and no ability to reposition the screen to sit where you can actually see the video, it's not overly usable.

Sony ericsson vivaz pro review

It might not be Sony Ericsson's fault, more the fault of Symbian in general, but this internet experience is really poor for a new smartphone. Slow and packing a complicated menu, unless you install a new browser like Opera Mini, this simply isn't good enough.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.