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 is surprisingly short on applications out of the box – whether this is to push users into using the PlayNow Arena, we don't know.

The main ones on show are Facebook, a native client built for Symbian touch phones, Roadsync for Exchange support and SMS Preview, so you can check what's been said in a message.

Sony ericsson vivaz pro review

The latter is actually a little annoying when you operate it, as it slows the phone down and often will take an age to close so you have to wait before you can actually reply to the message.

Sony ericsson vivaz pro review

The others are fine – Facebook touch is a little light when it comes to features, and on the resistive screen hitting the right areas can be hard, especially when trying to do something like commenting.

However, Roadsync worked fine, and allowed you to get full and dynamic Exchange email running in the background, although our model wouldn't update the main server so any emails we deleted still appeared on the desktop.

Other than that, you're given a couple of mapping options: a WisePilot trial that will turn your phone into a sat nav for 30 days, which worked fine when navigating from A to B, but probably not something you would want to pay for on a phone this size.

Sony ericsson vivaz pro review

You'll also probably be glancing enviously at your friends who get free sat nav on Android and Nokia smartphones – so perhaps give that one a miss.

You can also use Google Maps as an option – the Symbian variant is updated pretty frequently by Google and isn't too bad at all, although as you can see from the connectivity section it isn't too great at tracking you.

Sony ericsson vivaz pro review

It also keeps asking for a new connection if one drops out, which happened a little too frequently, and this can get really annoying when you just want to see where you are.

The PlayNow arena is pretty awful too – not only are there very few free apps to download and play with, but the majority of stuff on there seems like it should be from the late '90s. Do we really want to pay money to download themes to our phones?

Sony ericsson vivaz pro review

It also doesn't support movie downloads, which we thought was a key function for Sony Ericsson phones – on top of that, once more it's pretty hard to navigate with the resistive screen.

Downloading songs costs £3 per track too – it's a shame, as get this portal right and you'll have an instantly better app store than Android and the iPhone with all the content types available.

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.