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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

Our Verdict

The Vivaz Pro feels like a phone that's been pushed out too early - it falls apart on far too many areas at too high a price to be considered in the same breath as the other heavyweights


  • Phsyical keyboard
  • Decent music player
  • Compact design


  • Cheap casing
  • Laggy UI, Slow browser
  • Over-complicated menus
  • Resistive screen
  • Average keyboard

The Sony Ericsson Vivaz Pro is a phone that's designed for the 'power-user' - there's no other way to look at it given that it's pretty much a Vivaz with a full QWERTY keyboard on the back.

The only other obvious change is a lower resolution camera bolted on the back - 5MP rather than 8MP, but it still records in HD.

The phone itself is designed to fit dinkily in the hand, and compared to the original Vivaz it's an impressive effort - if you weren't aware it's packing a keyboard it's unlikely you'd know it at all.

The QWERTY keyboard slides out with a slightly rough motion - it's not as slick as other devices we've played with, although the slide mechanism opens with a nice clunk if you use it in both hands.

Sony ericsson vivaz pro review

The phone feels a little plasticky in the hand as the chassis is devoid of any metallic casing, instead relying on a curved plastic exterior. It makes sense that Sony Ericsson has taken this route, as it's likely quite hard to get metal to follow the 'curvature' of the human hand, as this handset is designed to do.

The screen is a 3.3-inch resistive effort, with three plastic buttons on the bottom to open the menu and answer/terminate calls.

Sony ericsson vivaz pro review

However, as you can see in our pictures, the terminate key has snapped in half, and not even through any misuse such as dropping it - it was just day-to-day pocket dwelling that caused the damage.

Sony ericsson vivaz pro review

On the right-hand side of the phone there are two buttons for the camera, one for the snapper and one to open the camcorder. The up/down key is designed to be a zoom button, clearly, as Sony Ericsson has given us a little clue by putting a magnifying glass on the side.

You see what we did there? Magnifying glass, clue... oh, don't worry.

Sony ericsson vivaz pro review

The other side of the phone is pretty sparse, save for a rubberised micro USB slot and the 3.5mm headphone slot.

The latter is rather annoyingly placed, as it means you have to put the phone in your pocket sideways to use headphones unless you want to break the end of your cans off.

Sony ericsson vivaz pro review

We can see why Sony Ericsson has done this with the Vivaz Pro, as the top is just too curved to hold a 3.5mm slot, but still, it's a little irritating.

The back of the phone has the camera (surprisingly) which, as you can see, has also got a hairline crack through the middle.

Sony ericsson vivaz pro review

This damage happened within a week of use with the phone - we could just be unlucky with our model, but we've tested over 100 phones here and we've rarely seen this much damage.

The lock/power button is also located on the back of the Vivaz Pro - we assume this is meant to be the optimum position to hit when holding it in the hand.

Sony ericsson vivaz pro review

However, it's a small button with very little travel, so trying to unlock the phone is a little too hard one-handed; we frequently found ourselves having to bring in another hand (thankfully, we had one spare) to help out.

While the Vivaz Pro is nicely proportioned, it doesn't feel too high quality in the hand and the position of some of the buttons is a little suspect for easy operation.

In the box

Sony Ericsson has put a decent amount of goodies in the box for the Vivaz Pro - there's an 8GB microSD card in there for starters.

Sony ericsson vivaz pro review

On top of that you get a USB microSD adaptor for your computer (another nice touch) as well as a micro USB lead with wall plug adaptor for powering or connecting your phone up that way.

There's also a manual in there too - but given the Vivaz Pro has a pretty good help system throughout the phone it's not really needed.

Other than that we're only given some average headphones that double as a handsfree kit - you'll be upgrading these as soon as possible if you want quality audio.