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By • May 19th, 2010 • Category: Mobile Phone


The Sony Ericsson Vivaz is quite the eye-catcher, fancy and feature-packed ­smartphone that is great for shooting  HD videos . Vivaz is a new mobile phone from Sony that follows on from the Xperia X10 . The Vivaz specifications sheet very impressive , with a 3.2 inch resistive touchscreen TFT display with a resolution of 360 by 640 pixels.

It features an 8.1 megapixel camera that is capable or shooting photos at a 3264 by 2448 resolution, and it has a range of features built in which include auto-focus, an LED flash, touch focus, geo-tagging and smile and face detection, it can record HD video in 720p.

The Vivaz features as Symbian OS version 9.4 S60 which also has a custom user interface from Sony, the user interface is quite pleasant to use, although we didn’t find it as responsive as the UI on the Xperia X10 we reviewed previously. Other vivaz features includes a stereo FM radio, a web browser with full support for adobes flash, some pre-installed navigation software, WiFi and GPS with A-GPS, plus there is a built in accelerometer.



Sony Ericsson Vivaz SPECs:

TYPE: CANDY BAR 3G smartphone

CAMERA: 8.1-megapixels

DISPLAY: 3.2in touchscreen (360 x 640-pixel resolution)





EXPANSION SLOT: MicroSD (up to 16GB)

BATTERY: 1,200mAh lithium-polymer

STANDBY/TALK TIME: 430 hours/540 minutes

OTHER FEATURES: A-GPS, media player, 720p HD recording

DIMENSIONS (w x h x d): 107 x 52 x 12.5mm



Sony Ericsson has really made an effort to make the Vivaz look good. It really is a sexy little number — slim, smooth, shiny and silver. The contrast of the dark blue side panels with the silver back ­panelling gives off a science fiction film vibe, almost as if laser beams will shoot out at any given moment or that you can communicate with extra-­terrestrial beings.

Even the shape of it screams futuristic. It does not look like any phone in the market right now, especially not like the dated ­candybar phones.

Moving on, the touchscreen is responsive and if you tilt the phone horizontally or vertically, the screen will rotate accordingly.

There are shortcuts on the ­homescreen too to access ­frequently called numbers, text messages and media files.

The Symbian OS is similar to the one on Nokia phones so if you are familiar with that, then using the Vivaz will be easier.

Multimedia madness

The Vivaz is really for the ­multimedia enthusiasts among us — those of us who want to capture life and ­memories that we experience ­without the need to lug around extra ­devices.

The Vivaz has an 8.1-megapixel camera that can also do 720p HD recording. It is simple and quick to do either as there are two separate buttons on the Vivaz for taking pictures or video.

Vivaz rear view:
You can do simple editing so this allows some creativity that will make using your mobile phone camera fun. Not only that, it can also easily upload media to web-based photo albums or video ­sharing sites.

One of the best things about taking videos and pictures on the Vivaz is its 3.2in widescreen display. You can clearly see what you are going to do since the screen is so generous and definitely makes the Vivaz a pleasure to use as a ­multimedia recording device.

One of the coolest functions of the camera is the Touch Capture mode. Simply touch the screen of the object you would like to take a picture of and the camera takes the photo.

Viewing images and videos on the Vivaz is awesome because you can simply browse through the gallery with a touch of a button and you just need to swipe across the screen to see the next picture or video.

Sound-wise, the Vivaz produces clear and crisp tones but one must remember that bass will always be lacking on such devices.

Good for applications:
There is a built-in basic Twitter client that you can access from the ­homescreen of the Vivaz. You can also install a Facebook application and an e-mail client.

Basically, if you can find an ­application that supports the Symbian S60 version 5 then it should work on your Vivaz. I installed ­various applications with ease.

The phone comes with an A-GPS so it works pretty well with Google Maps. It came with Wisepilot but somehow, it just did not want to work well when I tested it.

There are three ways to enter text into the Vivaz. There is a virtual Qwerty keypad, ­handwriting ­recognition and alphanumeric keypad.

Personally, I selected the Qwerty keypad but it may not be the best option. Sometimes the response was slow or when I typed too fast, it would miss letters.

Long life:
The battery is quite long lasting on the Vivaz. When left untouched for three days, with some missed calls and text messages in-between, the phone still showed 95% battery life.

However, if you run demanding applications or surf and do a lot of text messaging, the phone will last you two days tops.

The Vivaz hung on me several times unfortunately. Maybe it’s because I tried to do too many things and the phone just couldn’t keep up and would just hang and I would not be able to receive calls.

A full restart, switching the phone off and on again will solve the problem.

Speaking of web browsing, the phone comes with its own web browser that is really awful to use.

You may want to install another web browser as the one that comes installed with the phone is clunky. I hated how I had to zoom in to see a page every time. Text messaging on the Vivaz was torturous for me.It may be because I am used to a physical Qwerty keypad.

Typing was difficult and not as snappy as I would have liked it to be. The keys were small and using both thumbs on the keypad was a nightmare. I had to use the edge of my fingernails most of the time.

It frustrated me a lot since I was trying to arrange a surprise birthday party with the Vivaz. It did its job, just that I got annoyed at it since the cutting and pasting functions were buried inside its menus and directories.

The Sony Ericsson Vivaz looked really promising and its ­multimedia features are impressive. The phone is great for shooting images and capturing videos, and has a long ­lasting battery.

However, it may be sleek on the outside but on the inside it has too many hidden folders, menus and directories.

If you use its multimedia ­functions then it is good but if you intend to do other things like surf the Web, you might feel it’s a little clunky.

It was love at first sight but the Vivaz was just let down by the Symbian OS which is a little slow and complicated to use.

Pros: Slim and futuristic design; great for 720p HD video recording; 8-megapixel camera.

Cons: Sluggish performance; virtual keypad too tiny.

Review unit courtesy of Sony Ericsson Malaysia, 1-800-88-9900


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