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Sony Ericsson Vivaz review

HD video recording - but is it better than the Satio?

Our Verdict

A nice enough HD-recording phone, but too lightweight on features and too slow to be considered a decent buy

Product features

  • Built-in Memory : 95 MB
  • Rear Camera Resolution : 8.1 Megapixel
  • Battery Talk Time : 20 Minute
  • Screen Resolution : 640 x 360

View full specification

For

  • Nice feel and ergonomic design
  • Crisp LCD screen
  • Camera easy to use
  • HD video recording
  • Easy to set up
  • Comfortable level of customisation

Against

  • Can be slow and glitchy
  • Resistive screen
  • Poor app selection
  • Internet settings never remembered
  • Extremely unintuitive screen lock

The Sony Ericsson Vivaz is the HD-video-shooting successor to the Swedish-Japanese firm's flagship Satio model.

With an 8.1MP camera that can also record 720p HD video, it is designed to thrill YouTube-rs with its easy video upload features as well as the bundled 8GB memory card for ample storage.

The touchscreen phone has been ergonomically designed to fit the contours of the hand and with social networking and multi-media features galore, the Sony Ericsson Vivaz is set to give the likes of the Nokia X6 and the LG InTouch Max GW620 a run for their money.

The handset itself has been ergonomically designed and does feel really nice to hold.

Also read: 15 best mobile phones in the world today

The curve of the back fits nicely into the palm and although it's a light handset, the Sony Ericsson Vivaz doesn't feel insubstantial. It has an abundance of very smooth surfaces, so we did find we dropped it quite a few times.

Sony ericsson vivaz

Aside from the LCD display, the handset is very plastic-heavy and does leave something to be desired in the design department.

Available in four different colour combinations, we tested the Sony Ericsson Vivaz Moon Silver with silver back panel with dark blue sides.

The touchscreen is resistive, unfortunately, but it's probably one of the best we've seen and gives the LG InTouch Max GW620 a run for its money.

Although it's not as smooth or accommodating as the capacitive screens found on handsets like the iPhone and HTC Legend, it is still quite responsive and swiping through menus doesn't require much pressure on the screen.

Sony ericsson vivaz

There is a sensible number of buttons on the Sony Ericsson Vivaz. The call, end and menu buttons are on the front of the handset, with volume/zoom and two camera buttons on the right side panel, and power/lock on the top.

However, the latter can be a little fiddly to hit when holding the Vivaz in one hand, with some juggling needed - this means you run the risk of dropping it.

Sony ericsson vivaz

We're glad to see a 3.5mm headphone jack and microUSB port, given Sony Ericsson's previous love for its proprietary Fast Port connector instead of a basic headphone socket.

In the box

The Sony Ericsson Vivaz comes with the basics – a plug, separate USB to microUSB cable to connect to the plug or to your PC, a pair of Sony Ericsson headphones and a standalone stylus.

The headphones don't come with sponge ear buds, nor in-ear fittings to accommodate different sized ears, but do double as a handsfree kit thanks to the built-in microphone.

Sony ericsson vivaz

Given the HD recording function of the handset, Sony Ericsson has also seen fit to include an 8GB microSD card - we would have preferred some inbuilt storage too, but at least this is a generous addition.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported16 GB
Built-in Memory95 MB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA
GPS ReceiverYes
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 2100
Rear Camera Resolution8.1 Megapixel
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
Operating SystemSymbian
Brand NameSony Mobile
Battery Talk Time20 Minute
Product ModelVivaz
Screen Size8.1 cm (3.2")
Screen Resolution640 x 360
Weight (Approximate)97 g
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Operating System VersionSymbian S60
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
RealtoneYes
Radio Tuner TypeFM
Call FeaturesCall Log, Caller ID
Height107 mm
Width52 mm
Depth12.5 mm
Radio TunerYes
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product NameVivaz Smartphone
Processor Speed720 MHz
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer
Manufacturer Part NumberVivaz
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sony.co.uk
Marketing Information

Life as you see it. In brilliant HD with the Sony Ericsson Vivaz phone. Since you're there to enjoy it: why not shoot and share? Place yourself in the director's chair. Or just let the camera roll. One press on the dedicated video key and you're ready to record. Volleyball on the beach. Frisbee in the park. Continuous auto focus lets you catch all the action and movement in perfect clarity. Show the world what a big shot you are. Upload your masterpieces to YouTube or Picasa via Wi-Fi.