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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 connects to a computer via USB cable. Installing drivers onto a PC is very easy as the necessary software is stored on the handset.

This means no messing about with CDs or going to websites to download executable files. The PC companion suite lets you move files quickly and easily between your phone and computer, but it's not essential.

The software doesn't work on Mac computers, but transferring files between the phone and computer is still possible using the handset as a mass storage device and if you know your way around a computer file then you shouldn't find it too taxing.

Sony ericsson vivaz

Setting up the Wi-Fi connection was easy enough, but assigning a default connection proved difficult. In the end we were forced to select a connection option manually each time we connected.

We also had trouble maintaining a data connection while out and about, even around central London. We often had to just abandon attempts and seek out Wi-Fi.

The phone's GPS fared a little better on-the-go, with the onboard compass proving handy when our feeble sense of direction let us down.

Comparison

Like the Sony Ericsson Satio, this phone puts all its eggs in the camera basket; but the Vivaz manages to keep its other functions up to scratch somewhat better than the Satio, thanks in part to its faster processor.

We were sorely disappointed that the Satio didn't have a 3.5mm headphone socket, so it's a very welcome addition on the Vivaz, and the touchscreen has certainly improved.

It's a shame Sony Ericsson didn't opt for a capacitive screen, but it does keep the costs down.

The ergonomic design of the Vivaz also puts it ahead of the Satio and will feature on all of Sony Ericsson's upcoming handsets.

Sony ericsson vivaz

Given the Vivaz's superior camera, sleek design, ergonomic build and user-friendly music player, it wipes the floor with Nokia's X6, despite the X6's capacitive screen.

The resistive screens of the HTC Tattoo and LG InTouch Max GW620 don't quite measure up to the Vivaz's screen which is surprisingly responsive.

Sony ericsson vivaz

Despite this we'd have welcomed a physical QWERTY keyboard in the style of the GW620, although we can cope without. It's the range and quality of apps we miss most though, with the Tattoo and GW620 both privy to Android's superior marketplace.

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.