The Sony Ericsson Vivaz knows what it is, and doesn’t try to be anything more. A touch screen smartphone running the Symbian(Series 60) operating system, it’s already in dangerous waters. Both Sony Ericsson and Symbian are thought of as unreliable, as a mobile phone manufacturer and an operating system, so the combination makes the idea of the Vivaz doubly ominous. However, the phone itself isn’t too much of a disappointment and partially redeems itself in its most amazing feature.
It is the camera features on the Vivaz that save it from being just an average unreliable model. It records in HD video, super sharp at 720p resolution. The video recordings include continuous auto focus with an additional light and image stabiliser. This is extremely impressive capacity for a mobile phone, and you can then upload your videos straight to YouTube to show them off. The Vivaz also boasts video calling, certain to become quite in demand over the next couple of years. The still camera on the phone is equally impressive boasting a massive 8.1 megapixel resolution. It also includes face and smile detection, auto-focus, an LED flash and geo-tagging due to the phone’s built in GPS.
The 3.2 inch screen of the phone itself is impressive enough at a resolution of 360 by 640 pixels, but is not quite enough to view your videos at full HD resolution. You’ll have to upload them to a computer for that, or if you have a HD TV you can use the TV-Out to view them on a big screen. Although the system is fully touch screen operated with no physical buttons, an interesting and quirky feature is the handwriting recognition, although this doesn’t really serve any real purpose.
Music wise, the music player on the phone is adequate and has a 3.5mm audio jack so you can use third party headphones. For storage, microSD memory cards of up to 16GB are supported and there is also an FM radio. The built in GPS works with Google Maps and also comes with a little bonus in the demonstration licence of Wisepilot turn-by-turn navigation software, quite an original addition.
Fast Internet access is ensured by the HSPA and for even faster connectivity you can access the phone’s Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g in enabled areas. The phone also has GPRS, EDGE, Bluetooth 2.1 and USB connectivity, with built in apps for accessing popular sites like Facebook and YouTube. This is a reliable phone with a good battery life as long as you remember to turn off features like the GPS, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi when they aren’t in use.
If you’re not really interested in the stand out camera features, this phone may not really be worth your while. However, the camera features are quite impressive so if that’s your thing then you can pick up a Sony Ericsson Vivaz as soon as possible.