Mobile Phones Guide

Sony Ericsson Vivaz review

Preview: Sony Ericsson's Vivaz

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The Vivacious Vivaz

Vivaz Las Vegas!

Previously known as the Kurara, the latest Sony Ericsson smartphone has been renamed; say hello to the Vivaz. With Sony Ericsson's penchant for christening their devices odd names (think: Jalou, Idou, Yari and Satio), you would be glad to know the inspiration behind the name in Spanish translates to "lively" or "vivacious"

Now, the Vivaz is Sony Ericsson's second attempt at the Symbian S60 5th Edition Operating System, while the first is the Satio (launched late last year). The Satio, received lots of flack for its firmware problems that affected many units. While a fix did eventually solve the phone glitches, it came a little too late and the damage to the company's reputation had been inflicted. That said, we hope that Sony Ericsson has learnt its mistakes in process of creating the new Vivaz. So at this juncture, let us give you an exclusive first hand account of the Vivaz in our ZoneOut presentation:-

Complementing our video presentation, let's get down to the details and what you can expect out of the Vivaz. In terms of overall aesthetics, Sony Ericsson is adopting a design philosophy called 'human curvature' that was first introduced with the Xperia X10 and will become a consistent feature in some of Sony Ericsson's future smartphones. The 'human curvature' design is supposedly designed to mirror the shape of the human body. So if you don't like the design now, you are probably not going to like what Sony Ericsson has in store for you in the long run. To us, it reminds us a bit too much of another competitor's smartphone, but let's not dwell too much on the design as the phone has much more to offer as well.

In the features department, the highlight of the Vivaz is that it allows you to do record videos in 720p HD resolution at 24 to 25 frames per second. This is just like the Samsung Omnia HD but it additionally features continuous video recording in auto focus mode. This means your recording stays continuously sharp and focussed throughout your panning or any other associated movements (as shown in our mini video presentation above). Such lofty video recording capabilities ring true to the company's aim of marketing this phone as the perfect tool for recording video on the go and sharing it with the world.

Also in the mix is Flash Lite 3.0 support which includes Flash Video (FLV) support that allows the user to view webpages in its entirety, something that the iPhone does not currently have. On top of that, there is also a 3.5mm earphone jack (unlike the Satio which had a proprietary earphone jack) and TV-out capability for HD video playback on the big screen. The other features include a standard list of Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, HSPA connectivity, microSD support, stereo FM radio with RDS, accelerometer, A-GPS and more. With all these features thrown in, it comes as a surprise that the Vivaz weighs in at only 97 grams and measures a sleek 107 x 51.7 x 12.5mm, which is extremely pocket-friendly.

With so much capabilities built into this petite phone, this might be the answer to those who've been wanting what the Omnia HD could do, but on a much more favourable and light form factor.

The Sony Ericcson Vivaz will be available in the first quarter of this year which means expect it to be launched by March. Pricing, though it's not official, will be slightly above the rumoured S$1000 which is about the same price as the Samsung OmniaHD when it was first launched. The Vivaz will come in four colours namely Moon Silver, Cosmic Black, Galaxy Blue and Venus Ruby.