Sony Ericsson Vivaz review: Viv A-to-Z

GSMArena team, 09 February 2010.
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Introduction

Sony Ericsson is an alliance of two tech giants and with phones like the Vivaz it shows. It’s a gadget all the way, one that will galvanize geeks and charm the regular user.

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Sony Ericsson Vivaz official photos

A whole bunch of point-and-shoot cameras today boast 720p video recording, but are they not an endangered species feeling enormous pressure on both sides? For one, there are compact video recording DSLRs pushing down with competitive price tags, and then cameraphones are eating into compact camera territory with comparable still image resolution and video capture.

Eight megapixel still images and 720p video with continuous auto focus make the Sony Ericsson Vivaz a predator of point-and-shoot cameras. The Vivaz is not just a cameraphone though, it’s a smartphone as well – a tricked out Symbian running on a 720MHz CPU with a 3.2” nHD display to show it all off. That’s all in a package more compact than any combination of a stand-alone camera and a phone you can think of.

High-end smartphones have a long history of trading compact size for cramming in one feature more than the competition. The Sony Ericsson Vivaz strikes a perfect balance between being compact and feature-full – great news for anyone who doesn’t appreciate the recent craze of smartphones the size of a table… umm… tablet.

Key features

  • 3.2" 16M-color resistive touchscreen of 640 x 360 pixel resolution
  • 8 megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash, face and smile detection, geotagging and touch focus
  • HD 720p video recording @ 24fps with continuous auto focus
  • Symbian OS 9.4 S60 5th, topped with a custom-brewed homescreen and media menu
  • 720 MHz CPU, PowerVR SGX dedicated graphics accelerator
  • Quad-band GSM support
  • 3G with HSDPA 10.2Mbps and HSUPA 2Mbps support
  • Wi-Fi and GPS with A-GPS
  • microSD card slot (up to 16GB, 8GB card in the box)
  • Built-in accelerometer
  • Turn-to-mute
  • TV out
  • Stereo FM Radio
  • microUSB and stereo Bluetooth v2.0
  • Web browser has full Flash support
  • Preinstalled Wisepilot navigation software
  • Office document viewer
  • Decent audio quality

Main disadvantages

  • No camera lens protection
  • No auto mode for the flash/video light
  • LED flash not powerful enough
  • The S60 5th edition UI isn't to the best in class standards
  • No proximity sensor sensor to lock the screen during a call
  • No DivX or XviD support out-of-the-box
  • No smart or voice dialing
  • No office document editing (without a paid upgrade)
  • No stereo speakers
  • No digital compass (magnetometer)
  • Videocalling uses only the main camera (no secondary one)

The feature list leaves very little to complain about, so is it time retire your old compact camera and make the jump the Vivaz? That’s what we’ll try to find out. As for its performance as a smartphone the list of key features suggests smooth sailing most of the way.

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How the Sony Ericsson Vivaz stacks up against he competition

Hold on to your hats folks, we’re jumping into the hardware part of this review.

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