There’s much riding on the Sony Ericsson Vivaz. It’s the touchscreen successor to the blighted Sony Ericsson Satio, which has been hampered by tales of recalls and software niggles. So how does this newbie compare? We’ve laid our hands on an early sample of the Vivaz and taken it for a spin. See what we make of it now in our Sony Ericsson Vivaz preview.
First impressions of the Sony Ericsson Vivaz are very good indeed. It’s notable just how much slimmer and tidier this handset is compared to the Satio. It’s a far sleeker design than its predecessor, which had a somewhat obese frame thanks to that 12.1 megapixel peeper.
This early production model of the Sony Ericsson Vivaz held up well in key areas, with the touchscreen pleasingly responsive and easy to use. At 3.2-inches and 640 x 360 the panel is ample for video snacking, and we were well impressed with the quality of the picture. That said, the on screen keyboard remains a sore point, with no auto correct to ensure your missives are neat and tidy. We’re hoping that once Sony Ericsson finalises the software this is fixed, but as it stands, it’s a major problem if you like sending lengthy messages on the move.
The media features really make the Sony Ericsson Vivaz stand out. The inclusion of SD support is great, with Sony Ericsson at last recognising people might switch from other devices and want to hot swap their content. Likewise, a 3.5mm jack means you can use your own cans. There’s no on board storage, but that’s not a deal breaker. The XMB UI is easy to use and shows that the Walkman side of the business has really informed Sony Ericsson’s music and movie stylings.
The biggest problem with the Sony Ericsson Vivaz, though, is Symbian. The OS was laggy and took its time getting into different menu systems and switching between the five home pages. This could be an issue with the early build, but previous experience tells us that the ageing operating system struggles even when it makes it onto final devices.
The camera, too, isn’t as good as you’d expect from Sony Ericsson. The 8.1 MP number is decent enough, but shots seemed a little washed out and HD video wasn’t nearly as crisp and clear as we’d have liked.
In all, the Sony Ericsson Vivaz shows a lot of potential. We’re hoping any troubles are ironed out ahead of its official launch, when we’ll bring you our final, definitive review.