Sony Ericsson Vivaz pro review: HD gets a Pro flavor
Modern always-on web-connected generation need so much equipment to get through the day it’s a small wonder they don’t have to lug tool bags around – the small wonder in this case is the Sony Ericsson Vivaz pro. It’s a full-featured smartphone with a QWERTY keyboard for great messaging and 720p video recording, all in an impressively compact body.
The term “cameraphone” emerged soon after pictures taken with a mobile phone began to look less like impressionist paintings and more like actual photos. Today we’re at a point when 5MP are nothing to write home about.
So, this here pro is the lesser cameraphone of the Vivaz pair. And “camcorderphone” does sound clumsy. But if competing phones are any indication, 5MP stills and 720p video is quite an exciting combo.
Less attention grabbing, but no less useful is the hardware QWERTY keyboard. Sure, there are plenty of phones around with a full keyboard, but how many of them can match the Sony Ericsson Vivaz feature set?
To answer that, we need to know what those features are of course, so here’s the traditional list of pros and cons.
- 3.2" 16M-color resistive touchscreen of 640 x 360 pixel resolution
- 5 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 b/g; DLNA
- GPS with A-GPS support
- microSD card slot (up to 16GB, 8GB card in the box)
- Built-in accelerometer; Turn-to-mute
- TV out
- Wisepilot navigation software preinstalled (30 day trial)
- Four-row QWERTY keyboard
- Office document viewer
- Stereo FM Radio with RDS; TrackID
- microUSB and stereo Bluetooth v2.0
- Web browser with full Flash support
- Decent audio quality
- Camera downgraded from 8MP on the regular Vivaz
- No camera lens protection
- The S60 5th edition UI isn't the best in usability
- No auto locking of the screen during a call
- No DivX or XviD support out-of-the-box
- No smart or voice dialing
- No secondary videocalling camera
The scales are swinging both ways. A point in favor of the Vivaz pro is the mature Symbian platform. It cannot hide its age and is struggling to catch up with the best in business. But it’s been around since the dawn of time (the time of smartphones that is), which makes it well supported and very reliable.
The QWERTY keyboard, the document viewer and the ActiveSync support are real must-haves for the business crowd. High-quality photos and videos may be a teenage thing but they can help be creative with a presentation too.
Another way to look at the Vivaz pro is as a great travel companion. Posting status updates on Twitter and Facebook is a breeze thanks to the keyboard and dedicated apps. And so is uploading 720p videos to YouTube. There’s even voice guided navigation included.
Follow us on the next page to explore the hardware of the Sony Ericsson Vivaz pro and find out how the form factor and keyboard affect handling.