We previewed the Vivaz just a few days ago and really liked it. The Vivaz pro is exactly the same device with just a full QWERTY keyboard added and a slightly watered down 5MP camera (HD recording is still here). The good news is that the increase in size and weight is minimal. Here again, our main gripe is because of the “Z” key is exactly below the “A”, which will bring some discomfort to those used to a computer keyboard. In order to have the slimmest profile possible, the keys do not travel a lot when pressed, but still the overall experience was more than decent.
For those not visiting our site on a daily basis, the Vivaz is a high-end smartphone utilizing Symbian S60 5th Edition OS (also known as the Symbian^1) that comes with the same personalized interface the software-updated Sony Ericsson Satio delivers. Alongside of the latter, however, the Sony Ericsson Vivaz is much more compact, features 3.2-inch display, has lesser weight and relies on its multimedia functionality as well, not just its camera. Similarly to most cell phones of the same class, the Vivaz features Wi-Fi with DLNA, GPS, accelerometer and HSDPA, but also comes with 720MHz processor and OpenGL ES 2.0 support to sweeten the deal.
To sum things up – we liked the Vivaz and we definitely dig the Vivaz pro too.
Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini and X10 mini pro
Sony Ericsson also announced two “compact” versions of the X10. The X10 mini is without a keyboard and X10 mini pro has a slide out full QWERTY one.
The X10 mini is a really small version of the X10 … well not really. The new device could be just easily called X11 or something like this, as the differences are many and pretty much the two devices have not a lot in common if you do not count the Android OS. Naming it X10 mini is pretty much a marketing trick as the X10 became very popular and got a lot of media coverage before even its official launch which is expected to be sometime in March. Being different does not mean we did not like the mini a lot. Some of you following the mobile phone industry closely probably still remember a company called Neonode and their N2. The company no longer exist, but the X10 mini brought the N2 image in our heads the first time we saw the mini. The X10 mini is not really that small, but tiny enough to be one of the smallest smartphones.
The X10 mini felt very well in our hands. Its back is similarly curved like the X10 for a better in hand feel. There is a slight difference in the buttons and where the charging port is situated between the mini and pro. More important, the keyboard only adds 1mm. Despite the small keys, the keyboard felt well and was quite usable. Our only gripe is about the “Z” which is exactly below the “A” which requires some more time getting used to it.
Shrinking the display size required complete redesign of the personalized used interface. The home screen has four shortcuts situated in each corner of the screen. They of course can be personalized to start whatever you want. Different widgets can be enabled as well.
Just like the X10, the mini and pro feature Timescape which allows you to view Twitter, Facebook, SMS messages and other activities from your contacts in one place. Both new phones lack Mediascape though which is like a centralized media hub.
Overall, we are very pleased with both the X10 mini and X10 mini pro. We are happy to report that despite the small size (2.55"), the screen resolution is 320x240, allowing them to run all Android apps. In a nutshell, if you want a small, but still full featured smartphone, the new SE offerings are something to consider.
Sony Ericsson Aspen
The Sony Ericsson Aspen is the company’s first GreenHeart smartphone, meaning it’s into the eco-friendly idea. It runs Windows Mobile 6.5.3, but has a rather small 2.4-inch resistive screen, which as you may guess, is too small these days. Sony Ericsson has decided to personalize the interface with SPB Mobile Shell 3.0 – a good move by our standards.