Sony Ericsson Vivaz Preview

Interface and Multimedia:

As we have already mentioned in the beginning, the Sony Ericsson Vivaz is a smartphone that relies on Symbian S60 5th Edition OS (now open source) that powers other devices like the Samsung OMNIA HD i8910, Sony Ericsson Satio, Nokia N97 etc. Its interface has been personalized by the manufacturer and looks identical to the version available with the software-updated Satio. Sony Ericsson’s Flash-based theme divides the home screen into 5 separate tabs and each one of them offers different functionality, like access to your favourite contacts, tweeting, browsing of pictures and videos as well as a list of several shortcuts that you can customize to your own taste. As a whole, this is certainly not a grandeur personalization pack and we would have liked to see more profound changes within the interface of Symbian S60. It´s not that we don’t like what Sony Ericsson offers really, we just want to see the OS evolve.



The rest of the interface of the Symbian^1, except for the camera and multimedia menu, is unaltered. We hope the final, retail units of the Vivaz will come with kinetic scrolling support that is unavailable on our prototype.



And now we have made it to the most interesting part of the preview – the 8-megapixel camera and HD video capture and playback capabilities of the device. First, let´s take a look at the interface of the camera. It doesn’t look stunningly beautiful and appears identical to the version of the Satio – no differences whatever. It provides a great number of options, including face detection, touch focus and geo-tagging. We would have liked to see something more colourful and in step with the lively, playful name of the device... hey, Sony Ericsson, it´s still not too late you know...



Generally, we avoid discussing the snapshot and video quality of prototypes, but we are going to make an exception this time, because the unit is probably quite close to what the retail Vivaz will offer with this respect. We must say the overall results are truly inspiring. Pictures taken in proper lighting conditions have realistically represented colors and impressive details, while the quality of the HD videos... made us hold our breath. Take a look for yourself. If the final units are equally good, the Samsung OMNIA HD will certainly have a lot of trouble with the Vivaz.




Sony Ericsson Vivaz sample videoa at 1280x720 pixels resolution

You haven’t forgotten the Sony Ericsson Vivaz plays HD videos (be it captured or other), have you? Even if still incomplete, our prototype came through with flying colors and proved to be up to the task. Well, its display is not as huge as the OMNIA HD´s, but the image quality the Vivaz delivers makes it up for the smaller size. The only thing missing here is DivX and Xvid support, but the issue can be easily fixed with the help of third-party software like Core Player... we will find out whether or not this is the case when we have had the chance to review a retail unit.



Expectations:

Sony Ericsson Vivaz leaves us greatly impressed. With its compact size, truly appealing look and more than promising multimedia capabilities, it goes to show that rich, feature-packed modern functionality does not necessarily equate to giant body. Moreover, the Vivaz obviously has what it takes to challenge the market dominance of Samsung´s multimedia monster, the OMNIA HD i8910. We just cannot wait to get our hands on a final, retail unit and share our impressions with you. A major UK carrier has already announced it will embark on selling the Vivaz in March and we hope the handset is not delayed, so we can see it in action next month.

Sony Ericsson Vivaz Video Preview:



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