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Sony Ericsson Vivaz Review

Sony Ericsson Vivaz

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We have finally made it to the truly interesting part, the 8-megapixel camera, the HD video capture and playback functionality. Let’s first take a look at its rather mirthless and boring interface design that is virtually the same as the version running on the Satio. The available options are quite a few indeed, including several shooting modes, face and smile detection, touch focus and geo-tagging. The thing is the interface can get really sluggish at times, in which case it needs several seconds to respond to your commands. This is an irksome issue that may effectively prevent you from taking an interesting snapshot in case you need to react fast.

Camera interface - Sony Ericsson Vivaz Review
Camera interface - Sony Ericsson Vivaz Review
Camera interface - Sony Ericsson Vivaz Review
Camera interface - Sony Ericsson Vivaz Review
Camera interface - Sony Ericsson Vivaz Review
Camera interface - Sony Ericsson Vivaz Review
Camera interface - Sony Ericsson Vivaz Review
Camera interface - Sony Ericsson Vivaz Review

Naturally, image quality is of far greater importance than interface. The snapshots taken with the Vivaz are, however, not what we expected. Aside from the proper details, all other aspects of the pictures are… mediocre – purple fringing and thin, surreal colors. At least there is no perceptible image distortion. All told, the image quality is downright disappointing alongside of snapshots taken with the Samsung OMNIA HD.

Outdoor samples shot with the Sony Ericsson Vivaz - Sony Ericsson Vivaz Review
Outdoor samples shot with the Sony Ericsson Vivaz - Sony Ericsson Vivaz Review
Outdoor samples shot with the Sony Ericsson Vivaz - Sony Ericsson Vivaz Review
Outdoor samples shot with the Sony Ericsson Vivaz - Sony Ericsson Vivaz Review
Outdoor samples shot with the Sony Ericsson Vivaz - Sony Ericsson Vivaz Review
Outdoor samples shot with the Sony Ericsson Vivaz - Sony Ericsson Vivaz Review

Strong light - Indoor samples - Sony Ericsson Vivaz Review
Medium light - Indoor samples - Sony Ericsson Vivaz Review
Low light - Indoor samples - Sony Ericsson Vivaz Review
Darkness with flash - Indoor samples - Sony Ericsson Vivaz Review

Strong light

Medium light

Low light

Darkness with flash


Sony Ericsson Vivaz sample video at 1280x720 pixels resolution

Fortunately, the HD videos we took are detailed and their image and sound quality are really good, so there is at least one aspect in which the Vivaz excels and is truly competitive alongside of its archrival. It’s a great thing that the built-in Wi-Fi supports DLNA, meaning the pre-installed Media Server application will allow you to see pictures and videos you have captured directly onto your TV-set screen (if it supports DLNA, of course) and without any cables.

It’s about time we told you about the HD video playback features of the Sony Ericsson Vivaz and if it’s any good at the task. In a single word, the handset is awesome and marvelously handles MP4 files coded with MPEG-4 codec, at resolution of 1280x720 pixels, 30 frames per second and high bitrate (in the vicinity of 4,200 Kbps…, that’s right, this is not a mistake). During our tests, we didn’t evidence even a single hang-up or dropped frame. Well, the display is not as large as the one the Samsung OMNIA HD is equipped with, but the image quality the Vivaz delivers makes up for the smaller size. The only missing feature is DivX and Xvid support, but the issue can be addressed easily – just get software like Core Player. We have to admit that Sony Ericsson has done their job properly and the Vivaz is brilliant at HD video playback.

Video playback - Sony Ericsson Vivaz Review
Video playback - Sony Ericsson Vivaz Review
Video playback - Sony Ericsson Vivaz Review

Many people love listening to music while travelling, working out in the gym or being preoccupied in a host of different activities. Of course, the Sony Ericsson Vivaz can be used as a music player - it is equipped with 3.5mm jack and likeable Flash interface that we know from previous models of the manufacturer. It offers a number of options, save one – equalizer. Sony Ericsson has recently addressed the problem, however, and released a dedicated application for the Vivaz that can be downloaded from PlayNow.

Music player - Sony Ericsson Vivaz Review
Music player - Sony Ericsson Vivaz Review
Music player - Sony Ericsson Vivaz Review
Music player - Sony Ericsson Vivaz Review

Although Sony Ericsson has successfully fixed the afore-mentioned annoying issue, the boxed headset (the Sony Ericsson HPM-60/J) is flat out awful – the sound through it is overly quiet, lacks whatever bass frequencies and trebles are muddy and hard to distinguish. However, the sound quality improves drastically the second you plug-in a proper earphone set, say the Sony Ericsson MH500 that comes boxed with the Xperia X10 (pronounced basses, easily discernible high-range frequencies). The moral of the story is you better keep away from the boxed headset and get a proper pair if you intend to use the Vivaz as an audio player.

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PhoneArena rating:
8.5Excellent
Display3.2 inches, 360 x 640 pixels (229 ppi) TFT
Camera8.1 megapixels
Hardware
720 MHz
Size4.21 x 2.04 x 0.49 inches
(107 x 51.7 x 12.5 mm)
3.42 oz  (97 g)
Battery1200 mAh, 13 hours talk time

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