Sony Ericsson Vivaz review

In its first product announcement for 2010, Sony Ericsson introduce us to the fresh and distinctive curves of the Vivaz. Its designer look and feel immediately captures the imagination in a way previous models failed to do. Thank you, SE for trying something different.

The first of a range of ergonomically designed 'Communications Entertainment' phones for 2010, the Vivaz (like the Satio) runs the latest Symbian OS, but tweaks and improves the UI. The 3.2" resistive touchscreen feels more finger responsive than rivals (no stylus!), and displays 360x640 pixels in clear, 16:9 widescreen format, ideal for video playback.

Five sliding panels form the homescreen, with an animated control bar to keep you right. Everything can be reorganised and customised to where you want it, between contacts, shortcuts, picture albums, video clips and widgets.

Drawing from Sony's dual Walkman and Cybershot heritage, this is a phone for organising music and video, with a much improved MediaGo player and TV out capability. The standard sales pack has an 8GB microSD card included, essential because one touch HD video capture with continuous autofocus has arrived folks, pretty unique and an awesome feature. The standard camera is high-end too, at 8.1 MP.

Integrated networking widgets easily allow the socially mobile to share their stuff; uploading to YouTube, GPS supported geo-tagging pictures to Google's Picasa, or chatting via Facebook and Twitter. All enabled through fast 3G (HSPA) or Wi-Fi if you're in a hotspot.

The stylised design and top-notch video capture will appeal to affluent 20-somethings, and anyone who wants to social network in style. This is a boutique smartphone, not a gadget from the hardware store.

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