After much though and suggestions made by my dear readers, I finally acquired the appealing Sony Ericsson Vivaz Pro smarphone. Powered by Symbian S60v5, this 3.2inch touch screen device offers incredible features like a 5MP autofocus camera, 720 HD Video recording, WIFI (and the usual stuffs) and above all, a full fledge slide QWERTY keyboard.
Today, I invite you to read about my personal experience. I won’t be covering detailed comparison or discussing about technical aspects since this phone is my first experience of this kind. I will leave all this job to The Tech Blogger, carrotmadman6.
Hardware and Software
Weighting only 117 grams and 15mm thick, the Sony Ericsson Vivaz Pro is one of the slimmest smartphones with a full QWERTY keyboard and pumped up with most of the latest technologies found in the market. Unlike its big sister, the Vivaz, this phone comes with this famous keyboard and equipped with a 5MP camera instead of the initial 8MP.
One of my greatest fears prior owning a touch screen smartphone was my big fingers pressing simultaneous keys and icons for each tap.
I feel that the choice for this specific device was rightly made, the whole smartphone tailored just for users like me. The large rubber keys are equally distributed over the slide, with adequate spacing to make the user experience pleasant. As for the resistive touch screen, I never thought that I would love it to this extent. In addition to the physical keyboard, the user can also opt to have a virtual numeric or a QWERTY keyboard and a handwriting recognition feature.
Thanks to the phone’s accelometer, you can do incredible things, among ; muting the ring tone or the alarm simply by turning the phone over. I even came across one application which displays the degree of inclination of your car (or anything else) wherever you place the device. “Ils sont fous ces développeurs!”
I read that the screen is scratch resistant. I don’t want to test it lol. The device came with a screen protector, so I will leave it like that, at least for now.
Despite the pleasing and trendy look of the phone’s rear view, the back cover of the phone feels somewhat cheap and fragile. Personally, I will try to avoid frequent openings to remove the bundled 8GB microSD card, the 1200mAh battery or the SIM card.
The wide range of free applications available on the net makes the user experience enriching. Although the operating system is quite old, it hasn’t disappointed me till now. As we say in creole : “Dans vieux marmite ki faire bon carry!”.
The 720MHZ processor runs the operating system and the applications smoothly. However, the phone complained a few times about the low RAM available while running several applications despite the existing generous 250MB RAM.
Customized for the Vivaz Pro, Twitter and Facebook apps are readily available on the default standby screens. You can choose to use the Facebook app in landscape mode while using the large buttons of the specially designed user interface. However, the app currently has a small login issue.
The workaround? Tap on Connect while using the good username and a wrong password. Wait for the login error. Now use your username and the correct password to get access to Facebook. According to Sony Ericsson, they are working on a fix right now.
Uploading pictures and video on Facebook and Youtube can be done via dedicated menus available. That’s for sharing stuffs. Sony Ericsson and Symbian have clearly dedicated much effort to this social networking aspect of this smartphone.
The 5 mega pixels camera did not disappoint me. It delivers up to my expectations! The only downside is the LED Flash which has to be enabled via the menus prior before use. Anyways, the flash is not really useful.
The focus is quick and precise. A few scenes mode are available : Auto, Macro, Beach etc. The camera also offers a touch focus mode in which you tap the screen to show where you want the camera to focus. Pretty cool!
Here’s a quick video shot in HD mode and directly uploaded to youtube via the phone’s wifi connection :
In fact, the camera was The determining factor which made me chose the Vivaz Pro over the HTC’s Touch Pro 2. A few hours before the purchase, I decided to forget about the Windows Mobile 6 and the 3.6inch screen of the HTC mainly because of the discouraging camera reviews and bad photo samples.
I have an old S60v5 powered device, so what? I can still do practically anything with it. Just name it!
To tell you the truth, I am quite disappointed with the sound quality. I believed that Sony Ericsson was always good at these things. It seems that I won’t be able to enjoy the stereo sound of my previous Nokia N73.
And to make it sound more serious, Sony Ericsson even forgot to include a built in equalizer. They had to release a separate app!
Purchased from an US-based eBay store, the total cost for the device is approximately Rs12,500 (including Shipping and VAT). If you read my earlier post, I planned to spend only Rs10,000 but however, I did not hesitate to invest 25% more. Since I opted for an Express Mail International shipping service, the device was in my hands exactly 7 days after the purchased. Unlocked, the phone came with its charger, an ear piece and a 8GB microsd card.
I heartily thank all those who participated in the “Choosing my next mobile” blog post. Your reviews, criticisms and suggestions were very helpful for assessing the strong and weak points of the various smartphones. Thumbs up!