Sony Ericsson Vivaz, analysis (II)

After a video review of the design and operation of the Sony Ericsson Vivaz, in addition to the presentation of its interesting hardware in the first part of the analysis, now we are going to talk about the possibilities of its camera, its operating system and the final conclusions about a phone quite special, of which I am sure that some will know how to appreciate its virtues.

I anticipate my conclusions saying that for me it is the most interesting Symbian phone. I am a user of the operating system but not a lover, and given the alternatives on the market, I consider that the Sony Ericsson Vivaz has important weapons to stand up, I will try to explain myself in different sections:

Sony Ericsson Vivaz, Symbian after all

Symbian S60 fifth edition runs on the circuits of the Sony Ericsson Vivaz, the tactile version of the system also known as Symbian ^ 1, we can say little about it that you do not know about being present in the vast majority of Nokia terminals on the market. It is the second Sony Ericsson phone to use it after the Satio, and both have the same customization.

The main novelty lies in a home screen made in Flash, and composed of five desks, each with a well-differentiated functionality: Twitter, contacts, image and video browser or shortcuts. You can get to know her better in the video of the first news. Once the system is known, it feels as if there are two interfaces coexisting on the phone, a detail that is a bit confusing, especially considering that neither is ideal.

Another of the great additions is the Media Suite, from it we have access to the photo gallery, a video player, and another one of music in the purest Walkman style. The general appearance of the interface of the Media Suite can remind us of the minimalist design that we have seen in PSP or Playstation 3.

The video player works really well, it shows that there is power, a shame that from the factory it does not have facilities to load DivX and XviD video on the great screen with 16: 9 proportions.

I expected some improvement in the system's web browser, but it is practically the same that we can find in any Symbian. I would highlight the on-screen keyboard, which presents with a multitude of variants, such as a mini keyboard QWERTY to use with the pointer, or one of them based on handwriting recognition, again taking advantage of its resistive screen.

The best camera is the one we can always carry

I do not think that anyone will discover that the camera quality of the Vivaz is beyond doubt, and that is that we find an 8.1 megapixel sensor accompanied by an LED flash that has little competition in the market. I could rate it as the factor that could motivate my purchase.

The surprise is not only found when taking snapshots, but in video recording it behaves almost as well. But we are going by parts, regarding the photographic section, I am in a position to say that if the light conditions are good, it is the best camera on a mobile that has passed through my hands (I suppose the Satio will be at the level).

Then I leave you with links to samples taken with the phone, they are untreated so you can check colors and noise levels, some have considerable weight, in this sense the Nokia N86 8MP compresses the images better in case we want to use them to transport them by network:

For those who like photography, it is a guarantee to carry a camera that records video in high definition on such a small mobile phone and it does not fail in practically one shot. The good work of Sony Ericsson with the software, the sensor and the optics are the keys to success.

It is a pity that they have not prepared any solution to protect the lens, which incidentally is located in the center of the rear area. An original but also smart situation, since we can pick up the phone without fear of covering the lens with our fingers.

Speaking of situation, we find two buttons dedicated to the functions of the camera (video and photo) on the right side, which, pressed for a while, quickly take us to use. Its touch is perfect, with a slight press we focus, and pressing we take the shot. With the volume key we access the digital zoom.

An example of panoramic mode:

My reference in quality in the field of mobile phones is the Nokia N86 8MP, of which I am a user, and I must admit that in color and clarity the Sony Ericsson wins the game, when the lighting situations are complicated, the Nokia and its Variable aperture seems to me more capable.

Where there is no doubt that it is the winner is when recording video, it does so in 720p format at 24 images per second with constant autofocus. In good condition and if we have good manners, we can obtain videos worthy of devices dedicated to these purposes. Obviously we will need a lot of storage memory, about 100MB per recorded minute.

A couple of videos in the original format of the camera, in 720p quality:

If you can not or do not intend to download the videos, I leave you below an embedded in which some fluidity is lost, but it serves to give us an idea about the recording quality:

Two more example videos: I - II

In order not to elaborate further you can check how the camera interface looks in the video that accompanies the first part of the analysis, we can activate / deactivate the microphone, play with the exposure parameters or choose the recording mode in a simple and tactile way . In the photographic section there is no lack of panoramic mode, geolocation, tactile focus, or the detection of faces and smiles.

A couple of examples of touch focus, the same shot in which I only marked on the screen which area I wanted it to focus on:

The only real downside I find in the set is the poor visibility of the screen outdoors, which will not make things easy for us to frame the shots. When we are demanding, we will say that the flash is not very powerful either, and it does not work automatically.

Sony Ericsson Vivaz, a remarkable phone

I will not go on to explain how contact management works, which is already quite mature in Symbian, but it seems important to me to value it as a phone itself, where Sony Ericsson moves like a fish in water, since the Sony Ericsson Vivaz is a remarkable terminal for sound quality.

It sounds pretty good, maybe a little low volume, but in this sense I have not had any more complaints, nobody will be disappointed in this regard. To this we add complete connectivity, a contained size to have a 3.2-inch screen, and excellent autonomy, which we have discussed in other sections.

I think this is not the most appropriate section to comment on, but I would like to report that the speaker included in the phone is not stereo, as we can find in cheaper solutions such as the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic, despite this it has enough power.

Conclusions and alternatives

The phone asks for like eating Symbian ^ 3 (the savior of the platform on paper), a capacitive screen like that of the Nokia X6 16GB, and a Xenon flash like that of its older brother Satio, then it would be up to the best, in addition to continuing to fulfill its main objective, to be a multipurpose phone.

The first twist was given by the company with the Pro version of the device, which all it has done is incorporate a QWERTY keyboard into the phone, and although it seems that the trend is to use physical keyboards, I honestly do not think there is been the best option.

In any case, the shots are not badly given, because the phone works in the market, together with the Xperia X10 they have achieved that the quarterly results of the company have been positive after years.

Of the powerful Symbian phones on the market, Satio or Omnia HD, to take a couple of examples, I would choose the Vivaz without hesitation, it is smaller and has practically the same capabilities. Satio is not even capable of recording in 720p format, a question that the Samsung does. Also with respect to its older brother it has standard connectors, although the screen is smaller.

If the camera is not an important factor for us, and in the absence of knowing prices, I recommend skipping Android, the HTC Desire is perhaps the best short-term option. Conjugating a promising camera and Google's operating system we find the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10. Both phones have a screen and larger dimensions than the Vivaz.

In short, if you want a well-designed, compact phone with the ability to record HD video, separate operating systems, Vivaz can be your phone. We will end with a review of its strengths and weaknesses:

I like it

  • Remarkable camera and excellent for video in the case of a mobile phone (720p and continuous autofocus). The presence of two dedicated buttons for each mode is appreciated.
  • Good hardware, plenty of memory RAM.
  • Remarkable as a phone: sound quality and long autonomy.
  • Compact dimensions and worked design.
  • HD Video playback smoothly for power, screen quality, and TV output.
  • FM Radio
I do not like

  • Symbian S60 has lagged behind in usability and possibilities with respect to Android, and at other price levels, iPhone. Sony Ericsson's customization improves the situation but splits the phone in two.
  • The camera lens is unprotected, and the flash LED it is not very powerful.
  • We have neither stereo speakers nor digital compass.
  • Resistive screen, poor display in sunlight.

Availability in our market

The Sony Ericsson Vivaz is available in our market at a free price close to 360 euros, it is also possible to get it with the operator Vodafone or with the Movistar points program, I leave you the tables with the prices for you to do your accounts:

In Xataka | Sony Ericsson Vivaz, analysis (I).
Official site | Sony Ericsson.
Images | Flickr Kote.

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