Pros and Cons – Sony Ericsson Vivaz

The Sony Ericsson Vivaz is a Device that certainly splits Minds. Some like it, some hate it with Passion. I see myself in the Middle, with a slight Drift into the Haters Side to be honest. I took this as a Reason and decided to do something my good Friend and highly respected female Blogger Rita El Khoury likes to do and do a List of Likes/Hates about the SE Vivaz!

Vivaz backside

7 Reasons why the Vivaz stands out:

The Camera: The Camera is a Win for Sony Ericsson. They have always been close to the awesome Quality of Nokia’s Cameras. They have come a long way and were constantly improving and the Video Quality is a Result of that. 8,1 Megapixel plus LED Flash (read about that in the hate Section as well) and 720p Video Recording at 24fps with continuous Autofocus are outstanding and definitely a selling Point for a young Generation, considering the low Price Tag of just € 330,–.  Check out my Picture and Video Samples to get the Idea.

Form Factor: Putting the Device out of the Box will surprise you. Not only is the Vivaz smaller than you might expect it. It also has this Shape  that fits perfectly in your Hand, all the Edges are curved and very nicely designed. There are some Downsides as well, which are down below.

3,5mm Jack: This is a single Feature of the Vivaz, yet deserves a special Mention. How long and how often did i complain about Sony Ericssons absolutely crap proprietary Connector, that even went on their latest Photo Flagship, the Satio!? It’s History on the Vivaz and that is a good Thing, i hope we’ll never see it coming back. Well done SE Engineers, it was about Time.

Separated Video Button: Not of a big Deal for some of you, but I’m definitely a Fan of the separated Video Button on the Vivaz. I often missed some cool Events cause i had to switch on the Camera, change to Video Mode and .. ooohh, sorry you’re too late. Not anymore on the Vivaz, a simple Hit on one of those Buttons and the corresponding Application fires up. Fantastic.

Sony Ericsson’s Symbian Homescreen: Although it has it’s Lags and Hangups, i love where Sony Ericsson is going with their Homescreen. Having almost everything on your Frontscreen reminded me a bit on the different Homescreens on the HTC Hero. My 5 Panels usually were Application Shortcuts, favourite Contacts, the cool flash-based Aquarium as kind of a Screensaver, my latest Media and just for the Interest, the Twitter Application, which is another flash-based App. I recommend this for read-only, cause quite frankly, i wouldn’t put it on again.

RAM, RAM and more RAM: over 150MB of free RAM after boot up. compared to .. uhmm.. 50 MB on N97?

Changing Standard Applications: Something i have been waiting for, for a long Time is the Ability on the Vivaz, to change your prefered Application for a certain Activity. For Example, you can choose to open Opera Mobile instead of the default Internet Browser, to surf on the Web, or choose Resco Photo Viewer to view Pictures, instead of the built in Sony Ericsson Gallery. Awesome awesome and awesome.

8 Things why I’d like to throw the Vivaz against a Wall:

Vivaz Notification Light
Vivaz Notification Light

Material Choice: As noticed in my twitterized Thoughts about the Vivaz, the Material Choice on the Vivaz is absolutely poor. The Device feels very plastic, and is a Fingerprint-Magnet par excellence. I love the Colour Choices though, Cosmic Black looks fantastic with it’s blue Touch when the Device is in Sunlight.

Software Problems: It seems like it’s a Tradition for Sony Ericsson to bring out Devices with rather poor, laggy Software. The Vivaz is said to have a faster, 720MHz Processor built in, but it is rare that you actually notive it. I had especially Problems in the Messaging Application, text messaging was a pain when you had to wait about 5 seconds to open the Message after you received it. No, i didnt have 1000 Messages stored and no, i didn’t have a lot Apps running.

Low Memory Warnings!? This would fit in Software Problems, but i wanna point my Finger on that, slam the Phone against the Wall and do an Elbow Drop on it. I was sitting with a Friend of mine in a Coffee Shop the other Day and tried to do some Pictures with the Sony Ericsson Vivaz. Guess what happened – i got low memory warnings. Low Memory Warning. In 2010. I did a Check on all the Apps opened and it was only Opera Mini opened. WTF?

Lack of Media Upload Options: By default, the Sony Ericsson Vivaz supports 4 different Services to upload to: Blogger (for the Bloggers out there), Facebook, Youtube and Picasa Web. Notice something? No Twitter. No Flickr. Share on OVI would be asked a bit too much, but what makes me cringe, is the fact that i haven’t found out a way to add a new Service. What happens if you hit “New Web Album Service”? PlayNow Arena gets launched with not a single Clue what to do with it.  I wasn’t able to get Pixelpipe on the Vivaz either. I consider this as a huge, massive Fail.

Resistive Touchscreen: This is, of course, a personal Thing, but i just need to mention it. I find Sony Ericssons Touchscreens to be extremely bad in terms of response and reaction. You often end up hit up a letter or menu point again, simply because your first press wasn’t good enough. I personally prefer capacitive Touchscreens a lot more, but Sony Ericsson: If you wanna know how a GOOD resistive Touchscreen should work, have a very close look on the Nokia N900!

LED Flash Chaos: Okay, before there will be a Xenon vs. LED Discussion again: The Vivaz has never intended to be a Photo Flagship by any means. but what it’s said to be is a Video Flagship, sporting an impressive 720p HD video recording. What confuses me a lot is this: Why the Hell can’t i switch on/off the LED while recording a Video, i mean, my god you can’t even shoot a picture with automatic LED Flash support? So before you go out and shoot a Video/Picture in the Dark, make sure you a) don’t expect too much by the rather weak single LED Flash and b) don’t forget to head into the Options and activate the Flash before you do anything. This is downright stupid.

weird T9 System: On resistive Screens with Symbian S60 5th Edition, my normal Text Input Method is the numeric Keyboard with T9 Support, which works great, just like you know it from say, Nokia Devices. I usually prefer this as the full QWERTY, especially on the small Vivaz Screen has made me a lot slower. The Thing is here, that the Vivaz (i’m talking about german language setting at least here), for example, does not remember some of the Words i store it, neither some Emoticon Combinations. I even had the letter “m” sometimes when i was hitting the “1” Button?  A minor Problem, but i write a lot of Txt Messages and i found it rather annoying.

a Joke of a Notification Light: At first i thought the Vivaz doesnt have a Notification Light at all. Then, i accidentally found out this absolute Joke of a Notification Light on the SIDE(!) of the Sony Ericsson Vivaz. This small green LED is so weak that you don’t even see it without looking close and it doesnt change the Colour for different Events. I mean seriously, Sony Ericsson can do it with Ease on their low-end Devices, some of them are even configurable, so why not on the Vivaz??!!

Author: Michael Hell

Michael Hell, certified geek, mobile jedi, amateur photographer, music addict. Down to earth and always up for new challenges. Also blogging on, which is my private blog for things like Photography and personal things :) Feel free to add me on or