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Sony Ericsson Vivaz

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£10.95 Best Offer by: maplin.co.uk See more offers
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    34 Reviews
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      28.11.2012 00:37
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      Dont waste your money

      When my lg cookie broke a couple years back my step dad gave me his back up phone to use until I could afford to get a new one. This was an old brick style thing which was very basic. While it had a (bad quality) camera, good message memory, long battery life etc I'd always wanted a smart phone to replace it. Something a little less basic! Unfortunatly we've had pretty poor finances since then and i could barely afford an extra tenner let alone the amount to get a phone.
      A month or so ago my boyfriends friend came over and was bragging about his new phone, I moaned about my ancient brick and he said that he no longer needed his old phone so I was welcome to it. I happily accepted.

      I kept my old sim card which is virgin, with the phone originally being on vodafone this has meant I havent got to try out the apps so i cant comment on them but I doubt they would have been the saving grace for this phone...

      APPEARANCE
      My phone is the hot pink version. The top and bottom are hot pink. Then there is a black border around the touch scren with "Sony Ericsson" printed on the top. There are 3 silver buttons at the bottom to press. Theres also a button on top of the phone, zoom ones on the right side and two shortcut buttons to camera and media also on the right side. The rest of the phone functioning is done via touch screen.

      WHATS RIGHT WITH IT
      The inbox stores a lot of messages which is good because im terrible at deleting unimportant texts and saving important texts.
      The internet is also a good feature- its nice to be able to access REAL facebook via my mobile. This is probably standard for most people but my old phone only accesed mobile facebook so this is a bonus to me!
      There are a lot of apps if thats your kind of thing.
      The battery and sim card are pretty easy to get to all you need to do is click off the back and you can access them immediatly.

      WHATS WRONG WITH IT
      Where do I start.... The main problem for this with me is the charger doesnt connect properly (this apparantly happened within a couple of months of getting it) and comes loose very easily. I once put it on charge, left it overnight only to find in the morning it hadnt charged at all. This wouldnt bother me so much if the battery life wasn't so poor.

      Sometimes the touchscreen forgets to respond so Ill be texting and suddenly the vibration reaction will stop for about 2 minutes then suddenly return with an angry long buzz during which i cant do anything except wait for it to stop.

      Unlocking the screen just requires a tap of a button then a touch on the phone meaning the phone can quite easily unlock in your bag or pocket which isnt convinient if you end up calling somebody and using up a ton of credit.

      The start up takes ages. Much longer than any other phone I've used. Made even more frustrating by the fact its frozen on the start up screen twice before leaving me staring at the screen for 5 minutes and realising nothings happening.

      Its not very clear about when you do or not have signal. Half of my flat I dont get a mobile signal (possibly because Im in a basement flat, Im not sure). Other than occasionally saying "emergency calls only" its not very clear about when i do and do not have a signal. For instance right now i have a red flat line in place of where my signal should be however im still sending and recieving texts. It can be a bit of a nightmare waiting for a text or call only to realise I dont have any signal and my phone hadnt told me!

      Its not great for phonecalls. The speaker doesnt go particuarly loud so if your in a phonecall whilsts walking alongside a main road it can be a slight struggle to hear them. It also heats up within 10 minutes of the phonecall leaving you with a very hot, sweaty ear!



      Overall I really dislike this phone and wouldnt reccomend it at all! While i was thankful to my friend for giving me a more modern phone I still will be begging my parents for an upgrade for Christmas!

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      23.09.2012 22:45

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      Good phone, Great camera bad apps

      I first got my new sony ericsson u5 just over a year ago. When I go it I was very happy with the phone I had picked with a 8MP camera and HD it seemed that the phone had a lot of potential. That however is where it ended for the u5.

      Just after I got the u5 (not long after its release) Android was launched, the u5 runs on sybian OS. This very quickly became a problem as apps which were released for the iphone, android and Blackberry were not been released on symbian. This meant that I was unable to download many things that you think a smartphone who be able to do. Most of the apps I could find were ports meaning that most of the screen did not work or the app just would not run.

      Dispite this I kept the phone if only for the camera.

      However, lately my phone has decided to not hold charge, the micro USB post has come out, the screen for some unknown reason decides that it now wants to do its own thing (i wish to sent a text and it wants to play games)

      So what started as a good phone went quickly down partly due to how quick things change but also that even though the phone was new there was very little support or apps...Android next i think

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      31.07.2012 01:20
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      A good phone if used for the basics but could get quite frustrating if used as a smartphone.

      Being due for an upgrade on my mobile contract, and my last three mobile phones being Sony Ericcson handsets, I was offered the Sony Ericcson Vivaz (U5) at a discounted price and thought I would give it a try. It was my first ever touchscreen handset so I wanted to go with a brand I could trust. The specs of the phone were more than adequate for my needs (calling, texting, some basic apps) and it had the bonus of a HD camera.

      When I first took the handset out of the box I liked the look of it but was a bit disappointed as the casing is very 'plasticky' which looks quite cheap. You have to take the whole of the back off the phone to access the battery and SIM card. Inserting the SIM was easy work. The battery was partially charged so I was able to turn the phone on before I plugged in the wall charger.

      It took a while to start up but the screen was very bright and colours very vivid. It took me a while to get used to the touchscreen of the phone (with it being my first touchscreen phone) but once I did I got on very well.

      The menu screen was very self explanatory and the 'buttons' were well laid out. It is easy to customize.

      The contact were easy to access and call quality was good. The Vivaz got very hot during calls around 10 minutes in and this seemd to be an ongoing issue.

      You could choose from a few keyboard options for writing texts such as a mini qwerty keyboard, landscape qwerty keyboard or a number pad with predictive text. I found the landscape keyboard easier.

      Sometimes accessing the menu, or leaving one operation to go to another, i.e. accessing the settings menu after sending a text message, seemed to drag and often freeze for a few seconds. It could get quite slow. This could get quite frustrating. Also, the touch screen wasn't always very responsive and you would have to press quite hard to get a response. I also turned off the 'auto rotate' function after a while because it wasn't very responsive and always seemed to rotate too late and then take a while to rotate back.

      I was happy with the 8.1mp camera on the Vivaz even though its startup wasn't instant. I wouldn't choose it over my digital camera but it was sufficient enough for snap shots.

      The Vivaz can capture 720p HD video. I found the video to be good in well lit circumstances but wouldn't rely on it in other situations.

      Battery life was good but it was mostly used for calls, texts and the odd photo/video.

      Apps are available but I found that it wasn't that easy to download them so didn't bother.

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      03.07.2012 13:07

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      Good phone, easy enough to use, not sure if the problem with the screen is common though

      I have always been a fan of Sony Ericsson phones- having no other form of music player, this phone was good in that i didn't need an MP3 player or ipod etc as i found the music quality impressive.
      The camera was also very good, taking decent enough pictures for me to feel as thought i did not need to invest in a digital camera.
      Texting options were great, with choices of the usual 123 layout or qwerty.
      Phone calls were fine, with the sound and speakers having no faults.
      The quality of apps was great too- although i didn't really tend to purchase any due to not having much knowledge on apps available.
      However, i got to about 5 months off the end of my contract when i discovered a kind of 'bubble' on the screen of my phone (kind of like when you press on a screen and it creates a marble effect- hard to explain) which resulted in it becoming very difficult to use as it was there all the time. I would click on one thing, and it would keep clicking on random things until i had to take the battery out- for good.
      As a result, i had to admit defeat and get a new phone- the iphone 4- which is great.

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      13.03.2012 13:33

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      A bad performance from sony, AVOID

      I've always been a fan of sony ericsson phones, so when the time came that I wanted a touchscreen phone, sony was the way I went.

      The vivaz is alright aesthetically, its a decent shape to fit in your jeans pocket, its not too heavy, nor is it too flimsy, i've dropped mine a few times and have only chipped the outer coating with no other real damage.

      The camera isn't great, and the supposed HD video recording, is slow and stutter-y and altogether useless.

      Features wise... it fails miserably, there are few apps available that work with the vivaz, and those that do, especially facebook can cause the phone to very annoyingly beep for no reason every minute or so (which it turns out is the app trying to connect through an internet connection that isn't always there)

      There are many inherrant faults with the phone, a quick google search will show many with the same problems, very limited connection, slow internet, very quiet when on calls.

      And the most annoying... a fault with the touchscreen.

      Often reffered to as exorcist fault or phone possession, this is where the phone, seemingly on its own, selects links, presses keys, and does a number of other things all by itself.

      Its actually a touchscreen fault, this is very annoying when the phone is connecting to the internet, calling people and sending texts without your permission.
      Therefore using your allowance, credit, minutes / texts etc.

      It got to the point with my phone, I couldn't even use it, because it was too busy doing its own thing.

      in my opinion, sony ericsson has let me down, and itself down, and the vivaz is a blight on sony's record that is best forgotten

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      10.11.2011 23:40

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      Great introduction to the world of apps and new phone technology

      I have had the sony ericsson vivaz ruby for nearly two years on contract. Its a great phone, really great apps and features such as the track id which means you can hold it next to a song that's playing and it will tell you what the track name and artist is. The apps shop has a lot of free fun apps too. It's lightweight, easy to use and stylish. The battery life is good, I need to charge it about once every two days. The camera is amazing, such clear pictures. I have actually printed some out and they look so professional and great on my wals. The only downsides are after a while it can be a bit slow and sometimes it doesnt want to unlock, also it can be quite difficult to text. I've found with mine that it will either save the message to drafts or delete it completely which can be very annoying. I also did have a fault with the port where thecharger is plugged in. The port wouldnt connect to the charger, when I went to a repair shop the man there said it is a common fault with the vivaz. Overall I'd say it's a great introduction to the new technology about at the minute.

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      26.09.2011 21:15

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      The Sony Ericcson Vivaz is not a great phone, it turns itself off, overheats and the touchscreen is extremely difficult to use. It is not a good value phone as it is quite expensive. I wouldn't recommend this phone to anyone.

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      13.09.2011 20:31

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      this phones makes me want to cry on a daily basis

      i took this phone out on a 2 year contract when it first came out, i was attracted to it for its "super amazing" camera. i thought if i took out a good camera phone i wouldnt have to worry about getting a digital camera, only trouble is the camera is pants!

      in fact the whole phone is pants!

      after 2 months of having this phone i realised that its slow, freezes constantly, the touch screen isnt very responsive unless its in my handbag where it constantly unlocks itself and conects to the internet.
      The camera is weak, blury and so slow that it jams its self if you press to many buttons to quickly. It has even turned itself off whilst i ve been on the phone to people, and then refuses to turn back on again.

      for a few months its fine with no problems except for the camera and then all of a sudden it freaks and its really bad for a few months again. Unfortunaly i cant change it and im stuck with it for another year.

      AVoid, avoid, avoid!!

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      30.08.2011 00:17

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      Not recommended at all.

      I had this phone a few months ago, and I absolutely hated it! I got it new on a contract, and the feature I was most excited about was the HD video camera, which is a very good attribute of the phone, as it is very impressive. The first model I had stopped working, so I had to go back to the shop and exchange it for another one. Again, the next Vivaz I got stopped working! The touch screen stopped responding completely and by this point I was so fed up so I decided to get a completely new phone. The interface was very hard to use, the touch screen was very unresponsive, even before it stopped working completely. The phone certainly looks and feels nice, and the camera is very impressive, as is the flash. However, the Symbian operating system is slow and just rubbish. Simple tasks like texting and making calls were suddenly a hard thing to do, and forget attempting to play games. I do not recommend this phone at all.

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      19.08.2011 16:45
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      see review

      Having had this phone for the past 18months (I have just upgraded to the Samsung galaxy s2) I feel it is time to write a review for it. Before you get too into my review, it is important to say that it is not a review which is filled with technical data, it would definitely be improved with that information, but I'm not going to pretend to understand it when I definitely don't. So read this review knowing that it is purely based on my experience with this phone over the last 18 months.

      Looks
      One thing which appealed to me when I wanted a new phone was how this phone looks. I think it is very sleek and stylish. It has a large touch screen on the front, with silver at the top and bottom, and a silver back cover. There are three buttons at the lower end of the screen, on one side of the phone there is a camera button, a video camera button, and speaker volume buttons. On the other side of the phone there is the port for the battery charger and usb connecter. On the top of the phone there is the on/off button. At the back of the phone is the camera, this is fairly small and fits in well with the style of the phone.
      It is quite a light phone, with curved edges at the top and bottom, making it easy to hold.
      Overall based purely on the looks of this phone I will give it - ""8/10""

      Camera/Video
      I like using my phone for the camera features, this phone has an 8.1 mega pixel camera, which sounds good. The camera also has a flash on which you can set on/off yourself. By pressing and holding the camera button on the side of the phone will allow you to take a picture. You can also access the camera mode from the main screen and menu. Unfortunately I am not a very technical person when it comes to technology so I can only tell you my thoughts and opinions and not the mechanical structure etc of the camera on this phone.
      To be able to take a good picture on this phone you need to hold it very still, as I found I took a lot of blurry pictures, the flash is ok but I was always left disappointed with any night time shots I might have took. I have took a few nice pictures on this phone at the beginning when I had it, however my photos never seemed to be as good as other pictures taken on camera phones, so towards the end of my use with this phone I barely used the camera feature.
      The video tool on this phone is also OK. Its nothing special, but not terrible. If you are in good well-lit places then you can probably get a good couple of minutes footage. The sounds also comes out quite good and clear from a video you have shot.
      If you are looking for a phone purely for the camera/video features then I wouldn't recommend this one. For the odd use now and again then I would say it is more than adequate.
      Viewing the photos is quite clear and the colours and quality of a good picture are really good to look at. However it's just getting that picture which is a hard task.
      Overall I will give this- ""7/10""


      Battery Life
      This is where this phone really let me down. Even when I first had it I found the battery life to go down really quickly. I have had other sony ericcson phones before and the battery life had been good, so this is definitely a negative point to this phone. I only really used this phone for mainly texting, using the wifi and other simple feature like checking the calender, calculator etc. The batterys life is indicated in the top right hand corner and when fully charged has about 7 bars of strength on. When this got down to about 3 bars of strength then it's time to panic! It just seems to go from about 3 bars of battery to 1, and when you reach 1 then you need to run to your charger asap! If I used my phone about 50% then you might be lucky to get 1 and a half days use. However if you use your phone more often then you would need to charge it everyday. (Having now got a smartphone I have heard that's its common to have to charge it daily, so this may not pose a problem to you, but I would recommend getting an emergency charger if you use it a lot).
      One feature about the actual battery charger which I like is that the usb lead is attached to the charger, this was good for me as it saved me losing one of them.
      To fully charge the phone when it is completely dead would take a couple of hours. If you did let it die completely then trying to get it to switch back on even when its plugged into the charger could be a real pain and took a while.
      Overall battery life gets- ""4/10""


      Memory
      I found that there wasn't much storage on this phone without a memory card, luckily for me I have a memory card from a previous phone which I was able to use, which definitely let me save a lot more things than the phone would originally hold. If you are planning on taking lots of photos, saving lots of music etc then I would definitely recommend getting a memory card. I have a micro SD card, 8GB which has been great especially as I got it free with another phone! I did tend to save most things to the memory card to make life easier when I wanted to transfer them.
      The phone can save lots of messages and at one time I think I had about 2000 messages in my inbox and still had room for more. It only saves 20 of your sent messages and then these get deleted. There is also plenty of room for lots of phone numbers, whether you want to save them to the phone or sim card. I only had a few songs on my phone which again were saved to my memory card.
      Overall if you have a memory card for this phone then the storage is great- ""7/10""


      Media- Music
      As mentioned above I didn't really use my phone that much for music, choosing to listen to my ipod instead and save the battery on this phone. There is a button on the main menu which takes you to your media, this include music, photos and videos. The music menu includes accessing the music store, pod casts and then it categorises your music into artists, tracks, albums. It also allows you to create your own play lists which is a definite advantage. The quality of sound from this phone I found very good. I did have music on my phone which I was able to use as a ringtone. The quality is very clear and you would have no problems listening to your music either through the speaker of through the headphones. I had headphones provided with this phone when I brought it. If you are more into using this phone to listen to music than to take photos then this phone would be for you. Whilst I am writing this review I am playing music through the phone and it is pretty good.
      Overall I will give this- ""7/10""

      Menu Tabs
      -Calendar- Easy to use and easy to navigate around. You can set up specific events on specific days and set alarms for them. Pretty basic but more than adequate for my needs.
      -Orange Maps- I didn't have internet included in my last contract so I did not use this feature or other internet features. I did regret not having the internet last time to use on my phone.
      -Address Book- Simple straight forward list of names, where when you can click on them you can add pictures, email addresses, extra phone numbers etc.
      -Call History- Recent Calls, Call Duration, Packet Data- easy to see all of this information, easy to use.
      -Organiser- Media Album, Clock, RoadSync, Google, Search, Notes, Converter, Calculator, Adobe PDF, Quick Office, Help- The main ones I used here were media album, notes- which are easy to view, converter and the calculator, which are again simple and easy to use.
      -Settings- This is where you are able to change all of the settings on your phone. The options which come up ion this category include:
      - Personal- Where you can set your profile (silent, loud etc) and change themes.
      -Phone- Date &Time settings, sensor setting etc- (All the boring stuff)
      -Application Manager
      -Telephony
      -Connectivity
      -Apps- This is where you can access around 3 games, with at least 2 of these being just demo's and then you have to purchase the full games booo! You can also access the radio from here, the internet, you tube and face book have icons to allow quick access to these sites, you can record sounds, view converstaion messages etc.
      Overall- ""7/10""


      Phone Calls
      Cant you just tell that mobile phones are now used more than just making a phone call, as it has taken me until now to actually review phone calls made on this phone!
      Dialling numbers is pretty straight forward with their being an icon on the main screen taking you to the dialling page where you can easily input your phone number and then click the green button to ring. The quality of sound though the earpiece is very good, and I have had no problems with this aspect of the phone. When someone rings you, it is easy to answer by pressing the green button at the bottom of the phone, and then ending the call with the red button. I think its always good when touch phones have manual buttons aswell, even if it is just 3!
      As boring as it is nowadays to make a phone call, this phone does it justice!
      Overall rating- ""10/10""


      Messaging
      This was the first touch screen phone which I had so sending texts took me a while to get used to. The best way I found to text on this phone was to use the full keypad, this meant using the phone landscape and then using the touch screen to touch each letter. I found I could text pretty quick on this phone after I gout used to it. You can choose whether you want to receive delivery reports, whether you want your texts saving, and there are also folders you can save your messages in, or make your own folders. You are also able to see the conversations which you have had with whoever you are texting.
      Again it may be another simple feature of a phone nowadays, but it's something which we come to rely on.
      Overall rating- ""9/10""


      Overall
      I cant really complain too much about this phone as I have had no problems with it. I have also dropped it a few times and it has been fine. There is a few tiny scratches on the screen but nothing which can really be noticed. It is a good phone, its not the best phone I have had, but definitely no where near the worst phone. I think the camera could be better, especially as it is supposed to 8 mega pixels, and the battery life could certainly be improved. The sound quality is good and the memory is easily improved with a memory card. With the rate at phones which now come out, this may be considered an 'old' phone, so it might not have that much going for it compared to the ones which are now on the market.
      Its easy to use and easy to get used to, and I think it looks great, but as they say, 'looks arent everything'
      Overall Rating = ""59/80""

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        21.07.2011 15:17
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        Overall this phone is hard work as a knowledge of computers in requried to keep it fully funtional.

        The Sony Ericsson Vivaz looks very smart and is quite enjoyable to use when it is brand new. In the first instances the camera is very good and there are many applications on the phone that make it stand out from the rest. For example; the keypad can be used as a standard phone keypad, qwerty, mini qwerty and handwriting.

        However, as it is a Smart phone is uses computer technology. Unfortunately this means that the software has to be updated frequently. The phone itself does not remind the user that updates need to happen, or, how to perform an update. Updating the system is often quite difficult as the user has to download software onto their computer.

        I found this the biggest problem with the phone, in which I have had to have it repaired as it stopped turning on. There were also issues in which the screen would go blank and not show me that I had any text messages until I pressed the unlock button and entered my messages.
        In other instances the phone would freeze and I would have to take out the battery and replace it to kickstart the phone again.

        Most of the problems with the phone were to do with software problems. However the camera quality declined, I am now not able to take a clear photograph as the pixels have created lines across the photographs (like when you try and take a photo of a TV screen) and they are blurry. There is also no flash that comes with the camera meaning that you can only take good quality photos in daylight. This is a shame as the phone boasts a HD screen.
        As a user of this phone I would not recommend it. I have also had similar problems in the past with Sony Ericsson phones.

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        07.07.2011 07:20

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        Overall a great phone with lots of features

        I bought this phone as I have had Sony Ericssons for years as I have found they best suit my needs and style. The Vivaz certainly feels and behaves like a Sony Ericsson. Its has the elegant design which is attractive to look at, but also feels good in your hand. It can hold its own with other iphones as it has all the basics you'll need- Internet, touch screen, aps, good quality camera, plenty of room for music and your own files etc... The only draw backs are that it is for the delicate fingered (though it comes with a pen for those with bigger hands) and the auto-rotate is handy, but not when you're not expecting it!
        Overall though, I have used this phone for about a year and it is a very good phone. It is easy to use and upload and download from your PC which I find especially helpful. It slips nicely into your pocket or bag and is more about sleek style than brash and blingy!

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        05.07.2011 13:41
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        Great if you want a small and stylish smartphone

        ----- Background -----

        I got this phone over a year ago after a lot of searching for my first ever smart phone. What attracted me to Sony Ericsson Vivaz (also known as U5i or Kurara) were its stylish slim line look and a promise that it can record videos in high definition. I had never before had a Sony Ericsson phone or accessed the internet on a mobile, so it was all very exciting for me.

        This phone costs up to £340 for the handset only, but luckily my dad's contract with Vodafone was nearing the end and he got it for me for free. I use my mobiles on pay as you go basis, so forking out over 300 pounds would prevent me from getting this phone on my own.


        ----- Design -----

        My Vivaz is in Venus Ruby colour, which is not really red, but more like fuchsia. Other available colours are Moon Silver, Galaxy Blue, and Cosmic Black.

        The looks of this phone really attracted me to it, especially the stylish design, small size and a big touch screen that covers almost the whole surface of this phone. I find the touch screen responsive and easy to use; the size is great too. The back, top and bottom of Vivaz are slightly curved, which makes it fit perfectly into the palm of my hand. The phone is so thin, that sometimes it gets lost in my small handbag.

        Because this is a touch phone, there aren't many buttons on the handset. On the top of the phone there is an on/off button, which also can be used to lock the handset. I am not sure whether the position of this button has been well thought out. When I first got the phone, I used to switch it off by mistake because the button is positioned where my index finger normally sits while I hold my Vivaz. There are only three buttons on the front panel of this phone - call, end and menu button. The side has only zoom/volume, video and camera buttons. Even though I feel the front panel is relatively sturdy, the side is rather flimsy and it takes a bit of force to take a picture or video for example.


        ----- What's in the box? -----

        Of course the phone is the main thing you find in the box. Also included are:

        * USB to micro USB cable so you can connect the phone to your PC
        * Separate plug that can be connected to the USB cable when you want to charge the phone
        * Micro SD card with capacity of 8GB
        * Memory card adaptor for transferring data from your mini SD card to your PC
        * Headphones with built-in microphone
        * Stylus in a matching Venus Ruby colour
        * Very short manual and some leaflets with warnings

        I personally never use the stylus or headphones as I don't have any need to them. The headphones are simple plastic ones with no sponge ear buds and the stylus is just far less comfortable to use than fingers.


        ----- Messaging -----

        The phone gives you an option to view messages in a standard layout or you can view the messages in a conversations layout (something that is new to me in a mobile phone). There is a choice of setting up and sending/receiving email messages. I rarely use this option on my personal mobile - Vivaz downloads all the messages from my email, including spam and I still haven't figured out how to change this.

        Writing a message is easy and you can switch between various input modes: handwriting, mini QWERTY, full QWERTY and alphanumeric keyboard. I tried all of these options but find that standard alphanumeric keyboard is what I feel most comfortable with. The handwriting option works but is very difficult to write properly with an index finger on a mobile phone screen and I can't be bothered to carry the stylus with me all the time (using stylus is not comfortable for me either). The QWERTY keyboards take me longer to write a message, maybe because I am not used to them in a mobile phone.

        The alphanumeric option with predictive text is the easiest way of writing a text but the predictive text is not very good. I found that there are several basic (in my opinion) words or symbols that are not included, eg. a smiley face. However, it is easy to add words on to the library of the phone.


        ----- Internet -----

        I don't have much to say about it as I only occasionally connect to the Internet from my personal mobile. I find it much easier to connect using my company's Blackberry. However, on the rare occasions that I go online with Vivaz I found the speed of connection satisfactory. However, before I even get connected I have to confirm whether I want to connect using Contract WAP or other connection point. This can be quite frustrating as you get these messages every time you want to update your email, connect to the web or for any other reason you would need the online connection.


        ----- Battery life -----

        On an average day it lasts about two days, but beware when using the music player as it gets through the battery with an impressive speed. An hour or two of playing music will finish the battery off. Charging takes about 2.5 hours. You can apparently charge it also by plugging the USB cable to your PC; however, in my experience this doesn't give enough power to charge the phone's battery at all.

        Another issue is physically accessing the battery. Not that you need to access the batter a lot, but it is quite tricky to remove the cover if you need to access the SD card or battery. The whole back cover of the phone has to be removed by inserting a fingernail into a little whole between front and back covers and pulling the cover away. There really is no button to eject the cover and you have to use force. I only did this a few times when I got the phone, but each time hoped that the plastic cover wouldn't brake as it does feel a bit flimsy. I think Sony Ericsson could have found a better solution to this.


        ----- Camera/video -----

        The camera in this phone was what mainly attracted me to this phone. Vivaz camera has 8.1 megapixels and offers options and quality that very closely resemble those of a digital camera. I wanted a phone that is slim but powerful and that can replace a need for a digital camera, because I don't like carrying too many gadgets with me and always find a digital camera too bulky.

        I am very happy with the photos that this camera takes, especially during daytime. The colours are bright and images sharp, so I really cannot complain here. There are also some scene and focus options to choose from: macro, landscape or portrait (among others), which I find very useful. The camera also features smile detection and panorama shoot modes. The settings are quite easy to operate. Also you can add various effects to your photo: sepia/black &white colours, photo frames and various other effects which are nice to have.

        The camera was certainly one of the most important features that I wanted from my new phone. To my disappointment, I found that Vivaz is rubbish at taking photos in low light conditions. They always come out grainy and dark. The camera doesn't have the flash option. It features "light" but I am not sure why it is there as it certainly doesn't help achieving better photos. The light feature can only be switched on in Auto and Portrait scene modes and gives a photo a bluish tinge but doesn't make them less pixelated.

        The video option has a separate quick access button and is shot in 720p high definition. I used this feature several times and think it is of decent quality, although when filming very fast moving objects, some of the images get slightly blurred. For example I tried filming two of my capoeira teachers play, and some of their fast kicks are not sharp at all. The camera shots with 24fps and in most circumstances it would be perfect - the images are sharp and clear.


        ----- Media ------

        I like the MP3 player in this phone. The sound quality is good for a mobile phone and the 8GB on the memory card allows you to store a decent amount of songs on the phone. The volume is very good and when I am at home, in terms of volume, this phone can replace a standalone music player. In the car, with the road noise, it isn't as loud, though but you could still listen to some music if you like. One thing that I don't like about this player is that there are several ways of accessing it, but not all of them show you the same files. I still haven't managed to figure it out, but some of the songs I downloaded using the phone are in a different place, the songs that I recorded with the phone are in a different place and those I downloaded from my PC are somewhere else altogether.

        There is an application to play FM radio, but that can only be accessed with the headphones as they also serve the purpose of antenna. You don't actually need to listen to the radio through the headphones but they need to be connected to the mobile in order for the radio to work. The radio is a nice feature but I rarely use it.


        ----- My user experience in general -----

        One of the very annoying things about this phone is how long it takes to switch off and on. Sometimes, I am wondering whether I have actually pressed the on/off button because it takes so long.
        Another thing related to that is sometimes when locking the phone it is difficult to say whether you actually pressed the button, because it is almost the same level as the top of the screen. So you click it again harder and the phone switches off. It doesn't happen to me so often now, but at the beginning, with less practice this happened quite often and was very frustrating.

        Yet another slightly annoying thing is auto-rotation feature of the screen, but mainly its speed. It can take a second or two for the screen to switch from horizontal to vertical positions (and other way round), which is especially frustrating when you tilt the phone accidentally. Basically what happens is that the screen becomes blank (or shows a background picture) for 1-2 seconds which is annoying if you are trying to read a text message or write one. Although the touch screen is responsive, the phone is quite slow in responding to instructions and switching between various menu options is not impressively fast.

        Talking about menu options, I think the main menu is straightforward and easy to use, but the sub menus have a lot of options and sometimes navigating the menus and finding what you are actually looking for can be tricky and confusing. I remember I had some problems at the beginning and even had to contact Sony Ericsson once because I couldn't find out how to delete an error message from my phone about the SIM card being full. It also took me a while to figure out how to set up a Yahoo mailbox on this phone as it already had 4 mailboxes preset; none of them of any use to me. I might not be a technical geek but I normally can find my way with electronic devices without having to read manuals. This time, however, I searched the manuals, phone menus, Sony Ericsson website and still didn't know how to resolve my issue. I also had problems finding out how to assign a picture and ringtone to a specific contact or to find the logic in functioning of the light feature of the camera.

        I am not the only person that had problems with this phone. My mum has the same phone and she doesn't use half of the phone's features, because she doesn't even know they are there (they are not readily visible). Also, my colleague from work got the same phone a few days after I got mine and she managed to keep it for a week, then returned the phone and got a Blackberry instead. Although I am now used to some of the inconveniences of Vivaz, I still think this phone is not the most intuitive to use - and not only for me.


        ----- Some of the main features -----

        * 8.1 megapixel camera with 4x digital zoom, auto focus, face & smile detection, image stabiliser, touch capture
        * HD video with continuous auto focus
        * Media: music player, FM radio, Track ID, sound recorder
        * Video calling, flight mode
        * Symbian operating system
        * Preloaded apps: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google Maps
        * 75MB internal memory, 8GB mini SD card included
        * Standby time: 440 hours, calling time 320 min (up to)
        * 3.2 inches touch screen
        * Size: 107 x 52 x 12.5 mm
        * Weight: 97 grams

        Of course these are not all; please check online for full list of features and to find out more.


        ----- Recommendation -----

        In spite of several annoying things about this phone, I got used to it and I will stick with it probably until it breaks. I really like the fact that it is a smart phone with all the features I can think of using, yet it is much smaller than a Blackberry, iPhone or HTC. It is also much more stylish and the camera (apart from the low light situations) is great - so is the video quality.

        I think if you previously owned a Sony Ericsson phone, you will find it easier to get used to the weird location of options. Also, if you need the above described features in a small device that looks good, this phone is for you. I would advise the less technically minded users and those who are looking for a simple phone to skip this one though and choose something else.

        My final rating is 3 out of 5.

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        • More +
          16.06.2011 22:25
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          loved it, until it died

          I've had my little Vivaz for a year now after an upgrade last June, and how happy I am that I picked this phone. It's not only gorgeous, the vivaz has a 8.1 megapixle camera with HD video which I have found perfect for music conserts and gigs giving a clear sound not like all my previouse phones that couldn't handle the bass at rock concerts and it comes with loads of storage space in the phone and a 8gb memory card which you deffinatly do need.

          The software of the phone is so simple and easy to get used to, you have 5 screens which you can fill with almost whatever you want, I have a screen with shortcuts to text/call/view my favourit contacts, a page of bookmarks to websites and bluetooth and also a photo gallery screen with the other two as normal wallpapers. The twitter and facebook apps are quite dissapointing though I must say, I never use them as they're not worth that hassle, the twitter one only shows about 10 tweets and the facebook one never showed notifications so just use the mobile sites they're much better if you're like me and a FB addict haha. It's very easy to write a text message with four keyboards availble your normal alphanumeric, a large qwerty keyboard, a mini qwerty and a handwriting option to use with the stylus pen that comes with the phone, but the large qwerty is by far the best one in my opinion. There is also a great coversation mode to view texts which is very cool and useful if your always forgetting what your friend just texted you.

          One thing that I was a bit weary of when looking at the phone was that it has a resistive screen (responds to pressure, rather than a capasitive that responds to skin) as they can be a bit rubbish as any LG cookie owner will know, however I was really impressed with how responsive the vivaz is after having a go in the shop, though it is more responsive if you use your nails to tap but its fine and pretty quick anyway.

          The battery is still really good for a touch lasts about two days even after a year of my accidental abuse about a million drops and a trip into a sink it has somehow still works perfectly with only a few scratches (buy some screen protectors, they're cheap on ebay).

          Anyway, I love my Sony Ericsson Vivaz, a great phone and worth the £25pm contract. :)

          UPDATE: 11/02/2012 - about 3 months ago this phone broke, the resistive screen was dinted by something and made the phone imposible to use at all as it kept selecting what was under the damaged section. The Vivas was still a great phone but just be aware you need to be careful to not damage the screen as I know a few others that have done the same thing, in comparison to some of people I have talked to my vivaz lasted quite a while. However, you can probably get phones that are a lot better and more durable for the same sort of price now.

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          • More +
            16.05.2011 20:44
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            a great mid priced phone but if you used android in the past possibly best to avoid this model

            The time had come after my C902 finally died to get a new mobile phone,
            I had the option to upgrade to the Vivaz and took it, this is what I think of the phone after using it for a few weeks...

            The phone is great to hold, it is slightly curved and sits nicely in my hand, I have the Vivaz Moon Silver with silver back panel with dark blue/purple sides, I think it looks great. It's light weight but not too light that it feels like a child's toy.

            The phone came with a USB/wall socket charger, mobile phone headset (a bonus 3.5mm connector but no foam earplugs, meaning it is not so comfortable in my ear but not uncomfortable either) that doubles as a hands free device and a standalone stylus which can be attached to the phone (like those tacky phone charms you often see), the stylus is useful and looks good. The phone also came with a cool USB device that you can insert your phones memory card into and plug into your computer, however, the fact that the phone also comes with a USB connection cable kind of renders this gadget obsolete.

            The fact the stylus comes with the phone is handy as the resistive touch screen does take a little bit of getting used to, I find that when using applications the full QWERTY keyboard is the best option to use anyway and after a few days I could use the phone without the stylus but sometimes it is best just to use it.
            You can also use the mini QWERTY keyboard, a normal mobile phone keyboard and a handwriting tab that allows you to write the words as if you was using pen and ink. I feel that the handwriting option is a bit of a gimmick though and can be a pain in the arse to use at times.

            The phone doesn't have so much memory but it does come with an 8 gig memory card and can be expanded further (up to 16 gig), it also has an 8 megapixel camera which is capable of HD video recording and can be easily uploaded to facebook or youtube via the phone's internet capabilities.

            The facebook app that comes with the phone is annoying, you can not see when you have new messages or notifications, I downloaded facebook mobile to use which is better and will do until Sony Ericsson update there own app (if they ever do) I also find the twitter app really easy to use.

            The phone also has fewer buttons on the side when compared to other models, to lock the keypad you press the off button twice, to unlock press the off button and touch the screen where it says unlock. You have the normal dedicated call answering buttons and a menu button on the front of the screen. there is also the dedicated camera button, another dedicated video button and a volume control/ zoom button on the side of the phone. The camera and video buttons can be used whilst the phone is in lock mode if you you hold the button down for a few seconds enabling the user to take quick(ish) snapshots if something catches there eye. The camera/video options and unlock can be activated whilst in your pocket though and should probably be looked at and refined a bit further.

            I said the Phone would be better on Android as Symbian is slowly becoming a thing of the past however the menu system is very close to old Sony Ericsson models and with some customisation of the widgets makes the phones functions very accessible. I also like that the dial screen is right on the surface of this phone as other android phones I have used tend to hide the dial screen away.

            With regards to messaging it would be nice if the conversations option was just a standard on the phone rather than it being hidden away in the messaging menu. This displays text messages very much like they are displayed on an iPhone which I really like. when typing out text messages the easiest option is the landscape full on QWERTY mode which I mentioned earlier.

            Internet can be a pain on this phone, it only connects when you use an app that requires the internet which is good if you don't have any sort of unlimited data bolt on for the phone. It also asks you how you want to connect each time so a quick look at facebook or twitter is not just a quick look. There is no flash player so some site will be displayed as plain text but the youtube app for the phone is really very good.

            Verdict....

            Battery life could be better but will go to 2/3 days of casual use (if you use it intensively then it will need to be charged at the end of the day). I really do like this phone despite a few little annoyances that exist. it is very user friendly and I would recommend it to anyone who wants a Sony Ericsson.

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