Vivaz Coming to AT&T September 5

Sony Ericsson

The Vivaz from Sony Ericsson has been announced for a September 5 release at AT&T.

The Vivaz will be available in Galaxy Blue, and for a limited time will also be available in Venus Ruby. The unit I got to test was silver. I think I prefer that color, but the blue isn’t so bad.

Here are the specs:

  • 3.2″ (360×640 pixel), 16,777,216 color 16:9 nHD touchscreen (TFT)
  • 8.1MP Camera with 4x zoom, photo light, auto focus, face detection, image stabilizer, Geo tagging, and smile detection
  • 720p HD Video Camera with video light and touch focus
  • 75MB onboard memory, expandable with microSD up to 32GB
  • Bluetooth with A2DP
  • Video Streaming
  • Auto rotate

The phone is $79.99 with 2-year contract from AT&T after a $50 mail-in rebate. A smartphone data plan is also required. Both AT&T and Sony Ericsson are referring to this phone as a smartphone. In my earlier review I called it a feature phone. I’m still not sure I would call it a smartphone though, especially next to the Xperia X1, X2, and X10.

As I mentioned in my video review, the camera features are really nice. I liked the separate still camera and video camera buttons. The smile detection feature worked really well. The screen is large enough to get a good view of the action while shooting videos.

There were a few bugs on the unit I tested, but I am assuming some of them have been ironed out. It looks like the stylus-requirement is still there. It is easy to lose the stylus that comes with it since there is no place to store it on the phone itself. After a while I ended up using my finger instead of the stylus and simply avoided anything requiring typing. Other than the learning curve and stylus requirement, this phone is worth a look.

Symbian doesn’t offer as much as Android and iOS, but there are a few decent apps available. I downloaded Opera Mini early on and it was pretty useful. The multi-tasking features are easy to use as well. You can go from one app to the next fairly easily.

This is a great camera phone. As I said earlier, I am not sure I would classify this as a smartphone. If it is a smartphone, it should be closer to the Xperia’s $150 price. I think $80 is pretty reasonable for this phone, at least from my experience with it. It takes great pictures and the video light is really convenient. The smile detection feature is among my favorite on the phone. I tested it on a number of different smiles, and it worked every time. I was really impressed with the feature.

If you are in the mood for a really nice camera phone, the Vivaz is for you. $80 is a great price for an 8.1MP camera and HD video camera. There are a number of nice communication features wrapped up in this relatively small package. Be sure to check it out. You can check out my video review of the Vivaz here.

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