Sony Ericsson Vivaz Pro review

£290
Price when reviewed

Sony Ericsson has been putting a lot of marketing muscle behind its Vivaz range of smartphones over the past few months, highlighting HD video capabilities and stills camera prowess as reasons we might want to buy one. The ads do a good job of making them look sexy too.

We have the Pro model on review here, and it’s surprisingly slim and light for a phone equipped with a sliding Qwerty keyboard. We also like the curved, elliptical profile – it makes the Pro one of the easiest smartphones around to slide into your pocket.

Pick it up and heft it in your hand, however, and you’re liable to be underwhelmed: the matte-grey plastic rear, shiny chrome highlights and resistive 360 x 640 3.2in touchscreen make it look and feel like a poor man’s smartphone. The tiny power button on the rear panel is a particular low point, and makes the phone a real chore to lock and unlock.

The other problem is the operating system. The Vivaz Pro sports a Sony Ericsson-tweaked version of Symbian S60 5th Edition and, compared to the latest Android smartphones, using it feels as frustrating as trying to swat a fly with a pencil, in the dark.

Sony Ericsson Vivaz Pro

The screen is too small and the resolution too fine, and this makes onscreen buttons, menus and links fiddly to hit accurately. Then there’s the unresponsive, resistive touchscreen; we frequently found ourselves tapping buttons, waiting, then trying again when nothing happened. And the less said about the Twitter and Facebook integration, the better.

It might boast a 720MHz processor, but the phone feels sluggish in use, and a lack of instant visual feedback means that, even if you do manage to hit a button or link accurately, you’ll often not know about it for a second or two, or more. Having used it for a week, we were desperate to liberate our SIM card and put it back in something more responsive.

Oddly, browsing speed wasn’t that bad, with the BBC homepage entirety took an average of 15 seconds over a fast Wi-Fi connection. But battery life was below par. After our 24-hour test, the Vivaz Pro had only 40% remaining on the gauge, which puts it behind the majority of the smartphone pack; you won’t even get two days moderate use out of this phone before having to run to the mains for a recharge.

Details

Cheapest price on contract Free
Contract monthly charge £25.00
Contract period 24 months
Contract provider www.mobiles.co.uk

Battery Life

Talk time, quoted 12hrs 30mins
Standby, quoted 18 days 8hrs

Physical

Dimensions 51 x 19 x 108mm (WDH)
Touchscreen yes
Primary keyboard Physical

Core Specifications

ROM size 8,000MB
Camera megapixel rating 5.0mp
Front-facing camera? yes
Video capture? yes

Display

Screen size 3.2in
Resolution 360 x 640
Landscape mode? yes

Other wireless standards

Bluetooth support yes
Integrated GPS yes

Software

OS family Symbian

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