Sony Ericsson Vivaz U5

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The stylish new Vivaz was only recently launched here in India. It’s designed to offer mobile camera buffs a value for their money, at least that’s what Sony Ericsson says. The Vivaz has been a much awaited handset but before you go around whipping out your wallet, here’s a closer look at the handset. It should help you make up your mind if this is the right high end camera phone for you.

Form Factor
The Human Curvature design is by far an excellent way for a handset to be designed. The Subtle curve gives the Vivaz that feel good factor you look for when holding a handset. The resistive 3.2-inch display was a bad idea. That eye-brow pencil styled stylus just dangles from the top of the handset from its tether making it quite an annoyance. It has a 3.5mm handsfree socket on one side and a micro USB port just underneath that. On the other side are the volume/zoom keys followed by two separate keys to activate the Video camera and the still. This just makes it quite easy and you can quickly start up either without worrying. A hot swap microSD card slot for the bundled 8GB card is just under the rear panel.

While it’s well crafted, lightweight and looks good in your hand, the fact that it’s made completely of plastic with little or a negligible amount of metal incorporated makes it feel a bit cheap. Nevertheless it does have a chic look too it with its dark blue sides and all black coat, but I still remain firm about it being a little bit feminine. The plastic rear panel, aside from being a superb finger print magnet will also get easily scratched if you’re constantly removing it from and placing it into your pocket.

Features and Performance

Running on a 720 MHz CPU, most of the Vivaz’s functions aren’t too slow. Scrolling through pictures and opening a few features happens quite quickly enough. However, a certain amount of lag is evident when it comes to accelerometer rotating the displays. There were also a few times when the handset simply hung when I hit the ‘back’ button in some applications. Another issue was that I heard the handset ring for at least 4 seconds before the screen would flash with the caller’s name. I’m not sure if this was a deliberate setting, but I don’t like it. The button on the top of the screen doubles up as a power key and screen lock. What was annoying was when pressed it would shoot up a list of menus that included 'Lock Screen' and the various profiles and a shut off option, if your hand slips you’ll end up shutting off the handset instead of locking the screen. It would have made more sense just having a separate screen lock switch. A few gesture based controls like turning the handset over to silence incoming calls are also present.

The Vivaz uses a Symbian Series 60, 5th edition UI which has its share of flaws. The UI is surprisingly responsive and quite finger friendly though. The desktop Standby modes include the standard S60 touchscreen options and one created just for Sony Ericsson handsets. A

Published Date: Apr 10, 2010 09:58 am | Updated Date: Apr 10, 2010 09:58 am