The Sony Ericsson Vivaz is proof of what Sony Ericsson excels in – great video and photo capture. In terms of hardware, there are ambivalent feelings about the appearance of the Sony Ericsson Vivaz. Its “human curvature” approach is a welcome improvement to the typical rectangular form of Sony Ericsson phones. However, the Vivaz comes with a bloated look that may not be everyone’s preference. One let down is its shiny, hollow-sounding plastic chassis, not to mention the fact that the back cover is rather challenging to rip open. This phone has a reduced number of buttons than the Satio, although the buttons for volume control/search, menu and phone calls are still located in their original places. This button layout is simpler to grasp, although because the phone does not have a lock switch, it can sometimes unlocks itself while in your pocket.
The camera interface on the Vivaz is similar to that on the Satio. This gives you an identical set of “Scenes” (auto, portrait, landscape, twilight landscape, sports, document, twilight portrait, beach/snow) and “Shoot mode” (normal, panorama, smile detection, touch capture). It however does not have “Bestpic” which would enable you to take a sequence of photos and then to choose the best shot to keep. It has “Auto mode” and “Exposure”, although the button used to disable the “Photo light” has now been replaced by a “Focus” menu. In order to alter the light, you will therefore need to go to Settings at the bottom right corner. You can launch the camera app by holding down the camera buttons which will launch the corresponding capture mode, even when your phone is locked.
The Vivaz is not very finger-friendly, the full landscape QWERTY keyboard is not available in all apps, and you can only scroll certain menus using the thin vertical bar on the right hand side. The homescreen on the Vivaz comprises of 5 panels: favorite contacts, Twitter, Flow, camera gallery and shortcuts. It is possible to change the panel type by holding down the tab, which will enable you to get these panels as well as “aquarium” and “album”. For faster access to the media gallery, dialer, search and messages, you may click on the hang-up button on each panel and therefore summon the same shortcut box. Note that in order to re-launch your flash-powered Twitter panel, you will need to restart your phone; plus the full QWERT keyboard on the Vivaz is also missing for Twitter.