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Sony Ericsson Rolls Out HD Video, 8MP Smartphone

Gordon Kelly

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There's not much point releasing a smartphone these days which packs a truck load of hardware if the software isn't up to scratch, but try telling that to Sony Ericsson...

Following closely on the heels of the great-hardware-shame-about-the-software Satio is the new 'Vivaz' which looks set to sell much of the same story. The good news is the 3.2in 640 x 360 touchscreen, 8.1MP camera, 720p HD video recording, HSDPA, WiFi, aGPS, universal microUSB charger, 3.5mm headphone jack, DLNA certification, TV-out and pocket friendly 107 x 52 x 12.5mm dimensions and 97g weight.

Where the problems start, however, are the choice of a resistive touchscreen (why oh why?), lack of decent camera flash (described only as 'phone light'), native memory (a tiny 75MB), microSD expansion slot that only supports 16GB not 32GB cards and Symbian S60 5th edition OS which is one of the least touch friendly OSes around.

On the bright side there is a nippy 720MHz CPU at its core and battery life is excellent at up to 13 hours talk time (five hours over 3G) and 430 hours on standby. There are also bundled apps galore for Facebook, Google Maps, Quick Office, Twitter and YouTube to name but a few. Launch time is during Q1, but no network partners have yet been confirmed.

Yes, I can imagine the review now: 7/10 - lovely hardware, average build quality, mediocre touchscreen response and that OS really does need updating. I know, I'm a cynic - but just you wait...

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