Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Viva the Vivaz!

Lately I've had a few people find my blog because they were searching for the Vivaz.  And it's all because of this post about my new cell phone.  But, that post really doesn't tell you much about the phone itself, just that I have a new one...and also that I'm old enough to remember stuff like typewriters and black and white TV.

So, today I'm going to tell you a little about my new Sony Ericsson Vivaz, because it seems there are enough people that are interested in knowing more about it.  Now, I know there are plenty of places where you can find the exact specifications for these things, so I won't bore you all with that stuff.  What I find most helpful when I'm looking to buy a new gadget, is what people have to say about it.

And here's what I have to say:

First of all, it's not an iPhone.  So, if you want something like that, the Vivaz is probably not what you are looking for.  But I'm one of those people that don't want to shell out around 400 euros for an iPhone, because I really don't need one.  Of course I want one, so if anyone feels like giving me one, I would be more than happy to take it off your hands.  But, I'm not spending wodges of cash on it.

That said, I spent a couple of weeks looking at different phone offers with the major providers here in Spain, and I finally settled on the Vivaz.  30 euros for a smartphone is pretty good deal, even if it means I have to stay with my new provider for eighteen months.  Besides the price, I liked the size and the sleekness of the Vivaz. It fits easily in the palm of my hand, and it weighs very little.  Sony Ericsson really rocks design, it's one of the things they do best.  And they do it for a reasonable price.  I could even have gotten it online for 20 euros, but I wanted it in blue, and that color was sold out on the Orange website.

So, I splurged.  Ten eurobucks more for the blue...and to me it's totally worth it.  Superficial?  Sure.  But I like a phone that I like to look at.

And what about quality?  Well, this is my fourth Sony Ericsson phone, and so far I haven't had a single problem with any of them.  I've seen a lot of reviews with people saying that Sony Ericsson phones are crap, that the apps don't work right, the batteries don't last long, and the call quality isn't good.  Now, either that means that I'm really easy to please, or these people are just especially nit-picky, because I've been happy with every single one.

And the Vivaz is no exception.  As a phone, it works great, calls are crystal clear. The Wi-Fi connection works fine, and the camera is excellent.  Obviously, it's not comparable to a DSLR, but I'd say it's good enough not to have to carry my regular point-and-shoot camera around with me, which is pretty much the idea I had all along.  One less thing to weigh my purse down. It has a few nice extras too, like face recognition and a macro mode, so it's not as basic as most camera phones are.  Here's the first photo I took:

So, you can see the color is fairly nice and the detail isn't half bad.  Oh, and did I forget to tell you?  It has HD video on it too.  Pretty cool, as far as I'm concerned.

There are also a fair number of apps you can get, many of them for free.  Almost all the java apps work, and quite a few of the Symbian ones, although there are some that only work on Nokia phones, but still, there's enough stuff out there to keep anyone from getting bored.  And it has Wi-Fi, so if you're near a public Wi-Fi spot, you can get on the internet for free...and we like free stuff, don't we?  Well, I do anyway.

The only complaint I have so far really has nothing to do with the phone itself.  It has to do with my provider.  I used to have Yoigo and I never had trouble messaging to different countries, but now that I'm with Orange, I've discovered that I can't text one of my friends that lives in the U.S.  It seems our providers don't have a mutual service agreement, or some such nonsense, so basically, we're unable to communicate on our cell phones.  Boo for that, Orange.  The prices are also higher than with Yoigo.  Orange charges 60 cents for international texts, and with Yoigo I could text anywhere for 8.  So, Orange, as soon as my eighteen months are up, you know where I'll be heading...

...and I'm taking the Vivaz with me.


  1. So we can look forward to HD videos on this blog any time now, I presume.

    "Vivaz" has a really obvious, easy Castilian pronunciation. Seems pretty ambiguous in English, though.

  2. One of my brothers has the Android smart phone and keeps pushing to get one so we can both share in there coolness. Truthfully I'm doing my best to not only avoid a smart phone but just a simple cell. I have to wear an old fashioned pager for work when I'm on call and thats even uncomfortable for me.

    I'm far from being a Luddite but I just don't want to be found sometimes.

  3. Erik: Sure, as soon as I find something interesting to record. My kids are camera shy these days, and I don't think people would be really interested in watching my cats sleep. And, yeah, the name in English doesn't really do it for me either...I don't know why they didn't pick a different one.

    Beach Bum: My husband hates cell phones too, but I made him get one so I can keep track of him...no, just kidding, but he has to have one just in case we need to get a hold of him. He has the simplest phone you can imagine, and half the time it's either turned off, in his desk drawer, or he leaves it home. So, you're not the only one that's not into these things. :D

  4. Lo que más me gusta de este post es que comienzas asumiendo lo de la edad jejeje. Bueeeeno, yo tuve un Ericsson y me duró muchísimo y luego he tenido Motorola, que estuvo bien y el último que me compré y caro se me cayó al WC el primer día y se murió :(

    Ah.. también soy de orange ;)

  5. Great article...I was very upset with "people comments" not "reviews" for this phone.....planning to get one and also I prefer the Blue (^_^)

    1. Hi Ramez,
      It's a good phone. It's conveniently small and takes good photos. The battery lasts quite long, unless you are constantly connected to internet, but that's a battery drain for any phone. It does have one drawback, though. It's not an Android phone, and there are many apps that are not available for Symbian.