Videos: Vivaz and Vivaz Pro shown off, UI changes

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While at MWC I spent some time looking at the new Symbian^1 handset - the Sony Ericsson Vivaz and its sister device, the QWERTY equipped, Vivaz Pro. Over the next week or so we'll be featuring a number of Vivaz videos to give you a closer look at Sony Ericsson's latest Symbian handsets. In the first video there's a general overview of the hardware and the 'panel' powered homescreen, while the second video looks at some of the homescreen UI additions compared to the Sony Ericsson Satio.

The Sony Ericsson Vivaz is a Symbian^1 handset (S60 5th Edition); it is due out in the next few weeks in a number of markets. Its sister device, the Vivaz Pro, adds a slide-down QWERTY keyboard to the feature list, but downgrades the camera to 5 megapixels. The Vivaz Pro will be available in select markets in April or May.

Sony Ericsson Vivaz and Vivaz Pro - hardware and homescreen

The Sony Ericsson Vivaz and Vivaz Pro stand out feature is the HD video recording camera (more demo videos of that to come), but also features a hardware design that fits in your hand hand (Sony Ericsson call this human curvature). Other notable highlights in this video include:

  • Dedicated video capture button, reflecting the video centric nature of the device. Video capture supports continuous auto focus.
  • Screen has glass cover, which Sony Ericsson says gives improved touch sensitivity over the Satio (which used plastic).
  • Vivaz Pro features a slide down QWERTY keyboard. Vivaz Pro is a little thicker, but that has been minimised by reduced the camera from 8 to 5 megapixels (camera modules typically dictate the thickness of a phone).

Sony Ericsson Vivaz - UI changes from the Sony Ericsson Satio

The Sony Ericsson Vivaz and Vivaz Pro, like the Sony Ericsson Satio have a number of Sony Ericsson customisations to the basic Symbian^1 software. Aside from the overall theme (look and feel) to most obvious of these are the custom homescreen panels. However there are a number of important difference between the Vivaz and the Satio as explicitly outlined in this video below:

  • Album panel on homescreen supports both photos and videos (previously only photos).
  • Flash Lite 3.0 is supported for the creation of custom panels. In the Vivaz this is used to create a Twitter panel that will ship with the phone. Third party developers will be able to use Flash Lite to create their own panels (connection and content aware), which can then be distributed through PlayNow Arena.
  • Customisable Flash Lite powered 'active' wallpaper. Flash Lite content can be used as the wallpaper in the homescreen (e.g. fish aquarium).

Coming soon

  • Sony Ericsson Vivaz continuous auto-focus demo
  • Sony Ericsson Vivaz and Vivaz Pro compared
  • Inside story on the Sony Ericsson Vivaz design
  • Colour variants for the Sony Ericsson Vivaz
  • Hands on with the Sony Ericsson Vivaz