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slitchfield 22-03-2010 02:58 PM

Review: Sony Ericsson Vivaz, part 3: Homescreen and Media suite
If you've been following my continuing review of the Sony Ericsson Vivaz, you'll know that it has a small but perfectly formed body and a great camera/camcorder. But what about its new custom homescreen and media suite? It's pretty enough, but I look at all the options and weigh in with opinion on what Sony Ericsson could have done better. Could the Vivaz have presented a more unified user interface? Here's part 3 of my Vivaz review.

Read on in the full article.

Unregistered 22-03-2010 04:43 PM

Still a nice device, me thinks...
Despite the imperfections, I still think it's a very nice device.

Being a long-time Symbian user, that knows how and where to get the apps, I have no reservations buying a Vivaz, esspecially considering the vastly superiour RAM and CPU configuration (as opposed to Nokia's abysmal underpowered devices).

However, I am worried about Sony Ericsson's ability in execution when it comes to their PlayNow appstore. I have heard a lot complaints about how insanely slow and unresponsive SE are when it comes to getting publishers the needed access and support to publish software and games on to the PlayNow store (far worse than OVI was in the first months).

It is difficuly to see if SE are dedicated to getting a proper software infrastructure running. At least Nokia seems pretty aggressive and dedicated to it now.

Unregistered 22-03-2010 05:01 PM

steve arent all the bells and whistles of S60 5th edition provided by Nokia?
in your review it states that there provided by Symbian.
if that were the case wouldn't all implementations of Symbian have the bells and whistles?

slitchfield 22-03-2010 05:55 PM

The 'bells and whistles'(!) I was referring to did indeed include much that was done by Nokia, but also much that was done by Symbian for Symbian^2, which Nokia then used in building N97 v20 firmware and similarly for other recent devices and firmwares.

Dazzy 22-03-2010 06:03 PM

I agree somewhat on the interface and might source something else, looked at handy shell, but I don't think it fully supports the Vivaz as top icons (battery, signal indicators etc) don't show. However with with a bit if playing you can stop the default interface coming up at all.

However Shell seems to use alot of ram and can cause the camera to crash if running, it would be good to see SPB bring their mobile shell to Symbian, but don't know if that will ever happen as the Windows version seems to be very polished. And like you said I do like the bottom half of the default theme with media controls.

Three replaced the PlayNow elements with links to their own music store etc and I am not sure if this is easier to navigate that Playnow either.

On the Symbian Apps front I have found alot in the last few days, Pocketgear seems to have most, if they did a free mobile app for the store it might help in this area. (maybe they already have and I just haven't seen it).

The twitter app I knew before I got the phone was gonna be useless hence installing Gravity and I have turned the default one off, maybe a developer will come up with a much better option sometime in the future, who knows.

I agree with the find function too but this is my first SE phone for quite a number of years (T29), been through Nokia, Samsung and LG since. I have used the Ipod touch for years so I am familiar with this trait but it would be nice to see one in a future firmware upgrade. And when using a good set of earphones and the equaliser I don't notice much difference between the Vivaz and Ipod touch for sound quality so hat comes of to SE here. (or maybe I am tone death lol)

I am holding off buying anymore apps for now to see what pans out in the coming months. And besides I cant find a weather app which covers my hometown lol (apart from a tracker app)

On another note I do like the pc software suite, it's alot better than ones I have used before. (Even despite Vista messing the drivers up and having to reinstall).

This is the first phone in years to catch my eye and the interface short comings will not deter me from using it any less. I bought it purely on it's design and the Video element. I like a phone to look like a phone and not a mini computer and it has to be a sensible weight as well. The N900 interested me till I got to hold one.

I am fast becoming accustom to the interface and symbian as a whole and looking forward to see what else SE brings to this phone.

Jimmy1 22-03-2010 08:03 PM

It's a pity that apparently a device with decent enough hardware is let down by bad software implementation.

Will manufacturers and consumer electronics companies never learn? Software is now 3/4 of what makes up most devices (phones, media players, etc.) usability. How can they keep getting it so wrong?

The only manufacturer that I've seen do anything remotely innovative with a stock firmware is HTC and their Sense UI.

Dazzy 22-03-2010 10:53 PM

It wouldn't be that hard for a developer to create additional configurable flash files which could support plugins/widgets etc. And then we could show these on the homepage tabs.

Just all depends how many if any will attempt it, the possibilities are quite endless really.

Contacts, Album and App Shortcuts are good default ones but the other two are somewhat currently wasted. Keromobile might have some stuff just havent looked it claims to be compatible with vivaz

Unregistered 22-03-2010 11:35 PM

Vivaz + Satio
The Vivaz an Satio music player is not so simple to use,as i was used to using the Nokia music player which is alot simple an easy an faster to search for tracks,Which we were aloud to download the Nokia music player onto the Satio as searching for tracks take ages on the Satio an the Vivaz looks exactly the same,o.k the vivaz might have the 3.5mm jack but its seems to placed in the wrong place,i only bought the Satio because i knew it use nearly the same software as the 5800,an wish Nokia would have released a 8 mega-pixel or 12 mega-pixel camera mobile by now so will stick with the Satio until Nokia release there new mobiles in the near future

Unregistered 23-03-2010 06:14 AM

@ Unregistered


Dazzy 23-03-2010 11:24 AM

Just found a press release on SPBsoftwares site and it states their mobile shell will be ported to Symbian and Android.


It was previewed already and videos are on Youtube for the Symbian version ie

I cant get my hometown added to Handy weather so will have to go the SPB route and cant wait for this to arrive either.

Unregistered 23-03-2010 01:39 PM

Apple...nothing else...
until Apple Ipad has finally landed, there will be no Nokia buys for me....they're so slow to get products to the Philippines.....N900, when???? Nokia's market share in the Philippines is more than 50% yet how do they reward such loyalty? by releasing N900 by 6 months late????

Jejoma 23-03-2010 02:37 PM

Weather-wise I swear by WeatherBug. You are not limited to the programmer's choice of stations. Rather, you seem to be able to pick any weather station world-wide.

Dazzy 23-03-2010 05:05 PM

Weather Bug like many dont cover my area, SPB can as the Foreca site lists my town so it's only a matter of them adding it to their DB.

Plus it will integrate seamlessly with their Mobile Shell when it appears on Symbian.

Unregistered 24-03-2010 09:00 PM

I've just got a vivaz to replace my 5530 and I also have a samsung i8910hd, considering the vivaz has a 720mhz cpu compared to the i8910s 600mhz its SO much slower and I mean by a LOT, and lack of kinetic scroll and other features lacking from other symbian phones has really disappointed me. To be honest I wish i'd kept the 5530.

hevmc66 15-04-2010 05:50 PM

still don't know where things are
Don't know if anyone can help I can't find adobe flash on my phone as would like to play the game although I do have mobile aquarium also how do I play my videos on my tv? any help welcomed thanks, Heather

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