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I'm looking at Vivaz Pro. What should I know?

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Posted by mr_lou
I'm looking for a replacement for my SE Aino. My main requirements are:
1) Better video-recording, meaning it must be HD since Aino records VGA
2) Equally audio playback quality, meaning it must be Sony Ericsson, since I have been unable to get the same quality from other brands. (e.g. Nokia N82 sucks at audio playback).
3) I want hardware keys. I hate touch-only devices
4) It must be a small device. iPhone-sized phones are too big.

So first I looked at X10 Mini Pro, which looks really nice. Unfortunately it has a poor battery time, and it doesn't record video in HD. Otherwise it would have been my next phone.

So currently I'm looking at Vivaz Pro.

Now, I know that many people say Vivaz isn't a great phone. But I think I might not care about many of its lacks. For example, I don't use my phone for internet browsing. If I do, I always stick with websites tailored for mobile phones. I generally don't want to surf the web with my phone. I want a bigger screen for that, so I do that on my computer. But small websites build for mobile phone displays is another matter, and I think Vivaz Pro should do fine then.

There's currently actually only 1 thing holding me back from buying the Vivaz Pro: Audio in video recordings are way too low according to samples I've seen, and according to what other people write.

Are there really no fix for this? No one who has done any patching? Any hacks? I know we can't count on Sony Ericsson. We never can. They're hopeless at giving updates. 2-3 updates, then bye bye customers. It's a joke. But apart from that, they do make great phones.

And some other questions about Vivaz Pro:
1) I assume it's easy to put on some plain simple theme without any animations and other useless stuff that just slows down the device?
2) I assume it's easy to change the top 5 shortcuts? I remember vaguely reading something about it wasn't possible at first, but it did become possible later, right?
3) Can't you confirm that Vivaz Pro plays back audio in the same high quality as Aino?

Any other useful info a potential Vivaz Pro buyer should know?


EDIT: An alternative to Vivaz Pro could be the HTC Desize Z, but I think it's slightly too big, and I doubt it can produce the same audio playback quality as SE Aino. (HTC Dream definitely couldn't, but that is of course an old device now).
[ This Message was edited by: mr_lou on 2010-10-29 18:05 ]

Posted by rontysee
You can check out my review for details regarding this phone.


I've used it for last 5 months and i am quite satisfied.
The only problem is the UI...which is not that user friendly.
Sound quality is good but not upto the walkman phone standard. The volume is slightly low and there is lack of bass. There is no manual equalizer...only presets are present.
However, you can install 3rd party apps like powermp3 which have manual equalizer...for better sound...
The keyboard is very nice...infact...i'm typing this message from my vivaz pro right now.
[ This Message was edited by: rontysee on 2010-10-29 19:12 ]

Posted by mr_lou
Hi rontysee, nice review.

What do you think about the volume in video-recordings?

You write that I need to charge the phone daily. Does that mean the battery is as poor as X10 Mini Pro?

Posted by rontysee
In the first 2 weeks...i found that the battery life was a little short...but as you use it more, the battery life increases. Still, dont expect it to last as much as feature phones. But, 1-2 days of normal use can be done on a single charge which is good enough for a smartphone.
The volume in video recording is a little low but is of good quality. The problem of low volume was mainly present is vivaz. Vivaz pro records video at a higher volume compared to vivaz. But, the camera lacks a little contrast compared to vivaz.
There are a lot of videos of vivaz pro on my channel on youtube. Many of them are there in the review. Check out those videos. They will be quite helpful.

Posted by SimonZ
I've Vivaz (not pro) the defect of this device is the Symbian OS.
Aino have SE owner OS that is another world.
_First of all SMS and MMS features, write in Aino is quick and OS help you suggesting words, in symbian is difficult.
You can overfly the problem with qwerty of PRO version but MMS is not so easy for example you can't decide time for pages, background and text colors.
_The system is not so stable as SE OS, the camera some times don't work because the memory finish and you must reboot the phone.
_You must sign any software before install exept for java app and playnow store.

I've not try Xperia X10 but i think must be better than vivaz and with new firmware will rec video in HD with autofocus.
You must renounce qwerty!

Posted by mr_lou
Cannot set time or color og background in MMS on Vivaz Pro? See, that's what I'm constantly confused about.
To me, there's nothing smart about a "smartphone" that has these lacks compared to a "non-smartphone". The whole definition of smartphone is wrong, since it seems to be "when apps can access the hardware via the native OS".
And then Apple comes with a "smartphone", which couldn't even send MMS, and no file transfer via bluetooth either etc etc.
That's not a smart phone, is it? To me, that's infact a dumb phone.
But Sony Ericsson Java Platform phones are "smart". Lots and lots of features, great sound player, great camera, and lots of basic features you have to go out and find online when using other platforms. (E.g. a simple egg timer for Nokia phones).

But at least looking at the Vivaz Pro videos, it looks like it's a fast device. The freezing part happens on Aino's touch screen as well. Missing MMS features and smileys are annoying, but maybe there are apps to fix it. Looks like SPB Mobile Shell offers SMS with smileys anyway.
But I have to sign SIS files? That sounds even dumber than having to sign JAR files to prevent security popups. I don't remember having to do that on e.g. W950. On Vivaz I have to sign SIS files just to be able to run them? No wonder Symbian is dying. Who the hell makes these idiotic decisions? That just sounds too stupid to me. Can someone confirm that's true? What SIS files are we talking about? Doesn't the authors sign their own stuff? Or do they, like many J2ME devs, skip that part because of the $500 yearly expense?
On SE JP phones you can patch the devices to kill the Java Security popups. Can't you do something similar for Vivaz Pro for SIS files then?

X10 is too big, and I'm not giving up hardware keys. I hate touch phones.

Posted by Stu|
Yes you do need to have apps signed in order to install. Best way is to helloox2 the handset and then you can install any app you want to.

Although, I'd avoid the Vivaz as I have just got an X10 moving from Satio (which is nearly the same device and runs on the symbian s60v5 os like Vivaz) and it's a mjor improvement, in both speed, stability and every other way with the possible exception of the flash for the camera. Even with raafat's modification pack its not even in the same league as the X10. I got my X10 (in perfect condition but used) off ebay for 160 so that's a bargain in my book.

I really love the X10 just a shame that it's not going to be updated to Android 2.2 anytime soon.

Posted by mr_lou
Hey Stu, thanks for replying.

The X10 is too big, and lacks hardware keys. If I have to accept a phone that size, it'll be one with a hardware qwerty keyboard like the Desire Z.
But generally I think those phones are too big.

Perhaps I'm just better of with a SE feature phone. Maybe I should just wait for SE to release a Java Platform phone capable of HD video recording, just like when Aino came out with VGA video recording. I can hope it'll have other improvements too then, compared to the Aino, such as better keys for SMS.

Posted by Tsepz_GP
How about the Motorola Milestone-2? http://www.gsmarena.com/motorola_milestone_2-3495.php being a Motorola im sure sound quality is realy good. It certainly isn't small but has all the other things you want.

Posted by SimonZ
I forgot...
Vivaz don't have a flash light but a simple light that you must turn on and off before rec video or take a photo depending on the situations.
There isn't torch function, you must buy a software apart like "PhoneTorch"
Smyles in sms are nonexistent you will see the text " : - ) " instead of
[ This Message was edited by: SimonZ on 2010-10-30 20:36 ]

Posted by mr_lou
@Stu, HelloOX2 sounds interesting, although silly that it's necessary.
I suppose I just choose "Satio" from their list of available phones then. Will look into it if I end up buying the Vivaz Pro.

@Tsepz, Motorola Milestone-2 could be an option too. Actually when using the search option at GSMArena.com, there were 2 Motorola phones in the result. MT716 and Droid XTreme I believe it was. All 3 are too big, like HTC Desire Z, but I might go that way despite. It depends on the audio playback quality and video-recording quality. Will have to watch a lot of review at YouTube.
There is one problem with Motorola though. They don't seem to be available much in my country. At least not their Android devices. Not sure why that is.

Good audio-playback quality and good video-recording quality are the two most important features to me. But I still get annoyed by lack of smileys in SMS, lack of buttons, being unable to customize my MMS, or unable to send files via bluetooth etc.
Back when I bought Nokia N82, I also bought A-SMS to get smileys. But it's bloody anoying waiting for A-SMS to start up everytime I want to read an SMS. Then I'd rather live without smileys in my SMS.

Again I have to say.... that SE's feature-phones / Java Platform phones often seem much more smart to me than actual smartphones, because they always have all the stuff I need. Smartphones rarely does, and finding an app that gives me the missing feature is often problematic and never gives me an optimal solution.

Anyway, I've been looking at lots of Vivaz Pro video-recording samples at YouTube. I see what people mean about missing contrast. Disappointing, but I might be able to live with it. Volume seems too low though, and that part I can't accept. Nice with the autofocus though.
So since there doesn't seem to be a solution for the volume problem, I guess I have to drop Vivaz Pro, and that's annoying, because I'm sure any other choice will give me less audio playback quality.

Posted by mr_lou
Well, it was a touch decision, but after much surfing and browsing video samples from Vivaz Pro and Desire Z, I ended up ordering Vivaz Pro.

I'll probably post some comments about Vivaz Pro in this thread in about a week.

Posted by Monaco
walk away from and never look back. Symbian is a dead end, get a samsung galaxy s.

i wish i could do the same but my satio cost me too much.

Posted by mr_lou

On 2010-11-01 22:45:11, Monaco wrote:
walk away from and never look back. Symbian is a dead end, get a samsung galaxy s.

Samsung Galaxy S is too big, and it doesn't have a keyboard. I also doubt it'll produce the same audio playback quality as Sony Ericsson phones does.
Vivaz Pro is the device that matches most of my requirements.

Posted by Monaco

On 2010-11-02 06:37:40, mr_lou wrote:

On 2010-11-01 22:45:11, Monaco wrote:
walk away from and never look back. Symbian is a dead end, get a samsung galaxy s.

Samsung Galaxy S is too big, and it doesn't have a keyboard. I also doubt it'll produce the same audio playback quality as Sony Ericsson phones does.
Vivaz Pro is the device that matches most of my requirements.

Reason why I advocate the galaxy S is because my friend got the first shipment of it and the initial quality was way better than the Satio, picture, sound and video are all great. All I'm saying is, forget SE...seriously...learn from all of our mistakes.

Posted by mr_lou
Google gives me a ton of rather useless links when I search for Symbian software. Over half my downloads won't install for whatever reason.

Can anyone recommend me a good source for Symbian software for Vivaz Pro?

Does anyone know of PowerMP3 supports the headset from the Aino (Yes, I'm too lazy to look up the model number)? I mean, it has buttons for Play and Next and Previous track, and I'm glad to see that Vivaz Pro supports it. Does PowerMP3 also?

Posted by mr_lou
Well, I've had the Vivaz Pro for nearly a week now, and I have to say that I'm surprised I don't find it as useless as I thought I would.

The music player is actually rather nice, limited but gives good sound. I have no clue what SE were thinking putting the jack-plug on the side. It's an annoying place which prevents the phone from fitting in my pocket when I have a headset in. I use my bluetooth headset from my Aino, so to me it's not a problem, but I can certainly understand why others complain about this.

The audio-volume in video recordings is way way too low. (How on earth can SE make shit like that??). However, since I mostly record stuff to be burned to DVD, I need to use an editing software anyway, and then it's no trouble putting on an Audio-Normalize effect to correct audio.

Still getting to know the device, but so far it looks much better than expected. Even the resistive screen responds better than expected (but I still hate touch).

But where are the good sources for Symbian S60v5 software? (And I mean software that'll actually install and run without problems). So far it seems Java stuff is the better choice.

Posted by vprxtrm
i suggest registering on ipmart forum. it has tons of software available for s60v5. for signing get a certificate from opda.cn. is a little hard to find everything you want at the begining, but after a mounth or two you will know all there is to know about symbian.

Posted by Monaco
Symbian is a dead end, in my opinion you made a big mistake getting it. I made a big mistake a year ago when I bought the Satio as well.

Posted by gharknes1
vivaz has no flash so none runner from the word go regardless of anything else

Posted by vprxtrm
i don't think symbian is a dead end....maybe for SE users, but not for the others. maybe there will be no other firware release (anyway my vivaz is working perfect in terms of UI speed and quite stable unlike my old n95) but applications will be developed for a period of time, the Nokia symbian community is quite large. I don't think develoers will leave all those people behind. from my point of view, symbian is ok regarding user experience, is quite customizable (at least the menus) and is not the end of the world to have a symbian on your phone, even if is an old OS, buggy sometimes, and way behind android and IphoneOS. for me, the good features this phone has are much more important than what OS is running. currently, the only bug I have with my vivaz is stuttering (sometimes, not allways) in video recording. but I understand that this bug comes from the memory card. i have the original 8gb microSD. i will try, when the budget allows, to buy a much faster microSD and maybe a 16 gb one.

now, if you try searching a bit, you will find that all the hd and 8/5 mpx phones from samsung, nokia, Iphone are much more expensive than the vivaz... samsung galaxy S is around 500 euros, the Iphone is abot 950 euros and the vivaz is around 350 euros. samsung wave is a little cheaper, but still around 50 euros more than the vivaz. so...in the end you will get what you paid for.

for me, with a maximum 400 euro budget, vivaz is the perfect phone. nothing else in the market, for that price, can come close to vivaz features.

Posted by gharknes1
and if you want to take a picture in poor lighting you're shafted, Satio still remains my number 1 choice even with it's niggles

Posted by vprxtrm
if we are talking about satio then we must talk about nokia n8. there we have a better symbian, better hardware and better overall phone than the satio at the same price. i am a SE fan for years but at this moment sony flagship phones are weaker than the competition. even the x10 cannot stand in front of the galaxy s and other droids. as for the vivaz is a cheap phone with great hardware and features. it is worth purchasing it because is cheaper and rather small. otherwise, the samsung wave is much better. for me the vivaz, at today's price is the perfect phone, i am happy to have it and maybe, in 1-2 years i will switch to the next droid xperia. hope it will be better supported than the x10.

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