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printed July 26, 2014
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Review: Sony Ericsson Vivaz

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I hate to say it, but the Sony Ericsson Vivaz is one of the worst phones I've used. I could forgive the crappy touch response if the user interface were decent. It's not. The UI skins that Sony Ericsson has cooked up to cover S60 5th Edition are simply awful in almost every respect. The menus aren't finger-friendly, the inconsistencies between single taps and double taps leads to lots of frustration, and the overall slowness and bugginess make the Vivaz a chore to use. There is nothing easy about it.

It definitely has the worst text-entry tools I've ever seen on a handset. The terrible mash-up of T9, QWERTY, and inconsistent text-entry fields make typing nearly impossible, let alone practical. This is not a phone for messaging, for email, for social networking or for anything else that requires users to type.

Battery life and phone calls were good, and the speakerphone was excellent. The music player is decent. The camera performs well, has a good user interface and takes good pictures. The video camera performs similarly well. The gallery application and editing tools give the Vivaz at least one solid feature worth recommending.

But no phone is worth just one feature.

Unless you are seriously aching for a Sony Ericsson camera phone, there's no other redeeming reason to buy this phone.

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