Sony Ericsson Vivaz
Symbian snapper with HD video
The Symbian browser is less impressive, with its ugly menu bar on the right. The onboard accelerometer automatically flips the screen to landscape mode but, while you can tap to zoom or use the scroll bar, the zoom function seemed a little eccentric and wasn't available with all pages. It didn't always render pages as we'd expect to see them either, but it does have multi-page views, magnifying window, word search, Flash video support and the option to save log-in details.
A decent range of productivity apps, plus all the usual social networking options
There's a BBC iPlayer app on-board that worked well with our Wi-Fi connection and offered the Beeb's recent glories in slightly fuzzy, but perfectly acceptable resolution. There’s also a YouTube app too. The screen's stretched proportions mean you can view movies in widescreen 16:9 format, as the director intended – though he/she probably imagined it would be a bit bigger. In any case, movies look terrific on the sharp screen, but it will only show MP4 format, no DivX or XviD support – boo!
If the video resolution doesn't match the screen's widescreen dimensions, there's an option to stretch it, although you lose some resolution, but it still looks better than cramped between black bars. Playback is simple stop or go though – there's no slo-mo or screenshot capability.
The Walkman music player does a good job of organising and playing back your MP3, AAC and WMA tracks with decent sound through the supplied headphones too. There's none of the fancy listing features you got with the dedicated Walkman phones of yore, and we'd have liked a graphic equaliser included too. There's also an FM radio with 20 preset stations but no RDS, though it does have SE's rather lovely TrackID service for identifying mystery tunes.
There's a negligible 75MB of memory on board, but fortunately it comes with an 8GB micro SD card. It’s inserted under the cover, but you don't have to remove the battery to get to it and the Vivaz can accept up to 16GB. For social networking, the Twitter app we touched on previously is decent enough, if a little basic – it offers a page view of all the recent Tweets you've been following and a box to load up your own instant thoughts, though there are no options for grouping or searching. There's a Facebook app on board too, which is fine, though it won't let you merge with your contacts or push updates to you.