Sony Ericsson unveils revamps of Vivaz and Xperia X10

At Mobile World Congress, Sony Ericsson expands and shrinks existing Android and Symbian smartphones.

Sony Ericsson typically treats Mobile World Congress (MWC) as one of its biggest events of the year, and the 2010 show in Barcelona is no exception. The manufacturer unveiled three new handsets the night before MWC began at a packed nightclub on the Mediterranean Sea.

The Vivaz Pro is a cousin of the multimedia-centric Vivaz , which made its debut last month. On the outside it looks about the same as its predecessor, but it adds a full keyboard. Sony Ericsson is positioning the Symbian (Series 60, 5th edition) smartphone for business users, which perhaps explains the lower resolution camera (5.1-megapixels vs. 8.1-megapixels on the Vivaz).

Sony Ericsson's new toys Kent German/CNET

Otherwise, the feature set is about the same. You'll find a media player, Bluetooth, a personal organizer, assisted-GPS, PC syncing, integrated social-media apps, a personal organizer, messaging and e-mail, Wi-Fi, USB mass storage, a 710MHz processor, and handwriting recognition. And we're very glad to hear that Sony Ericsson ditched its irritating proprietary connections and memory cards in favor of a 3.5mm headset jack, a Micro-USB port, and a microSD card slot.

The Xperia X10 Mini is about what it sounds like. Though the original Xperia X10 is a sight to behold, its lovely 4-inch display does make the handset a bit bulky (4.68 inches long by 2.48 inches wide by 0.5 inches deep). The Xperia X10 Mini, however, features a 2.5-inch display and measures 3.2 inches long by 1.9 inches wide by 0.62 inches deep.

Also running the Google Android OS (version 1.6) the X10 Mini's feature set is largely the same as its older sibling except that its camera is scaled down as well (5 megapixels vs. 8.1-megapixels). Under the hood are a music player, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, messaging and e-mail, assisted-GPS, integration with Google Maps and a variety of Google services, USB mass storage, PC syncing, and a 600MHz processor. Thankfully, it also breaks from Sony Ericsson's proprietary past.

The Xperia X10 Mini Pro offers the same features as the Xperia Mini, but it adds a slide-out keyboard. We're a little wary of typing on a smaller keyboard, but we'll give a go during our hands-on let you know how it feels.

The Vivaz Pro, Xperia X10 Mini and Xperia X10 Mini Pro are quandband world phones and are available with triband 3G support for North American wireless broadband networks. All phones should be available in the second quarter of this year. The Vivaz Pro and Mini Pro will come in either black or white, while the X10 Mini will come in black, white, lime, pink, red, or silver.

 

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