Vizio launching Android smartphone, tablet

Company is moving from its familiar ground of flat-screen TVs to launch a Android-based smartphone and tablet at this week's CES 2011.

TV maker Vizio is entering the smartphone and tablet business.

The company said today it will launch the Via Phone and Via Tablet, both of which will feature Google's Android operating system, Vizio's Via Plus technology to offer a unified interface across different devices, and an infrared blaster with a universal remote control app that can control Vizio TVs and other devices.

Vizio Via tablet and phone
Vizio Via tablet and phone Vizio

With a 1GHz processor and a 4-inch high-resolution touch screen, the Via Phone will offer 801.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections, a MicroSD card slot, and HDMI output to play video on an TV. The phone also includes a front-facing camera for video chat and a 5-megapixel rear camera for photos and high-def video.

Also running a 1GHz processor, the Via Tablet will offer an 8-inch high-resolution touch screen, 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, a MicroSD card slot, HDMI output, and a front-facing camera for video chat. It also includes built-in GPS and three separate speakers.

"Both the Via phone and tablet feature the highest performance coupled with innovative features that tie them into the media consumption experience," Matthew McRae, Vizio's chief technology officer, said in a statement. "And by integrating the Via Plus user experience also found on our next-generation TVs and Blu-ray devices, Vizio is delivering the multi-screen, unified ecosystem others have talked about for years and never delivered."

Vizio's phone and tablet will be on display at the Consumer Electronics Show 2011 in Las Vegas this week.

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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