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Sony Ericsson Vivaz 2 breaks cover, with Android instead of Symbian

Sony Ericsson might not have announced the sequel to its Vivaz smart phone, but one website has already been playing with the device, which has dumped Symbian for Android.

Sony Ericsson is preparing to launch the Vivaz 2, an Android-powered successor to last year's Symbian-based Sony Ericsson Vivaz. The new handset -- also known as the MT15i or "Halon" -- has not been announced, but Mobile-review has already got its hands on a pre-production model.

The Vivaz 2 has a larger and sharper screen, and sports Sony's Bravia TV brand -- something also seen in the new Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc. Video appears to be one of the major selling points for the new device, which also has an HDMI port for connecting it to TVs.

Mobile-review claims the Vivaz 2's battery life is "quite a performer" compared to other Android smart phones. The pre-production model runs the latest version of the Android OS: 2.3 Gingerbread.

This is the biggest change from the original Vivaz. When we reviewed that, we weren't impressed by the "inconstancies and sluggish performance" of its S60-based software. Since then, Sony Ericsson has ditched Nokia's OS and piled into Android.

Other features include an 8-megapixel camera, 300MB of storage and a beefed-up processor, although not to the extent of the dual-core Tegra processor that'll form the, er, core(s) of the upcoming LG Optimus 2X.

We're wondering how the Vivaz 2 will sit alongside the Arc, which we were hugely impressed by earlier this month. The two handsets have similar features, including the HDMI output and 8-megapixel camera.

When will the Vivaz 2 be available? We're guessing it'll be unveiled at the Mobile World Congress show next month, meaning a possible launch date in the first half of this year.

Image credit: Mobile-review