Sony Ericsson launches Symbian phone with HD recording

Sony Ericsson expected to Support Symbian after platform shake-up, says analyst

Sony Ericsson has launched another Symbian-based smartphone, the Vivaz, which supports video recording at 720p and comes with an 8-megapixel camera.

Videos shot with the device can be viewed directly on the Vivaz's 3.2-inch widescreen display, or uploaded to Youtube via Wi-Fi or HSPA (High-Speed Packet Access). The phone also has a TV output, but it only supports VGA resolution.

The interest in user generated content and YouTube has exploded, and Sony Ericsson wants to take advantage of that, said Sony Ericsson spokesman Mattias Holm.

The phone also comes with A-GPS (Assisted-GPS), a 3.5mm audio jack and an FM radio. Music, videos and other content can be stored on an 8GB microSD card or the internal memory, which holds 75 MB.

Even though Symbian S60 5th edition has received a lot criticism for its user interface, it didn't surprise Geoff Blaber of CCS Insight that Sony Ericsson has launched another smartphone based on it.

The vendor invested a lot of effort in its first device for that OS, the Satio, and wants to get more milage out of that, according to Blaber. More troubling is that the Vivaz is so similar to the Satio, he said.

In less than six months Sony Ericsson has launched phones based on Windows Mobile, Android and Symbian. However, the company and its new CEO Bert Nordberg are working on a new platform strategy, which is expected to cut at least one of the operating systems.

"Sony Ericsson has some tough decisions to make on platform choice, but having said that I wouldn't be surprised if they maintain their commitment to Symbian," said Blaber.

Phone vendors need to maintain an alternative to Google's Android, according to Blaber, who thinks Sony Ericsson will drop support for Windows Mobile.

Symbian Foundation and the surrounding community, led by Nokia, are working at improving the user interface. New versions of the operating system will arrive next year. However, current plans don't call for the Vivaz to be upgraded with those versions, according to Holm.

The Vivaz will start shipping during the first quarter, but pricing wasn't announced.

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