It is safe to say that Sony Ericsson did not have a great 2009. Posting losses of 167 million euros in Q4 they bet the farm on five handsets, three of which had significant issues at their respective launches, with the XPERIA X2 not managing to reach market at all.
Needless to say, back to the drawing board does not even begin to cover it. The Japanese / Swedish manufacturer has however sprung into action this year with an aggressive attitude and a dynamic push towards genuinely innovative phones, instead of the cookie-cutter Cybershot and Walkman devices that clogged shelves and confused consumers alike.
With a rumoured £10 million ad spend for this quarter alone, they are making sure that the Sony Ericsson Vivaz and the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 are coming with a bang that the whole world will hear.
The Vivaz stands on the shoulders of the 12-megapixel snapper packing Satio, taking the Symbian software core and swapping the hook from the still to the moving image. The VIvaz has the ability to record video in high-definition, with the 8.1-megapixel lens still way ahead of the curve when it comes to taking regular photos.
On top of the autofocus camera (sporting image stabilization and face detection no less) the Vivaz is full specced-out as a smartphone. With assisted GPS, FM radio, Wi-Fi and a 3.2-inch touch display, the Vivaz is certainly able to hold its own in terms of features.
It is also a looker too, with a tapered body and a range of colours to attract the fashion-forward set. Expect Sony Ericsson Vivaz deals to appear in the tail end of February.
The Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10, however, is a phone of firsts throughout. The manufacturer’s initial attempt to bring Android to bear on a device, the X10 wields a heavily customized user interface, presenting a familiar feel in distinctly new threads. The X10 pools the cream of both on- and offline content, whether it be contacts, media or messages, presenting them in a visually arresting style dubbed ‘Timescape’ and ‘Mediascape’ respectively.
The former places recent social networking status updates, messages and alerts in a chronological ‘spline’, with a swipe enabling the user to cycle through and keep abreast of the latest events as they happen.
The intelligent search in Mediascape allows the XPERIA X10 to quietly surf the web and find album art, lyrics, YouTube videos and even suggest movies from the PlayNow Arena to purchase, all based on current media on the device.
Built on top of Google’s popular Android interface, the XPERIA X10 definitely has enough fresh ideas in the UI alone to turn heads, but the device is also a powerhouse with a 1GHz SnapDragon processor, huge 4-inch capacitive screen, 8-megpaixel autofocus camera and 16GB of memory.
Initial Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 deals are only of the SIM-only variety, but numerous pay monthly offers ought to appear soon after its official March / April launch.
With these two strong handsets, expect Sony Ericsson to pose a huge challenge to the smartphone set in 2010, as well as put to bed the demons of a tough past year. We, for one, look forward to it!
Ernest Doku is editor of mobile phone deals comparison site Omio.com
Sony Ericsson phones don’t get much more stylish than this. If you really want to combine design with function, the Google Android powered P905 is the way to go. Featuring a large touchscreen and slide out keypad. No word yet on pricing or availability.
What makes the touchscreen P905 very interesting is that it proposes an Android platform, looks like a smooth iPhone but hosts a side-slider QWERTY keyboard.