Hands-On with Sony Ericsson Vivaz, Vivaz Pro, X10 Mini, and X10 Mini Pro

If you haven’t had a chance to check out Sony Ericsson’s announcement tonight from Mobile World Congress, they’ve got three new handsets that we had a chance to play with. There weren’t many Mini’s floating around at the event (though we got some stills), but we got some solid playtime with the original Vivaz that was announced last month, as well as the brand-spanking-new Vivaz Pro, and the adorably tiny X10 Mini Pro.

As a quick refresher, the Vivaz handsets are the first to be able to record video in 720p HD quality with a 5 megapixel camera, and run Symbian. The Xperia X10 Mini and Mini Pro pack QVGA displays, 5 megapixel cameras, and clock in at minuscule dimensions of 83 x 50 x 16 mm and 90 x 52 x 17 mm respectively.

My general impression of the X10 Mini was that, although it was cute, and a physical QWERTY keyboard and toned-down specs/price point will make it a big contender as an entry-level smartphone, it still pales in comparison to the big brother. Maybe it’s supposed to, and the Minis are just meant to round out the lower end, but it’s hard not to gaze longingly at the X10. As for the Vivaz Pro, I could tell little difference in the OS or functionality, aside from the physical keyboard, but again, this is simply an iterative upgrade to offer consumers a few more options.

All in all, it might not have been a mind-blowing show for Sony Ericsson, but they brought some decent toys to the party, and expanded the Xperia family considerably. I’ll be sure to get some more time with these devices once the show starts in earnest.

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