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AT&T Launching 8.1 Megapixel Sony Ericsson Vivaz Phone September 5

AT&T has announce it will begin selling the Symbian-based Sony Ericsson Vivaz phone starting September 5th, for $79.99 with a new two-year service agreement and a $50 mail-in rebate. Announced all the way back in January 2010, the Sony Ericsson Vivaz aims to be a video and photo powerhouse, packing the ability to shoot 720p high-definition video and take 8.1 megapixel still images; the phone also offers a 3.2-inch touchscreen display and, for a limited time, will be available in both ruby and blue colors.

“With Vivaz capturing photos and video in stunning HD and sharing it on YouTube or Picasa Web Albums is quick and easy,” said AT&T Mobility VP Michael Woodward, in a statement.

The Vivaz features a 3.2-inch 640 by 360-pixel touchscreen display, an 8.1 megapixel camera with HD video recording capability, 3G connectivity, 802.11 and stereo Bluetooth wireless networking and assisted GPS, along with voice recognition software that can be used to compose notes or surf the Web. The phone runs Symbian S60 5th Edition, and comes pre-loaded with AT&T Social Net, a single application the encompasses social networking services like Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter. The Vivaz has multitasking capability—including the ability to upload HD video via Wi-Fi while doing other tasks—and (being an AT&T offering) comes with AT&T Navigator and can tap into AT&T’s network of Wi-Fi hotspots.

The Vivaz might be a compelling option for mobile users looking for a high-resolution camera without all the overhead (or upfront cost) of a smartphone; however, the jury is still out whether Symbian-based devices with high-end photo and video capabilities can hold their own against the likes of the iPhone and Android-based devices, which might not offer the same optical hardware but definitely have an edge for applications and flexibility.

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