Along with Vizio's new tablet, we had a chance to look at the HDTV maker's new Android device, unsurprisingly dubbed the Vizio Phone. The phone is still in the early stages (both the hardware and software aren't production ready at all), but there's a lot of promise on both the industrial design and user interface sides. We had a chance to go hands-on with the phone and take a pretty deep look at the UI, so follow along after the break for lots more info and a complete video walkthrough of the Vizio Phone!
Just like its tablet big brother, the Vizio Phone is a sleek, lean, mostly black device which is handsomely and thoughtfully designed. The front is a dark, gloss black bezel, while the backside is covered in a soft touch material that almost feels like metal (though we think it's a harder plastic most likely). The display is a 4-inch LCD clocking in at 854 x 480 -- we're big fans of the slight resolution bump (think Droid), and even though this is an early, hand-built unit, the color balance and clarity seemed pretty top notch. Inside, the phone sports a 1GHz "plus" CPU, but just as with the tablet, Vizio reps wouldn't tell us who the maker was. Also as with the tablet, there's 4GB of storage onboard, a microSD slot, Micro USB port, and HDMI port. Continuing the trend, the phone will feature the same kind of IR setup, allowing you to use it out of the box as a universal remote. There's a VGA front-facing camera present, as well as a 5 megapixel shooter with flash on the backside.
This device appears to be running Android 2.2 or 2.3 with the heavy Vizio skin, which is easily one of the most beautiful and useful variations that we've seen of Android. In some ways, what Vizio is doing from a design and usability standpoint put the Vizio Phone in an iOS or webOS class. We need to see a lot more of how this is going to perform, but we're definitely excited about the direction the company is taking. We're also excited to see how the VIA Plus integration plays out (the company's ecosystem which encompasses a large swath of its devices), but it looks like we'll have to wait a bit on that.
A summer release window is on tap here as well, and again the company isn't talking price (or carrier) at this point, but again emphasized its desire to be competitive. Of course, reps also emphasized that Vizio has a large presence at important big box retailers in the US like Walmart and Target. We're going to be hounding the company for more time with this thing -- but for now, enjoy the photos and video we nabbed at CES!
Vizio Phone hands-on preview
Joshua Topolsky|January 5, 2011 1:37 AM
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