Vizio reveals Android-powered VIA Phone and VIA Tablet ahead of CESAlex Wagner - Senior News Editor
Yesterday we saw a few details of Vizio's tablet and phone leak out onto the Internet and, rather than wait for CES to actually announce the products, they've gone ahead and done just that today. The VIA Phone will sport a 4-inch display, 1GHz processor, a front and rear camera, microSD slot, and HDMI output, although it's not clear whether the device will end up running on CDMA or GSM networks. The VIA Tablet is the Phone's big brother, featuring an 8-inch screen, 1GHz core, a pair of cameras, and just about all of the other features of the VIA Phone, sans any sort of cellular connectivity. Both devices run an unknown version of Android and are said to be launching this summer. No word on pricing or carrier(s) just yet, but you can check out the press release below.
It's pretty interesting to see Vizio, normally known for their HDTV business, launching a phone and a tablet, but more competition is always good, right? Interestingly, the VIA devices sound like they'll be able to interact with Vizio-branded VIA Plus products, like Blu-Ray players and HDTVs that will run Google TV, so I suppose that's more incentive to pick up a shiny new TV from Vizio. We should be learning more about the VIA Tablet and Phone at CES, so stay tuned. How many of you would pick up a handset from newcomer Vizio?
VIZIO Unveils New Smartphone and Tablet Featuring VIA Plus for Even More Entertainment Freedom
- Part of the VIA Plus Ecosystem, the VIZIO smartphone and tablet Feature a Unified and Intuitive User Experience to Simplify Today's Connected Lifestyle
- The VIZIO smartphone features a 4" high-resolution capacitive touch screen with 5 Megapixel camera for photos and HD video capture, and a front-facing camera for video chat
- The VIZIO tablet boasts an 8" high resolution capacitive touchscreen with 3 speakers for stereo audio in portrait or landscape mode and a front-facing camera for video chat
- Both devices include HD video playback with HDMI video output, high quality audio processing and built-in universal remote control app that make these the ideal handheld companions to the HD entertainment experience
Irvine, CA-January 3, 2011 - VIZIO, America's #1 LCD HDTV Company*, announced today it is expanding into the mobility category with the VIZIO smartphone and tablet (referred to as the "VIA Phone" and "VIA Tablet" below) -- both part of the VIA Plus ecosystem, the next generation of VIZIO Internet Apps™, that features a unified, sophisticated and intuitive user experience across multiple CE devices including VIZIO HDTVs, Blu-ray players, smartphones and tablets.
"Both the VIA phone and tablet feature the highest performance coupled with innovative features that tie them into the media consumption experience," said Matthew McRae, Chief Technology Officer at VIZIO. "And by integrating the VIA Plus user experience also found on our next generation TVs and Blu-ray devices, VIZIO is delivering the multi-screen, unified ecosystem others have talked about for years and never delivered."
The VIZIO VIA Phone features a 1 GHz processor, 4" high-resolution capacitive touch screen, 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, GPS, a MicroSD card slot for memory expansion and HDMI output with HD video playback. It also features a front-facing camera for video chats and a 5 megapixel rear camera for photos and HD video capture.
The VIZIO VIA Tablet also features a 1 GHz processor, with an 8" high-resolution capacitive touch screen, 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, GPS, a MicroSD card slot for additional memory expansion, HDMI output with HD video playback, and a front-facing camera for video chats. It also boasts a unique three-speaker design for stereo audio in both portrait and landscape modes.
Both devices include a built-in IR blaster with universal remote control app for quick access to the entire home theater or nearly any other CE device in the home. Both run on the Android™ Platform, which will also allow users to access thousands of apps through Android Market™.
"As part of the VIA Plus ecosystem, the VIA phone and tablet are natural extensions of the HD entertainment experience that historically has centered around the TV," added Mr. McRae. "Whether consumers are looking to enjoy content on the big screen, on their tablet or on a mobile phone, VIA Plus delivers on the promise of Entertainment Freedom for All by creating a rich and consistent user experience across all devices that's accessible to everyone, from the power user to the casual browser."
VIZIO will be demonstrating the VIA Phone and VIA Tablet in their private CES showcase at the Wynn Hotel from January 6 to 9, 2011.
*Sources: Q3 2010 iSuppli and DisplaySearch Reports