VIZIO has announced that it is expanding into the mobile arena with the VIZIO smartphone and tablet, currently referred to as the “VIA Phone” and “VIA Tablet”, 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.
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™.
VIZIO will be demonstrating the VIA Phone and VIA Tablet in their private CES showcase. No word yet on carriers or pricing, but I would say this is a nice development. A few years ago, no one took VIZIO seriously in the HDTV market and today they make some excellent products and lead the LCD HDTV market so we will be watching this one very closely.