Considering the fact that Vizio is the most successful manufacturer of television sets in the United States, it was only a matter of time before the company attempted to have a piece of the mobile pie. The organization announced both an Android-based phone and a tablet device, certainly jumping the CES gun in doing so. Both of the devices are to be shown at the expo this week.
It comes as no surprise that Vizio is beginning to target a mobile audience as they have already established an application portal called Vizio Internet Apps (VIA) on HDTVs. The VIA interface has been implemented on about a dozen televisions and Blu-ray players, and will now be run through GoogleTV.
While it is unclear at this time what version of Google’s Android operating system the devices will run on, it is expected that one or both of them will run on the much-anticipated Honeycomb build since they are slated for a summer release. The tablet iteration of the VIA interface will almost certainly run the next-gen OS as it is targeted for use on larger touchscreens. Both of Vizio’s offerings will run with a VIA skin over the operating system, a move made to ensure the continuity of their products on all platforms.
In terms of technical specifications, the manufacturer is not blowing anybody away. The phone will house hardware comparable to modern smartphones on the market – 4-inch screen, front-facing camera, 1 GHz processor, and a 5-megapixel camera. The tablet does have some key features that make it a distinct offering in the growing tablet field – an HDMI port, HD Video output, three speakers, and a front-facing camera – though its processor is nothing to boast about, clocking in at 1 GHz. Both devices will contain infrared transmitters, meaning that they’ll be able to work as universal remotes in conjunction with GoogleTV-powered television sets
No price has been announced for either device at this time, though many critics are looking forward to get their hands on the products. Many have questioned the introduction of a mobile line for the Irvine-based company, mainly due to the sheer number of manufacturers that already are producing Android smartphones.
What do you think? Will Vizio’s offerings be able to find a niche in the oversaturated mobile universe or will their devices fall to the wayside amongst consumer confusion? Are you looking to pick up one of these devices?
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