Vizio to Jump Into Android Game with Phone and Tablet, Announcement Planned for Today [Updated with Press Release]

The Vizio name may be more instantly familiar to you as the makers of generally inexpensive televisions, but according to the Wall Street Journal they will be announcing today a foray into the world of Android with a new smartphone and an 8-inch tablet. Their Via Phone handset is said to have a 4-inch screen and dual cameras, a front-facing lens and a 5MP snapper on the back. The tablet is also said to feature a front-facing camera along with multiple speakers and a high resolution screen.

Though an announcement is expected today, we won’t be seeing either device until the summer. We’ll have to wait until then to see if their line of mobile products keeps in line with the sometimes lack of quality and low pricing of their televisions.

[Update] Alright, these things are official. We will be seeing more of them at CES, but for now here is the  press release:

Irvine, CA-January 3, 2011 – VIZIO, America’s #1 LCD HDTV Company*, announced today the VIA Plus ecosystem, the next generation of VIZIO Internet Apps™ that will provide consumers with a connected CE experience unlike any other. The new ecosystem will allow for unified on-demand content and application consumption across multiple consumer electronic devices including VIZIO HDTVs, Blu-ray players, SmartPhones and Tablets.

“The promise of a unified consumer experience across multiple screens and devices has been unfulfilled until now,” said Matthew McRae, Chief Technology Officer at VIZIO. “With VIA Plus, VIZIO is delivering the first true integrated ecosystem across multiple classes of devices and enabling a simple yet powerful interface for consumers to enjoy their applications, services, and content.”

VIA Plus expands upon the VIA experience and extends it to new devices creating a world-class connected ecosystem that combines the latest technologies and a unified user experience to provide the very best HD entertainment experience. Consumers will be able to begin content consumption from one device and seamlessly transition the content to another device allowing entertainment to be continuously enjoyed anywhere and anyplace without interruption.

VIA Plus HDTVs and Blu-rays will incorporate Google TV and feature a premium Bluetooth QWERTY universal remote with touchpad, dual-band 802.11n built-in wifi and enhanced onscreen navigation including search and web browser.

The VIA Plus Phone and Tablet will be based on the Android Platform and feature built-in IR blaster with universal remote control app, HD playback with HDMI output, and access to hundreds of thousands of apps in Android Market.

“In the upcoming era of connected digital devices, we believe the companies that stand the best chance of success are those that realize the consumer experience isn’t just about hardware. Rather, it’s the integration of hardware, software, and services toward a specific usage model that will ultimately offer a unique and potentially lasting consumer experience,” said Richard Shim, mobile computing analyst with DisplaySearch. “One of the usage models that we believe can be addressed most readily is the consumption of high-quality digital entertainment.”

More Freedom with VIA Plus

With VIA Plus devices, consumers will be able to search, organize and access their favorite apps more easily than ever. At its core, the VIA Plus experience is a unified, consistent and intuitive user interface that allows consumers in just a few clicks to quickly group favorite apps by categories, customize the dock with their most frequently accessed apps or switch apps with the multitasking bar.

“We know we have tremendous interest and support from our current distribution for new VIA devices, but always are mindful of what the end user wants. With the proliferation of platforms and apps now available to connected devices, navigating and learning different interfaces can be frustrating to end users,” said Mr. McRae. “With that in mind, VIA Plus presents a simple, consistent, and elegant interface so users can quickly access the entertainment they seek on devices from a 4″ mobile phone to a 65″ Theater 3D HDTV.”

VIZIO will be demonstrating VIA Plus devices in their private CES showcase at the Wynn Hotel from Janurary 6 to 9, 2011.

*Sources: Q3 2010 iSuppli and DisplaySearch Reports

[via BGR]

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  • PhazonBlue

    Good, The more the Merrier.

  • http://twitter.com/peterjohn Peterjohn

    Vizio, eh? Might be cool if they put a digital tuner in there.

  • shpr

    does the pic show an custom UI or Honeycomb preview of the app drawer?

  • jp

    Oh great. Another manufacturer that will add up to the android fragmentation with their custom ui. I wish more manufacturers would embrace stock android. But that is asking for too much.

  • sudhaman

    these two devices better have the honeycomb and better processor out there atleast to catch some spotlight out there in CES.

  • moii

    hmmm this might be my new phone depending on tbe specs…. and its most likely 2.2 a custom ui

  • Alex

    Vizio TVs are great value, so I expect nothing less from them in the smartphone/tablet space. This is great news.

  • Ryan

    Why bash on the vizio quality? I’m an av enthusiast and I think their some of the best tvs out there. Id never pay the higher prices for other brands when vizios build is just as good, and in most cases the picture lools better anyway. Hopefully I can expect the same from their tablets, for some reason I am not hopeful though.

  • http://trueacu.com acupunc

    having the range of devices with consistent UI between them I think is a very good strategy.

  • jroc

    Yea I’m just recently learning Vizio LED TV’s might be better implemented than some of the big name manufactures.
    .
    We laughed at Onkyo for getting in the Android Tablet arena. Seeing as how Vizio makes TV’s this isnt too funny. The phone will be interesting tho…

  • Jeff72

    About time a phone company enabled this feature:

    “feature built-in IR blaster with universal remote control app”

  • BS

    Vizio = for people who can’t afford the much higher quality Sony & Samsung. I’ll pass on all of their products.

  • http://na Kuderized

    So, my 47″ Vizio LED HD TV has the wifi and Yahoo Junk included on it…. has the slide-out keyboard on the remote , seemed neat at the time but the limited apps are just pretty much useless. Wonder if there will be a possibility of a firmware upgrade to handle Android/google TV???… Oh the possibilities. I am still running my old Acer Laptop with it hooked up via RGB. It sits in the Living Room and I have to admit we seem to have it streaming video more time than pulling in the signal from DirecTV.

  • josh

    Ithink vizio makes a great tv nowadays when they first came out not so much…. jeff palm centros had that app

  • Mike C

    Great, the disposable tv company getting into phones and tablets, I can’t wait…NOT.

  • Mike C

    Vizio is a great value? Not until you have to get them fixed, or send them back at your expense to a service center, stick to Sony, Samsung, Sharp, Panasonic and other reputable brands who actually stick by their products and don’t put el cheapo parts in them.

  • Steve m

    Mike c do some research vizio is making most of those brands led technology fore them to put in their cheap plastic cases and large price tags!

  • michaelk

    phone and tablet aside- looks like googletv has another partner.

  • ParanoidAndroid

    Good for vizio, i hope their business model holds up cause they just stick it to the big manufacturers

  • http://bestwalkietalkie.com/ Jon

    I am a big fan of Vizio’s TV’s, have two units myself and I am interested to buy that Vizio Tablet. How much is it cost?