Neat touches include the tiny keys on side edges — a music player shortcut button on the left (for starting and stopping the music when it’s running in the background) with the traditional volume up/down keys and a camera shortcut on the right which is used both for starting the camera application and for taking pictures. The ergonomics of the main keypad are generally impressive, though the navigation D-pad is definitely less convenient than the joystick used in most Sony Ericssons. The alphanumeric keys are well spaced, the functional keys are great (clever rockers for the two soft keys and RETURN and CLEAR), shortcut keys for the Activity menu and the NetFront web browser are embedded in the rockers but are well differentiated. The screen is pretty good too, though something of a compromise – 262K colours but at a relatively low resolution of 176×220 pixels, because it’s TFD rather than TFT technology (older, less rich, but uses less power).
The music player is pretty good – there’s equaliser with a few presets (and you can set up your own), stereo widening to improve the sound, and background mode so that you can do other things with the phone while listening to music. Generally speaking, the player has the same functionality as the first generation of Walkman phones – similar to the W810, for example. The player is controlled easily via the D-pad and that makes it really easy.
Other goodies include the excellent Sony Ericsson file manager (which has acquired a useful timeline option for sorting photos), a great web browser, pretty good email, and an ok camera — satisfactory but with few bells and whistles (no autofocus, no flash). Videos are taken at the disappointingly low QCIF resolution
• Nothing flashy, but a reliable 3G workhorse with good battery life and lots of features – all without being too business orientated
TFD, 256K colours, 176×220 pixels, 30x37mm
2MP, 1600×1200 pixels, video (QCIF); secondary video call VGA camera
3G, triband GSM, Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP, USB 2.0
Standby up to 400h, talk time up to 7h