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Sony Ericsson Naite J105
It's taken a while but the world and its dog finally seems to be getting the idea when it comes to recycling and the environment – there's only one world so let's at least try and do our bit to keep it habitable. Not everyone is onboard yet and not all the measures are exactly life changing but every small step should be applauded. So, when Sony releases a range of mobiles, collected under the GreenHeart banner, and claims they are greener than your average phone it's sure to pique our interest.
One of these handsets is the Naite J105 - a relatively cheap candybar phone that sits at the bottom of the Greenheart range. It's available for as little as £60 on Pay As You Go and for free on even the cheapest contracts. Its green credentials are derived from the use of recycled plastics, water-based paints, an energy efficient display, an on-phone manual instead of a paper one, and a lower-power consumption charger (though as the phone tells you every time you unplug it, you should unplug or switch off the charger at the mains anyway to save power). All told these measures apparently result in a 15 per cent drop in the overall CO2 emissions of the phone. This is of course good to hear, though we can't help but feel a 15 per cent saving would easily be bettered simply by buying second-hand and prolonging the life of existing products. Still, if you're looking to buy a new phone, it's good to know you're doing your bit for the environment.
Being a budget phone, it's no surprise that the Naite is lacking somewhat when it comes to fit and finish. That plastic body is rather flimsy and the keypad buttons are very wobbly and overall it just doesn't feel all that solid. It's certainly not going to fall apart at the drop of a hat but it doesn't fill you with confidence. Weighing just 82g, the plastic construction does at least get you a light device and its dimensions of 108 x 47 x 13mm make it highly pocketable as well. We also rather like the simple styling with its matt black back and combination of glossy black and silver on the front.
Also, despite their wobbliness, the buttons of the keypad are relatively easy to use thanks to a neat and logical layout. The action isn't great thanks to that aforementioned wobble but there's still a discernible click so it's easy to tell when you've pressed one. In addition, the navigation buttons are a little small but again not enough to be of major concern. Overall, we found we could type at a decent pace and navigating the menus was not hampered at all by the keys.
However, looking at the screen, which measures 2.2in diagonally and has a resolution of 240 x 320 pixels, things take a turn for the worse. While we know not to expect anything too clever from the screens of budget devices, this one really does stand out thanks to its poor viewing angles, or more precisely its poor viewing angle. Particularly when viewed from the right, the screen suffers from a huge drop in contrast making greys or any sort of darker detail disappear into blackness - an angle of just 20 degrees or so results in some menu items becoming almost invisible. In fairness, it's not that the screen is unusable in any way, it's just that the contrast shift is noticeable from even the slightest angle resulting in a slight shimmering effect when holding the phone anything but perfectly still.