The numberpad keys are large and fairly easy to hit accurately, and the same can be said of the rest of the keys. They are flush to the fascia which isn’t an aid to super-fast texting, but I’ve seen a lot worse and I certainly didn’t feel they hampered my getting around this phone.
The screen isn’t the largest, measuring just 1.9 inches across diagonal corners. Its 176 x 220 pixels may disappoint many but remember this is a budget mobile and a fancy screen can eat development costs. It doesn’t look as great as screens on more expensive Sony Ericsson handsets, but you aren’t paying enough to get that kind of goodness here.
Before I go any further let’s talk about the gesture controls. You may recall that I covered this when I reviewed Sony Ericsson’s W380i a couple of weeks ago.
Well, it is back. There is a light on the front fascia sitting just beneath the camera lens that is activated when someone tries to call you or an alarm goes off. When the light flashes, sweeping your hand over it is enough to cancel an alarm or reject a call. As long as your hand isn’t more than 7cm from the phone, it works. I wasn’t too excited about this when reviewing the W380i, and having seen it for the second time here I think it is more gimmick than useful feature. Still, as with the general design of this handset, it might float your boat.
Despite this being a budget handset, there are some nice features. The slight vibrations you get when making menu selections are always useful. It is great to see an FM radio bulking out music playback too.
And Sony Ericsson has implemented its Activity Menu. I’ve praised this before, and I’ll do it again here. You tap a key above the number pad and up pops a set of tabbed screens you can use to flick between alerts and notifications, running applications, Web bookmarks and a set of shortcuts. It makes getting around some of the phone’s features really fast and easy.
On the other hand, there is stuff that is not so great. I mentioned web shortcuts but really I wouldn’t bother to use the Web at all. The lack of 3G is a problem and the screen isn’t up to displaying sites very well. WAP is also supported and you might have better luck there.