The C510 comes equipped with an accelerometer, which comes in particularly handy for viewing photos, though it didn’t seem to work for me in the web browser. There is a zoom feature in the browser, too, that’s easy to use but takes an age to re-render a page once you’ve chosen a zoom level. There are far superior browsers out there for mobiles and Sony Ericsson needs to do some work in this respect.
The C510’s memory extends to 100MB and there is a Memory Stick Micro slot on the left edge. No card is provided with the phone so if you want to use the C510 as a serious music player you’ll need to buy one in order to store a decent amount of music. However, the good news on this front is the presence of an FM radio if you want to start listening right away and that on a continuous playback test I got 13 hours 45 minutes of sound from a full battery.
During everyday use, the C510 easily lasted for two days between charges. With no Wi-Fi and only the rather lacklustre browser to present a real burden on the battery you could manage three or more days if you are light on calls and music use. Sony Ericsson says you’ll get 10 hours of talk and 400 hours on standby on GSM (4 hours and 350 hours respectively on 3G).
I actually got sent two versions of this handset for review. Sony Ericsson sent me a vanilla one, and 3 also sent me its version. If you opt for the 3 variant you’ll get a Favourite menu hardwired to the left softmenu button which takes you to a whole range of shortcuts. Facebook, Bebo, MySpace, YouTube, Skype and 3 Email are among the presets. The Facebook shortcut takes you to a client specially designed for 3, which includes among its features a carousel of friends updates on the home screen.
Sony Ericsson’s software goodies include a predictable range such as TrackID, VideoDJ, PhotoDJ and MusicDJ, Bluetooth, sound recorder, mobile email, five alarms, calendar, notes taker, task manager, timer, stopwatch and calculator.
For a mid-range handset the Sony Ericsson C510 Cyber-shot has a lot going on. With its reasonable camera, decent battery life and easy to use menu system, it represents good value for money. However you should probably steer clear of it if you want web browsing as the screen is little small for comfort and the phone’s processor doesn’t resize pages quickly enough.