Entertainment is where you’ll find the games, along with PlayNow, the FM Radio (requires headphones for aerial), and even GoogleMaps. The phone doesn’t have GPS but you can use the service to look up directions or such like. Incidentally, the phone can be used as a modem to hook your computer up to your mobile network (assuming your carrier supports it).
The Media interface apes the PS3’s crossbar interface providing quick and easy access to your music, photos, videos, and games. It’s nothing too clever but we certainly found it easy to locate our files.
Social networking provision is limited, with no contact integration, but you can still access java apps for Facebook, Twitter and Myspace. Messages from Facebook even find there way into the messaging inbox. Meanwhile text messages are conveniently stored in conversations so it’s easy to keep track of everything you’ve said to a contact. A list of shortcuts at the bottom of the message typing box also gives you easy access to adding music, photos, and videos to your text.
Email is also catered for. Again, it’s fairly basic in terms of presentation but you can enable push notifications. Sadly, along with browsing the internet, email download speed is limited by the phone’s lack of Wi-Fi – it’s 3G only.
Making a few calls on the Cedar revealed no major causes for concern, though sound quality certainly wasn’t exceptional, just adequate. In contrast, battery life was most impressive with us getting five days of on and off use out of it before leaving it over the weekend and still finding it with a bit of juice by the Monday.
If you’re into saving the planet the Cedar may also appeal thanks to its use of recycled plastics, lack of plastic bags or manuals in the box (it’s electronic and on the phone), and use of waterborne paint.
The Sony Ericsson Cedar is a classic candybar feature phone that’s been given a shot in the arm to keep up with today’s standards. Physically you’ve got the modern standards of a headphone jack and microUSB charging and on the software front you can browse the web, collect your email, view Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter, and find out where you need to go with GoogleMaps. All this is presented in a fairly basic fashion but its easy to use and tidy while build quality and battery life are excellent. Add in the £50 asking price and we can think of few reasons not to snatch one of these up, if you’re in the market for a budget phone. The only thing to consider if whether you can get a second hand or on-deal handset with a few more capabilities for the same money, particularly given the very poor camera.