Sony Ericsson S500i
Stylish design for those on a budget.
- Price, ease of use, excellent display, light effect feature, A2DP Bluetooth
- Questionable design of controls and keypad, no 3G, proprietary headphone jack
At this price the S500i is reasonable value, but it doesn’t boast any outstanding features. Its design should appeal, but the keypad and controls may pose some problems.
Price$ 199.00 (AUD)
Best Deals (Selling at 1 store)
- Xperia C4 White 399.00
The Sony Ericsson S500i is a low-end prepaid handset that commands a price of just $199. Exclusively sold by Virgin Mobile in Australia, the S500i differentiates itself from the pack by offering a stylish design.
This slider phone is available in three colours — "Mysterious Green", "Spring Yellow" and "Steel Silver". Our Mysterious Green model looked very sleek, with a metallic green number pad and jet black controls and casing.
The S500i is comfortable to hold, and at just 14 mm thick and weighing only 94 grams, it's an easy phone to slide into your pocket or bag. Unfortunately, while it manages to appeal cosmetically, the small keypad poses issues, especially to those with large fingers. We found it easy to unintentionally press the wrong keys while messaging or dialling. The five-way navigational pad is also a problem, as its design is centred in a round casing and the edges dig into your fingers when pressed.
The S500i boasts a dynamic light effect feature, but this is purely an aesthetic addition rather than a functional one. The small neon light on both sides of the phone can be customised to a number of different colour presets for incoming calls. Options include a range of standard colours, in addition to settings which change colours, such as glimmering pulse, lantern and disco. Although this does attract some attention, the novelty will quickly wear off.
Thankfully, Sony Ericsson's proprietary interface is both easy to use and speedy. The 3x4 grid layout for the main menu and the simple list format for submenus shouldn't pose too many problems, even for first-time users. Menu icons are bright and clear, showcasing the excellent display, while viewing angles are reasonable.
Considering its market position, the S500i boasts a reasonable list of features, headed by a 2-megapixel camera, a multimedia player and A2DP Bluetooth. The inclusion A2DP Bluetooth is handy, as Sony Ericsson has once persisted with a proprietary charging and headphone jack and doesn't include an adapter for a standard 3.5mm jack in the sales package. For extra storage, a Memory Stick Micro (M2) card slot is located at the top of the handset, but there is no card included.
The S500i isn't a 3G phone, but Virgin provides access to its Vibe portal, where you can access a range of downloadable content and services. In addition, there are two preinstalled games — Brain Juice and Lumines Block Challenge — as well as a number of PIM functions including a sound recorder, calendar, notes, timer, stopwatch and calculator.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Motorola Moto X Style review: A no compromise flagship
- 2 Oppo R7 Plus review: a stellar sub-$600 phablet
- 3 Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 (9.7) 4G review: Samsung does a lot more with a lot less
- 4 Motorola Moto G (3rd gen) review: Is it worth an extra $100?
- 5 Jawbone UP3 review: 3 months with Jawbone's best fitness tracker
Deals on PC World
- Networking, Wireless & VoIP
Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- Sony's Xperia Z5, Z5 Compact go on sale next week at Australia's largest telcos
- Samsung’s Milk Music goes premium for $4 a month
- Meet Beats Pill+, the first Beats speaker made under Apple
- Existing Windows Phones will start getting Windows 10 in December
- Microsoft makes serious smartphone play with Lumia 950 range
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- FTDatabase Marketing ManagerNSW
- FTAccount Manager | Music IndustryNSW
- FTLinux Administrator with AWS & DevopsNSW
- CCE-Commerce - Senior Web Application DeveloperNSW
- FTManual Test Engineer | Financial Institution | Web testingNSW
- FTField EngineerNSW
- FTMid level IT consultant | Systems Integration & Managed ServicesNSW
- FTSenior Account Manager - PR AgencyNSW
- FT1st & 2nd level IT support all-rounder in beautiful rural BathurstNSW
- FTBusiness Development & Account ManagementNSW
- FTDigital ManagerNSW
- FTSenior Consultant | Project work | National Systems IntegratorVIC
- FTLevel 2 IT Support TechnicianVIC
- FTAndroid DeveloperNSW
- CCMilitary simulation programmer with C# and Unity - 3 monthsNSW
- FTSystems Administrator - Managed ServicesNSW
- FTSystems Administrator | National commercial law firm | MS, AWS & eDiscoveryNSW
- FTProduct Marketing ManagerNSW
- FTAccount Manager | Client Side - Previous Agency Experience Welcome!!NSW
- FTSales SpecialistNSW