Sony Ericsson Z520i
- Stylish design, Comfortable keypad, External Screen, Light Effects, Excellent user friendly interface, Great Value, Included Bluetooth headset
- Bulky handle, Outdated Internal screen, VGA Camera, Only 16MB of internal memory, No USB Connectivity
The Z520i is a welcome addition to the populated mid-range mobile market, and provides a substantial amount of features for a good price.
Price$ 499.00 (AUD)
The Sony Ericsson Z520i is an admirable entry into the mid-range mobile phone market and contains a solid list of features for a reasonable price.
If you're an iPod freak, you'll fall in love with the Z520i as soon as you remove it from the packaging - just like we did! Finished in gloss white with silver trim, the flip Z520i is a joy to cup in your hand and looks extremely sleek and stylish. We didn't understand the need for the large bulky handle on top of the unit though - it could have been removed to make the phone much more attractive and smaller in size as well.
The Z520i has an excellent external screen, which is quite small in size but still big enough to display important information including Time and Date, Battery Life, Reception Levels, Profiles and Background Wallpaper. We think that it's very important and convenient for flip phones to have an external screen, and it's good to see that Sony Ericsson agrees.
Flipped open, the Z520i continues the all white theme, and the blue backlit keypad is an extremely nice touch. A flashy feature is the light effects, which notify you of incoming calls, missed calls and new messages. For example, when the phone rings, and you flip the Z520i open to answer the incoming call, the area surrounding the keypad lights up and flashes to the music of your ring tone. These lights can be adjusted to settings such as Waterfall, Heartbeat and Fountain. Call us easily amused, but in the day and age where mobile phones are seemingly fashion statements rather than communication devices, we liked this feature.
The Z520i internal screen doesn't break any new ground and with just 65k colours, it is already quite outdated. We would have liked to have seen a newer 256k colour screen on this particular unit, but in saying this, the display is still quite clear and crisp. We did find it difficult to view in direct sunlight though and we also think the viewing angle could be improved. The screen also flickers on and off for about a second when you flip open the phone, but this is more of an annoyance than a significant problem. What we did like about the Z520i was its easy to use keypad, which is probably the best feature of this handset. The keys are easy to press and the controls are very simple to use, with only a 4-way navigational pad, Two selection buttons and Back and Clear keys to deal with. The buttons feel sturdy yet slightly padded, which makes for a comfortable user experience - overall, one of the better control systems on the mobile phones we've seen to date.
If you've used a Sony Ericsson handset before. You'll know that the user interface is one of the best around and we are pleased to report that the Z520i continues this fine tradition. Once again making use of a simple 3 x 3 grid system complete with animated menu icons, the Z520i can be mastered by even the most technologically challenged people out there.
The most disappointing feature of the Z520i is the camera. Although it is a fine effort for a VGA number, most handsets are shipping with 1.3 or even 2 megapixel cameras as a minimum so we were quite perplexed with Sony Ericsson's decision not to upgrade the digital camera on the Z520i. In saying this, the camera does have quite a number of options and settings including Panorama, Frames and Burst shooting, Night Mode, Black and White and Sepia effects, and a Self-Timer. The photos we took were respectable for a VGA camera, and its best feature is arguably the self portrait function, whereby you can use the phones external screen to take a photo of yourself. You simply hold the camera button on the right hand side of the unit and the screen will appear as a viewfinder, where you can snap till your hearts content.
Other notable features of the Z520i include Java support, WAP 2.0, Speakerphone, Bluetooth and Infrared connectivity, SMS, MMS and email messaging (with T9 predictive text input) and support for MP3 and AAC files. Unfortunately there is only 16MB of internal memory, so you won't be able to store much of your music collection, but this shouldn't be too much of concern to most - the MP3 player functionality is poor anyhow, as this isn't really designed as a multimedia handset. However the Z520i does come with in-phone software for editing videos, music and photos, even if it's lacking in options. The glaring omission from this handset is the lack of a USB port on the phone for the transfer of files. Only Bluetooth and Infrared are available for data transfer and with both of these connectivity options fairly slow, we would have liked to have seen a USB port for improved interaction with our PCs. Conveniently, Sony Ericsson has bundled a Bluetooth headset with the Z520i, which further enhances its value for money.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei P10 smartphone review
- 2 Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Motorola Moto G5 smartphone review
- 4 Oppo A57 phone: full, in-depth review
- 5 Moto G5 Plus phone: full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Google wants to solve the Android update problem once and for all with Project Treble
- Intel concerned about name of John McAfee’s privacy phone
- Low-cost Android phones to get iPhone features with new Qualcomm chips
- Qualcomm's Quick Charge 4 is coming in phones midyear
- Apple's next iPhones may cut corners on memory due to price squeeze
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Asus ROG Strix Z270F Gaming motherboard review
- The simple RAM buying guide
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- FTDevelopment LeadVIC
- FTDeployment Engineer / Field Service EngineerQLD
- FTSenior Software Engineer - JavaQLD
- CCPega DeveloperQLD
- TPSenior Java Developer - Contract till June 2018QLD
- FTSenior System EngineerNSW
- TPTechnical AnalystVIC
- CCSAP ISU Functional ConsultantVIC
- CCMicrosoft (Sharepoint) SpecialistNSW
- TPReporting DeveloperWA
- FTInfrastructure Engineer - End User ComputingNSW
- CCSenior PMO AnalystNSW
- FTSystem Engineer - VMWare, UCS, NetAppVIC
- CCBusiness AnalystQLD
- FTSenior Security Engineer x 3NSW
- CCSolution Architect with Magento experience wantedVIC
- FTTechnical Consultant - SharePoint developerQLD
- CCData ArchitectACT
- FTApplication AnalystSA
- TPMS Access/SQL DBAQLD
- FTTechnical Lead Front-endNSW
- CCProject Manager Performance & ControlsQLD
- FTProgramme ManagerACT
- TPArcGIS DeveloperVIC