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- Bulky handle, Outdated Internal screen, VGA Camera, Only 16MB of internal memory, No USB Connectivity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The Z520i internal screen doesn't break any new ground and with just 65k colours, it is already quite outdated.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 HTC U11 phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Gigabyte Aero 15 corporate gaming laptop review
- 3 Huawei P10 smartphone review
- 4 Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 5 Motorola Moto G5 smartphone review
Latest News Articles
- OnePlus 5 rumors: Everything we know about the upcoming budget flagship
- Google makes the best Android apps easier to find with Android Excellence
- Motorola's Z2 Play comes with a smaller battery, a higher price tag, and new Moto Mods
- Sony outs launch details for its Xperia XZ Premium flagship and futuristic Touch projector
- Andy Rubin's Essential Phone is finally here and it's weird
PCW Evaluation Team
The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.
Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.
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.
- MSI GL62M 7RDX gaming laptop review
- Alcatel A3 XL phone: Full, in-depth review
- Sony X9300E 2017 TV: Full, in-depth review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTDesktop Engineer - Level 1 and 2Other
- FTSoftware Developer - Web ApplicationsOther
- FTSAP ETL DeveloperOther
- FTProject Implementation ManagerOther
- FTInstructional Designer - Digital, e-Learning, GovOther
- FTPrincipal Consultant / Account Delivery Executive.Other
- TPBI ConsultantNSW
- FTWintel EngineerSA
- FTSoftware ConsultantOther
- FTProject Coordinator - DigitalOther
- TPSenior Communications ManagerACT
- FTSalesforce Consultant - AdministrationQLD
- CCBusiness AnalystNSW
- FTL1 Service Desk SupportWA
- FTApplication Support AnalystOther
- CCSenior Drupal DeveloperNSW
- FTFront End Developer | 6- 12mths ContractOther
- FTFinancial AnalystOther
- FTSAP Fiori ODATA SpecialistACT
- FTITIL Change Management SpecialistOther
- FTPMO Project ManagerOther
- FTSmallworld Developer - GIS , Spatial data,Other
- FTSenior Contracts Administrator- Construction BackgroundOther
- FTProject Implementation ManagerOther