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Sony Ericsson C510 Review

The Sony Ericsson C510 Cyber-shot mobile phone proves to be a very cost-friendly option that offers great value money.
08/04/2010

The Sony Ericsson C510 Cyber-shot mobile phone proves to be a very cost-friendly option that offers great value money. The most affordable Cyber-shot mobile phone to come out thus far, the C510 is not a mind blower in terms of its features, but it’ll do the job well, while looking the part.

A stylish 3G mobile phone that come full of standard features, the C510 Cyber-shot is made for photography, so it’s no surprise even at this low price it comes with a 3.2-megapixel camera including sliding lens cover, dual-LED flash and HSDPA connectivity.

The Sony Ericsson C510 utilises the traditional ‘candy bar’ design, but this phone is too sleek to ever contemplate eating. The handset’s controls are fairly simplistic, with a five-way navigational pad, answer and end call keys, two selection buttons, and shortcut and clear buttons. This is all standard fare, but if you’re a person with larger sized fingers, you may find these controls are a little bit small. Some people have mentioned the navigational pad’s edge can dig into your finger if you use it a lot. However, this hasn’t had much effect on how popular this mobile has been on the world market.

The C510's keypad has raised buttons, but they seem a little squashed together because of the overall smaller size of the pad. You’ll get used to it, but it’s something Sony Ericsson could have improved on after their last effort. On the other hand, the user interface is still of very high quality. All of its menus and icons are labelled clearly, and there’s no noticeable lag time when you scroll through items or open applications.

As the name suggests, the main focus on this mobile phone is the 3.2-megapixel Cyber-shot digital camera. Like a proper digital camera, the sliding lens cover is a great addition, and shows this phone means serious business for avid photographers. Functions like digital zoom, autofocus and a dual-LED flash round out the picture (no pun intended). As it’s a low price mobile, the pixel count could be better, and you may miss a Xenon flash when attempting to take good night shots.

Sony Ericsson has included numerous useful functions in the C510 Cyber-shot’s camera application. One great addition is the row of illuminated keys used for making shortcuts when the camera application is open. These can be used to adjust the focus, shooting mode, scenes and flash. There’s also the new Smile Shudder, which automatically takes a picture when it detects a person smiling. It’s hard to believe, but this feature works quite well, quickly taking a shot right when someone cracks a smile. However, on some occasions the photo does come out a little blurry.

Even though the Sony Ericsson C510 doesn’t fall into the Walkman branded range of mobile phones, it’s still a complete multimedia device. Like Walkman mobiles, it has a tiered media interface that incorporates photos, videos, music and Web feed menus. Within the video menu section is a YouTube application, which makes it easy to find and play videos, as well as giving you the ability to access your personal YouTube account information. Videos here are automatically shown in full-screen mode (via the built-in accelerometer) if you turn the handset onto its side. Most of the time watching videos on the C510’s large screen delivers crisp, clear images that make for pleasurable viewing.

One cool musical aspect on the C510 Cyber-shot is that you can record several seconds of any song you like and Sony Ericsson's TrackID function will send it over to a music database where if recognised, the artist, album and track title are shown on your phone. You also get an FM radio and A2DP Bluetooth, but for some reason there’s no 3.5mm headphone jack or adapter, which is surprising when you think about Sony Ericsson’s historical influence on the mobile music industry. There’s a Memory Stick Micro (M2) card slot included on the handset, but it’s put on your onus to go out and purchase an extra memory card.

The Sony Ericsson C510 Cyber-shot comes with Bluetooth and USB connectivity, and is HSDPA-capable, but there’s no option for Wi-Fi or GPS, although it should be noted a Google Maps application is onboard. Voice calls can be heard with great clarity, but you may feel incoming audio could be just that little bit louder.

Extra features and functionality for the C510 Cyber-shot include a front-mounted VGA camera for video calls, plus several of Sony Ericsson's proprietary applications like Music DJ, VideoDJ and PhotoDJ. There are great sound recording features, as well as a remote control function. A ton of organiser features are also available. like notes, alarms, calculator, calendar, tasks, timer, synchronisation and a stopwatch.

Overall, the Sony Ericsson C510 Cyber-shot is a relatively cheap mobile phone that includes a feature list quite similar to more expensive handsets. Often sold as a prepaid mobile, it’s an excellent choice, especially if you’re someone who would like to have a phone as an alternative for photography.

Pros:

-    Simple yet modern design that is built to last
-    Great camera functionality
-    Sliding lens cover
-    Good user interface
-    HSDPA-capable
-    Excellent screen display
-    Good battery life
-    A solid performer

Cons:

-    Keypad and controls are a bit small
-    No Xenon flash
-    No proprietary 3.5mm headphone jack
-    Not much standard memory

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