Sony Ericsson released this phone a few months ago, billing it as the phone to take advantage of the ‘capture and share’ mentality we apparently now all have towards our photography. Happy Slappers everywhere must have pricked up their ears. Now, after a frantic couple of weeks of phone launches, does it stand a chance against the competition?
It’s a lightweight phone weighing only 80 grammes, and although it’s a candybar shape it has a slightly parallelogram knock to it, which makes it a little different. The back is a soft touch material (similar to the Motorola PEBL) and the whole thing is available either in black or purple.
Anyone who has had a Sony Ericsson before will be familiar with the interface, which is navigated by the mini joystick under the screen.
Connectivity options are good, with infrared, Bluetooth and a bundled USB cable for transferring files. It’s also got Push email, although I’m not sure that the people that own this phone would necessarily need it.
The camera comes with a lot of gimmicky features, like the ability to add clip art and a frame to the pictures. There’s also the choice of shoot modes. Panaromic takes three photos, providing you with a strip of the previous photo to the side so you can match up shot at each picture. There is also the ‘burst’ option, which takes a series of four photos in quick succession so you can pick the best.
The camera is the key feature on this phone, but at 1.3 megapixels and 4 x digital zoom, it doesn’t do anything to wow (especially in the week LG announce the first 5 megapixel camera phone). There’s no flash included, not even an light, so this has to be purchased separately – I doubt they were flying off the shelves. Since a key feature of this phone is the ability to share your photos, the absence of some kind of blogging programme is noticeable. Unfortunately, exactly this was announced by Sony Ericsson and Google (owner of Blogger.com) just a few days after this phone was launched.
Transferring files is a pain – whilst you think you might be able to outwit the phone by simply dragging and dropping music files to the phone when it appears in Explorer, you can’t. The files will be on there, but they won’t play on the MP3 player. To get them to play, you need to download the Disc2Phone software (included) which transfers music from your computer to your phone. Not unusual, but it’s a hassle that we could all do without.
The phone has 28MB internal memory (with even less of it being usable) with no option to expand it, which means there is little space to keep the photos and the music Sony Ericsson so want you to enjoy. I managed only to squeeze 8 songs on, which isn’t even enough for a full album.
In our opinion
The Sony Ericsson K510i is free on all contracts and from £90 on Pay as You Talk. As a contract phone, it’s unlikely to be picked – if you want a phone that plays music, or takes decent pictures, or both, there are far better options out there (the Sony Ericsson W810i is a Walkman phone with a 2 megapixel camera, for a start). However, on Pay as You Talk, it might just stand a chance. It’s the same price as the Motorola V3 RAZR and the Siemens E61, but if you’re a fan of Sony Ericsson, it’s still got enough going for it to be in with a chance.