Sony Ericsson C510

Sony Ericsson's latest Cyber-shot mobile phone is the most affordable one yet.

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Sony Ericsson C510
  • Sony Ericsson C510
  • Sony Ericsson C510
  • Sony Ericsson C510

Pros

  • Simple, stylish design, camera features, sliding lens cover, HSDPA-capable, user interface, great screen

Cons

  • Controls and keypad a little small, lack of Xenon flash, proprietary headphone jack

Bottom Line

Sony Ericsson's C510 Cyber-shot mobile phone represents excellent value for money at this price. It won't wow you with its features, but this is a more than capable mobile phone with a stylish design.

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A feature-packed yet affordable 3G mobile phone, Sony Ericsson's C510 Cyber-shot boasts a 3.2-megapixel camera with sliding lens cover, a dual-LED flash and HSDPA connectivity. Although its features don't stray from the norm, the C510 is great value for money at this price.

The Sony Ericsson C510 is a candy bar mobile phone that has a straightforward, yet sleek design. Controls are relatively simple, with a five-way navigational pad that is flanked by two selection buttons, answer and end call keys, and shortcut and clear buttons. Using these controls is a comfortable enough experience, though some users will undoubtedly find them a little small, and the edge of the navigational pad can dig into your fingers.

The buttons on the Sony Ericsson C510's keypad are slightly raised, but the size of the entire pad is a little small, so the keys are fairly close together. It doesn't take too long to adjust to, but the design could have been improved. Thankfully, the user interface remains excellent. Icons and menus are clearly labelled, and the C510 doesn't suffer any noticeable lag when scrolling through items or opening applications.

The key feature of the Sony Ericsson C510 is the 3.2-megapixel Cyber-shot digital camera. The sliding lens cover is excellent, attempting to replicate the lens covers found on many standalone digital cameras. The camera features autofocus, a dual-LED flash and digital zoom. The pixel count is a little underwhelming, and we would have appreciated a Xenon flash for night-time photography.

Sony Ericsson has integrated a number of useful features into the C510's camera application. Particularly welcome is the row of illuminated shortcut keys that are available on the 3, 6, 9 and # keys when the camera application is open. You can use these buttons to adjust the shooting mode, scenes, focus and flash. Also new is Smile Shutter, a mode that automatically takes a photo when it detects a person's smile. This works surprisingly well and quickly snaps a photo as soon as someone smiles, though it can be difficult to get a clear photo.

Despite not being a Walkman-branded handset, the Sony Ericsson C510 is still a capable multimedia phone. It uses a tiered media interface similar to most of the Walkman handsets, incorporating photo, music, video and Web feed menus. Included in the video menu is a YouTube application, allowing you to search and play videos and access your account details. The built-in accelerometer comes in handy here, as the videos automatically enter full screen mode when the phone is tilted. For most part, watching video on the display is crisp and clear and the screen is large enough for comfortable viewing.

Sony Ericsson's TrackID feature is also present — it allows you to record a few seconds of any song and send the snippet to a music database. If the song is recognised, the title, album and artist name are sent back to you. A2DP Bluetooth and an FM radio are also available, though the lack of a 3.5mm headphone jack or adapter does put a damper on things. For extra storage, a Memory Stick Micro (M2) card slot is included, though there is no card in the sales package.

The Sony Ericsson C510 is HSDPA-capable and includes Bluetooth and USB connectivity, but no Wi-Fi or GPS (though Google Maps is included). Voice calls are crisp and clear but incoming audio could have been a little louder — this is a trend we've noticed on many of Sony Ericsson's latest mobile phones.

Other features of the C510 Cyber-shot phone include a front-mounted VGA camera for video calls, and some of Sony Ericsson's proprietary applications such as VideoDJ, PhotoDJ and Music DJ. There are also remote control and sound recording functions and a host of organiser features including calendar, tasks, notes, alarms, calculator, synchronisation, timer and stopwatch.

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