Sony Ericsson Z530i

Sony Ericsson Z530i
  • Sony Ericsson Z530i
  • Sony Ericsson Z530i
  • Sony Ericsson Z530i
  • Expert Rating

    3.00 / 5

Pros

  • Interesting aesthetic, Small, Price

Cons

  • Irritating keypad

Bottom Line

A solid entry level handset that offers a great array of features, including an MP3 player.

Would you buy this?

The Sony Ericsson's Z530i is a well rounded phone that has a virtually identical design to the entry level walkman phone, the W300i. It offers an interesting design, interchangeable face plates and all the features and connectivity you'd expect out of an entry level handset.

The design of this handset is its most notable feature. With a compact, almost bubble like shape, the Z530i stands out in the world of slim and sleek mobile phones. Measuring 90mm x 47mm x 24mm and weighing 93g it is quite small, although the thick, stumpy design means it doesn't slip into your pocket as easily as some other units.

When we first received the phone, we were shocked by the garish pink camouflage colour scheme. Upon further inspection however, we discovered this could be removed and replaced with a variety of different front and back plates. So, if you're not into using pink camouflage to hide from the counter staff in a Wendy's store, it can be replaced with something more conservative such as the silver casing.

The 65 thousand colour main display works well, although it is a little dim in direct sunlight. The phone also has a monochrome external LCD, which clearly displays a standard array of information including time, reception, battery life and any missed call or message indicators. The fact that the external display is not colour does not detract from its usefulness, and probably is a factor in keeping the price of the phone down.

Matching the design, the interface is colourful and has a fun feel to it. The icons, while not overly detailed, are displayed clearly and when combined with the 12 square grid arrangement navigation is fairly intuitive. The same praise cannot be given to the controls however. Like the W300i, the Z530i suffers from extremely small buttons and a cramped layout. The keys are circular in shape, and extremely small, and this is further exacerbated by the fact that they overlap. Inadvertent button presses are a common occurrence and even those with small fingers will struggle with this keypad. Thankfully the five-way navigational pad doesn't suffer the same problem, so surfing the interface is no problem. Two selection buttons and back and clear keys round out the controls.

All the usual features are present on the Z530i. PIM functions are available in the form of a calendar, note taker, to-do list, stopwatch, calculator and alarm clock. And, while the Z530i is not a Walkman branded phone, MP3 player functionality is provided. The player includes a five-band adjustable equaliser, sorting by artist, genre or title as well as shuffle and loop modes. Unfortunately the phone does not have a 3.5mm headphone jack, so you'll need to listen to tunes using the supplied headphones. Access is also provided to Sony Ericsson's new PlayNow service, an iTunes-like MP3 store. Music can be downloaded directly to your phone in either MP3 or AAC format.

Reflecting this model's price tag, the Z530i only comes with a VGA camera that shoots at a resolution of 640 x 480. That said, it does come with a host of features, including burst, panorama and frame shooting modes, as well as a night mode and 4x digital zoom. None of these are enough to improve the poor quality of the pictures, but the images will more than suffice as wallpapers, or to send around to friends as MMSs.

Our other main concern with this model was the volume of its ring tones. Even at their highest setting, we often struggled to hear them when moving about in noisy, crowded areas. Compared to the tones we're used to on our other phones, they were a little too quiet for our liking. However we did find phone calls to be of a good volume, and they offered excellent clarity, with no excess stuttering or static to be heard.

Sony Ericsson quotes the battery life at nine hours talk time and 400 hours stand-by, which is slightly above average. We found these figures reasonably accurate, and wound up charging it once every three or four days.

Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?