Pros MP3 ringtones, Bluetooth, Infrared, 16MB memory, Camera, Clamshell design
Cons (I am being very subjective) Can't answer phone when closed & can't maintain speakerphone when closed
Summary First, let me say that I have been an AT&T customer since '97 and am now with Cingular of course. Except for my first intro Nokia phone, all of my phones have been Ericsson and now Sony Ericsson. I have had a new phone at least once a year on average.
My phone before the z520a was the T610/6. It's pretty much just like my last phone except that it adds speakerphone, mp3 ringtones, and it's a clamshell.
The camera is better. The design is cleaner. There is a lot more memory to hold more items such as pictures and ringtones. The phonebook is definitely more like an address book as it holds more than just phone numbers - email, home, web addresses; other info, pic, ringtone etc.
But, the best thing that I like about this phone is the infrared port which my T616 also had. I could use my phone as a modem thru the infrared port with my PDA when there was no wifi signal to hijack.
It also helps when I want send things to my phone from my computer such as pictures and ringtones. And I don't have to pay for them nor do I have to pay the data charges. Since it can play MP3s as ringtones, I can edit and extract clips from my music collection creating my own unique ringtones.
My current ringtones include two by Big Pun, instrumental of Damn by Youngbloodz, and a half chorus of Would You Mind from Janet Jackson (just before she begins speaking - very racy). You can probably get the "Damn" ringtone from anywhere since it's just an instrumental (not my 700kb version though - imagine the data cost on that one alone). But, no one has the other ringtones.
As for pictures, I have this sweet image of a woman. I already have some old pictures of friends and family in my phone as well.
Anyway, I am sure a lot of other phones can do a lot of what I mentioned. But, at what price? This phone cost me $99 plus tax of course. I also got a $30 mail-in rebate but I don't even factor that into my purchase since I probably won't see a check before I am dead.
Enough about all of the good things. Let's talk bad things. First of all, I couldn't answer a phone call while the phone is closed. I do understand that in cases that maybe the button would hit something. But, it could be deactivated or inactive for trying to place calls. Who would place a call with the phone closed anyway? How would you dial? I think it should include an answer button.
The speakerphone doesn't stay on when you close the phone. This also makes sense as most would probably wish to end a call when the phone is closed. I suppose this is where that button comes into play to answer - and end calls.
Last thing, I had a problem sending something with the infrared port. It would freeze during the sending of files. I was trying to send an image that I took with the phone back to my PDA to put on my website. I figure maybe it was just too big or something but it was freezing at about 20k/78k. I ended up solving the problem by sending it to my T616 through bluetooth and then using that to send infrared-send to my PDA. But, I never had problems sending files to the phone, only from the phone.
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Pros QUAD BAND, Bluetooth (which works great!), Simple Nav. Menu, Non-Bulky Antenna, LED Light Show, Crisp/Clear Sound, 16 MB memory!, Customization!
Cons Non-Disable Camera outside button function, Outer Screen Darkens way too quick and Time is unreadable after that!
Summary Well, let me just say a little bit about my experience with the Z520....I think it's a GREAT to EXCELLENT phone for all the features along with the price! I'm sure that there are better phones out there with some or better qualities, but overall this phone packs an AMAZING punch for being so cheap (I upgraded and paid 89.99 plus tax with a $50 mail in rebate)! I am currently using the Bluetooth and absolutely love it! I use it in the "headset" mode, so I can't wait until I get the "dongle" for the computer so I can send/receive stuff that way instead of "downloading" stuff via the phone inet...(which costs money!)...
I do see how the camera outerbutton could be a "problem"...I however bought a Belt Clip off the internet (paid 7.89 for it with shipping from cellphoneshop.com) Since I've started using the clip, I haven't had any mistaken photos!
My biggest and main gripe is probably the outer screen...it goes "black" in a short amount of time....and you can't read the time/date when it is blackened! Oh well....I guess I'll have to stop being lazy and actually touch the button to light it up!....Oh...and another thing about that outer screen...the time/date font, etc...is a "little" bit small...wished it were bigger/easier to read.......
Overall....a "Great to Excellent" phone packed with plenty of features with some "Minor" drawbacks.....But, since when is there ever a "Perfect" phone....and I've been using "cell phones" for 10+ years now....and have never had a "perfect" cell phone....
This has by far been my best Cell phone! I've had Nokia's...and Moto's before....and this one blows those out of the water...of course those were "older" models...But, I am glad I made the switch to SE!
Pros Bluetooth, IR, Media features, Quad Band
Cons No keypad lock, must be open to use most features
Summary Using Cell phones for 13 years (Oh My God, that long?) and as a former Bell Atlantic Mobile/ Verizon and Nextel subscriber, I've seen alot of phones. This one is certainly one to consider if you are shopping around. It's small with no protruding antenna and the color screens are very readable. Signal strength was good and calls are clear. It was amazing to hear how clear and loud MP3 were from this phone. The camera takes good pictures and fair video, but clearly this would not be for primary use. I love the fact that you can tranfer files from the phone to another phone or PC using either bluetooth or Infrared. I got two phones and added my contacts to one phone and sent them to the other so it didn't have to be done twice. Oh and by the way, the phone has a light show around the keypad that you can tailor to how you like it...very "Kewl." Quad Band is a nice feature for the traveler as you can now hit the planet with this phone.
Now for the minor gripes...
Amazingly, there is no keypad lock. For all you parents with kids under 5, BEWARE. My 2 year old has already grabbed the phone twice and started pressing buttons. Luckily no calls to China werre made, but you never know. Just keep it out of reach when it's not on you and you'll be fine. The navigation dial pad is a little small and takes getting used to. Also when the display is darked, it is basically unreadable, open or closed. You must press a key for it to light up so you can check the date, time, etc. Also, there is no simple way to raise and lower the ring volume. You can go silent and the touch of one button, but if you want to change the volume to a different setting, prepare to hunt.
Could someone mention to the developers in Sony Ericsson that alot of people like to do things without opening the phone? It annoys me that I can't adjust the volume and answer or end calls without the phone being open. Come on people, this is a no brainer..."Just Do It."
As I said earlier, these are minor complaints about this phone. I really like it alot and the price made it an easy choice.
Pros A great feature set, nice volum settings, good reception...
Cons CANNOT DEACTIVATE SIDE BUTTONS!!! small memory with no expanding capabilities...
Summary Okay, so I purchased 15 of these Sony flip phones for my business and gave them to 15 different workers. The phone is very nice size with plenty of good features and very good reception.
However, after the first week of use EVERY single person complained about the same thing. There are two side buttons, one for the camera and one for the volume, and these buttons cannot be deactivated!!! It is nearly impossible to open the phone, or use the phone without hitting these buttons consistently. It is highly annoying and I must now exchange all of these phones for something else. My professional employees would not use them because of this.
Now, all of you who are stuck with these phones must do their best to get Sony Ericcson to fix this problem. You can contact their support at 866-766-9374, and start a case number on this. Do not settle with the bottom level of support, ask for their supervisors, etc. They admit this problem and say there is no plans to fix it! Can you believe that Sony would do this?!?!? Now I ask you, if Sony puts their name on this phone and doesn't catch this in their QC department aren't you skeptical of all of their products??? I am, and opted to but an HDTV other than Sony. Do yourself a favor, do not get this phone unless you want to experience this problem....or if you are stuck with this phone lodge your complaint and maybe some engineer will put a fix on their web site. All we need a downloadable patch to deactivate these two side buttons. Is this that hard?!?!?!??!?! After spending 15 hours on the phone with Cingular to get these phones (as anyone who had to migrate from the At&T side with Cingular will be verbally raped by their service, but this is another story) I now have to return all of these phones and again deal with their dehumanizing support. Wohhh, is me, and thanks for nothing Sony Anyone can email me bout this issue or a possible hack at firstname.lastname@example.org I tried to pluck the side camera button off with a screwdriver but that did not seem to work Please, someone out there give me a hack to solve this heck of a problem!!!
Pros Stylish, speakerphone, infra-red port, exterior lighting, display, software, bluetooth, battery life.
Cons Small time display, low quality camera, exterior buttons.
Summary I just upgraded from the Samsung SGH S307 and got the Sony Ericsson Z520a for free after a $50 mail-in rebate and a two-year contract renewal. This is what I think about the Z520a. Keep in mind that I am being very critical.
() Clean and stylish look
() Two-tone exterior
() Good quality speaker that is elevated from a surface by the curved antenna
() Infra-red port, which is allows wireless transmission to your computer. A USB infra-red port for your computer can be bought for about $15.
() When you get a phone call or message the entire edge around the phone where it closes is lit up with blue light in customizeable patterns. Very unique and impressive since the light appears to shine through the body.
() Solid feel. I think it could take some drops.
() Great looking display.
() Excellent software that utilizes tabs instead of deeply imbedded sub-menus like on most phones.
() Bluetooth is always sweet. I mainly use it to connect to my TomTom Go 700.
() All of the buttons have a good feel.
() So far I haven't had any battery issues. It is rated with a long life, but I haven't taken it down very far yet.
() Exterior display does not show the time large enough. A lot of space is wasted just showing the background. The font for time could be increased by 250 %.
() Camera lense is surrounded by plastic that protrudes from the otherwise sleek design. I think this is cosmetic and was only done to give the lense a more traditional look and emphasize that the phone has a camera.
() It is almost impossible to open the phone with one hand. This is mainly due to a strong open and close feeling, which is a good thing, but leads to two-handed operation when opening.
() Curved antenna could have probably been molded into the phone like many other phones currently out.
() When there is a weak signal, your hand can severly damper the ability of the phone to have signal. I have seen it drop from three bars to zero just by putting my hand over it, which means you sometimes have to be careful how you hold it. This typically only occurs in buildings. When I am outside in a strong signal my hand position doesn't seem to affect it.
() The side buttons are very hard to feel, resulting in frequent visual operation. The volume button should have been elevated at the ends. The camera button is also body-conforming, but this isn't quite as annoying since I typically do not want to press it. It seems as though most people bash this feature of the phone claiming that they always push it in their pocket, etc., although I haven't had much trouble with it. I agree, it should be removed or have a disabling feature, but it is not as big a deal as people claim.
() Cannot disable the exterior camera button.
() No way to turn on an exterior notification (i.e. blinking light) that there is a voice mail or message.
() Low resolution camera. It can really only be used to take pictures of people to assign it there names for when they call.