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Review: Sony Ericsson S710a

Form Function - Basics Function - Extras Wrap-up  

Body Three S's  

Mar 29, 2005, 7:00 PM   by Eric Lin

In-depth review of the Sony Ericsson S710a, the new high-end swivel camera phone for Cingular.

Form Factor
There is no getting around it, the S710a is a thick phone- It's almost an inch deep. It's also heavier than the average handset. Despite these setbacks, the S710 still fits well in the hand and is easy to hold, even for extended periods of time. It just doesn't fit as well into your pocket. Sony Ericsson obviously put some thought into the shape and size of the phone. The curved edges make it comfortable to hold whether the phone is open or closed. The weight is also distributed well in either position, so the phone never feels like it's going to flop out of the hand. The size also allows you to place your hands perfectly around the phone when holding it horizontally as a camera.

The S710a actually has 2 keypad areas, one for the navigation controls which are on the phone's face, and a second for the numeric keypad and power key which is under the spinning face. The navigation keys on the face allow you to do pretty much everything - including make phone calls - without spinning the phone open. When the phone is open, the numeric keypad is close to the navigation keys, so you don't have to move your hand too much to use all the keys.

All of the keys are quite flush with the surface of the phone. The navigation keys are completely flush, while the numeric keys are slightly below the keypad surface, leaving a slight indent where each key is. The D-Pad select key is the only key other than the volume up down keys on the side of the phone that can be felt for without looking. However the D-Pad select has problems of its own. On first glance it appears to be a joystick, as is common on most Sony Ericsson phones. However the direction keys are the ring around the joystick, which serves solely as a select key.

Since not all the keys are hidden when the phone is closed, Sony Ericsson devised a very useful keylock. Instead of a key combination, the keylock is a dedicated slide switch on the side of the phone.


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