Sony Ericsson Z520 / Z525
Loved this phone
Even if it isn't considered a smartphone, I would give this a 5/5!
This is another one of my first phones ever and I can tell you I absolutely loved it. The image quality when taking photos was really good, and even if the video recording only had about 30 seconds to it per video, it was still fun to randomly record me and my friends doing dumb stuff. I got this phone when I was 15 (about 7 years ago) and it STILL holds up. I don't use it anymore for obvious reasons, you eventually move on, but I can still turn it on, browse the photos and videos and everything about it works just fine aside from the fact it is no longer connected to a network.
If you're a phone newbie, I would recommend this one for you!
z525a - Great phone, but....not for me
I've always stayed away from flip phones. I carry the phone in the front pocket of my pants, so bulk is an issue for me. Now that there are thinner flips, I thought I'd give the z525a a try (RAZR too pricey) since I was happy with my previous Sony Ericsson (T237). At first, I thought I was not going to like the flip. But then I started playing with it and upon seeing all its capabilities and features (tons of them) I changed my mind. This is a really great phone! What amazing sound quality and clarity.
But after using it for a week I've come full circle: I want to go back to a bar phone. The volume keys on the outside are too sensitive: nearly every time I answer the phone (grabbing it in my pocket or trying to open it) I hit a button (PTT is a feature I'll never use--one can partially disable this button) which causes the incoming call to be sent to voicemail or kills the ringer (hard to tell which happened). I end up having to call everyone back. Admittedly, this may be my own quirk (I'm not physically handicapped), but other phones didn't have such sensitive outside buttons. Because of this issue alone, I will be going back to a bar phone.
Well spelled out by other reviewers, but here's what I like
- record messages and your own ring tones
- nice colors, graphics, user interface
- small but very manageable
- lots of capabilities with bluetooth, calendars, and synching with home computer
- great reception
- sensitive outside buttons (accidentally press while retrieving or opening phone)
- faint vibrate mode
- teeny tiny fonts esp. for clock on outside screen
- standard ring tones not very good
- no green and red buttons to answer and hand up (done here through soft keys) esp. since...
- background light goes off after 10 sec, leaving a totally black screen (no image) so you have to know which button to press to end call
If you are used to flips and want lots of features for small price, this is a phone you may want to consider.
AD reviews continues below...
z525a - Great phone, great price, great features
I just switched from an aging Sprint phone to Cingular and received this phone for around $20. I'm not up on all the modern things phones can do, but here's what I like about it, and what I don't.
The buttons are relatively small and can take a little getting used to, but they are still very usable.
An annoying PTT (a service I will never use) button is located on the outside of the phone. Too easy to push. I just hope I never hit "accept charges" when the confirmation screen pops up.
Send/Receive calls keys that I am used to are now C (clear) and a BACK key that returns to previous menus. Will take some getting used to, but I'm willing to learn.
There is no memory slot for extra memory; 17mb of memory is decent for on-board, but I would enjoy being able to store more MP3s on the phone.
Camera and video aren't exactly breathtaking. They work well enough though.
I get a lot of signal strength most of the time, but I find that even though Cingular doesn't drop my calls, it sure makes me want to hang up because of all the fuzziness.
Great signal strength, I can make a call anywhere.
Look and feel - It looks sleek, it is sleek, I love the blue key lights, the lighting effects when someone calls or texts are eye-catching, the screen looks beautiful with customizable themes and wallpapers (deviantart.com has some great stuff), and I love the loop antenna for some reason...
Menus are very easy to navigate once you learn the software.
Customizable ringtones and lighting effects with each person in your addressbook. And yes, you can have as many MP3s as your ringtones as you want.
I bought a cheap Bluetooth USB dongle and can now transfer any files I want to over to the phone; mp3s, photos, ringtones, themes, etc.
Anyway that's all I've got. I really like this phone and definitely think it was worth what I paid for it.
This phone is amazing, i've had it for a few months and it's never let me down.
Pros: Great speakerphone,
it looks awesome
cool light display
its just an awesome phone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Cons: um nothing really
its actually awesome
if you don't get this phone, you're dumb!, so get it now!!
Good and solid phone.
this phone is a phone. it doesn't turn into a car or gives you food. it does what it is suppose to do.
the only thing that might cause some pain is the camera button, external and internal screen when exposed to sunlight.
otherwise, a solid phone.
Absolutely the best valued phone for Cingular right now period. This phone packs quite a lot of features into a small, attractive phone with a mid range price point.
Fast User Interface
Changeable faceplates (could be con depending on view)
Dual color displays
Variable fun camera options (panoramic!)
Speaker is loud and clear
Sync with Outlook quickly (even wireless)
Bluetooth in an Inexpensive phone!!
Screen does not look quite as good as other 65k color screen phones
Camera picture quality sometimes looks terrible on phone.
SE has been doing alot of things right lately, this phone and the w600i are 2 of the best phones Cingular is offering right now. Sony has also really nailed the features they included with these phones making for a great experience.
This Phone Is AMAZING!!!!!
Oh my word! This phone is amazing!! I love the camera, and the picture quality is great!
1) Awesome ability to make ring tones
2) Has camera
3) Ability to edit pictures
4) Awesome ring tones from the beginning
5) Awesome picture quality
6) Ability to set pictures as your background
7) Ability to take video
8) Ability to set external background to picture
9) LOUD ring tones
11)Ability to set reoccurent alarm
12)Ability to have more than one number per contact
13)VERY durable (I dropped it on concrete, and it didn't even scratch)
14)Easy to press the numbers
15)Ability to have a different ring tone for every contact
16)Speakerphone works great
17)Battery life is great
I only have a few cons:
1) A little bulky
2) Vibrate is weak (I had it in my back pocket, and could barely feel it vibrate)
3) Kind of ugly faceplate, but that is a matter of opinion
This is an amazing phone. If you want a phone with great features, and call quality, this is the phone to get! Everyone should have this phone!
All of the pros everyone else said I agree with. Now I'll add that I really like the voice recorder. You can use it for ringtones and such, and if you put the phone up to a stereo and play music the song usually comes in decent. The lighting effects are great too. The phone has about 12 of them on it, and then you can download more and customize them to individual contacts. Also like the animated wallpaper.
Now to address the cons:
I just got my phone (Z520a) so it's updated and all that.
You can't take a picture in your pocket with this phone because the button is not that sensitive and you have to hold it down for a while to get to the camera screen and then press it again to take a picture.
You can use the speaker phone with the phone closed by simply pressing + on the outside of the phone while closing it.
The time display on the outer screen is hard to read when in standby, but come on, it's almost just as easy to take your phone out and look at it as it is to take your phone out while pressing - or + on the outside to take the phone out of standby making it very easy to read.
The backlight stays on for like exactly 19 seconds (my old Nokia was 25 seconds, not much different).
All of the mechanical glitches are also fixed with this phone, so if you're thinking about getting one, remember all of the recent phones are re-issues that have addressed the software problems.
I'll agree that it's weird how when you start opening the phone and then when it's open the screen lights up then turns off then lights up again.
Memory Card would have made it a perfect phone. Maybe a megapixel camera also.
VERY good phone
I had gone through several Cingular flip phones, including the LG C1500 (cute, but weak), the Samsung X497 (boring and requires superhuman hearing), the Motorola RAZR V3 (really good intentions, very attractive design, but too many flaws), and the Nokia 6102 (REALLY cool phone), but the Sony Ericsson z520a is by far the best that Cingular has to offer, in my humble opinion.
The interface is rather different from most other mobile phone manufacturers...there is no 'send' button, nor is there an 'end' button. These functions are controlled by soft keys when applicable. I'm still having a bit of trouble getting used to the back and 'C' (clear) keys. BE CAREFUL if you accidentally press the 'C' key, because you might just end up deleting something.
I was a bit disappointed that there are only four color schemes to choose from: super girly pink flowers, dull deep blue #1, dull deep blue #2, and bizarro earth tone streaks. Reminds me of the Sanyo phones from Sprint.
The sound quality is great. The earpiece volume can actually get quite loud, and the speakerphone (clever design of nickel-sized speaker behind the hinge) is very loud and nice. Ringers are very audible and the sound quality is great.
The camera is pretty decent for a run of the mill VGA camera, but be warned that the camera button is extremely sensitive. And YES, IT IS TRUE THAT A WHOLE BUNCH OF THESE PHONES WERE ORIGINALLY ACCIDENTALLY MANUFACTURED WITHOUT A SPRING BEHIND THE CAMERA BUTTON. I actually called Sony Ericsson about the issue, as my first z520a was one of the hair trigger camera button phones. They feigned ignorance, but five corporate Cingular stores knew all about the problem and attested to having had to send back a lot of their z520a's to the manufacturer. Even the 520 with the correct button is still very sensitive. And be careful where you hold the phone with your thumb/fingers when on a call, because YES, you can take pictures while on a call!!
High quality, unique phone!
Awesome phone but....
I really like this phone;
Small compact size
Great synchronizing features with windows xp, contacts, calender, task, notes
They are not longer sold by Cingular. They have instructed them stores to returned the ones in them inventory and the Cingular website no longer sale it.
There is a memory leak that made the phone to freeze or malfunction.
Cingular solution is to turn the phone off every day to power circle the phone.
The camera buttom is so soft that it takes pictures of your pockets as you walk.
The phone will be perfect for me if the issues above could be corrected.