Sony Ericsson Elm Review
The Sony Ericsson Elm is a new member of the manufacturer´s Greenheart family and a feature rich, 3G and Wi-Fi capable device equipped with A-GPS, aimed at eco-conscious people willing to show their concern about planet Earth without sinking into a fiscal coma in the process. Being a mainstream feature phone, however, the Sony Ericsson Elm faces tough competition from other similarly priced rivals, including several eco-friendly cell phones like the Samsung Blue Earth. We have mentioned on many occasions that the company has taken a different, even if not exactly unique approach to addressing modern day environmental concerns. Sony Ericsson does not really believe that solar panel technology is mature enough to deliver any results of conceivable significance in practise. So, instead of releasing (otherwise nicely looking) devices with arguably effective solar panels, the manufacturer has focused on getting better at using recycled materials, decreasing harmful emissions during manufacturing, providing energy saving features and accessories like highly efficient chargers.
So, what´s inside of the tiny box made from recycled paper?
- Sony Ericsson Elm
- Energy efficient wall charger
As you have probably noticed, the handset comes boxed with surprisingly poor accessory pack. This is all part of the manufacturer's eco-friendly strategy of shipping such cell phones without user guides/manuals and software CDs, i.e. all relevant software is preloaded onto the device itself.
There is nothing ground-breaking about the overall look of the Sony Ericsson Elm. It is a candybar device, but we cannot call the form factor “classic”, since the human curvature design of its back is both offbeat and nicely looking. The handset will certainly fail to grip the attention of on-lookers, although it truly offers a breath of fresh air on the market of mainstream feature phones. The body is almost entirely made from recycled plastic that doesn’t feel cheap and provides a secure grip, thanks to the back panel that is partly anodized aluminium. It is relatively easy to remove and reveal the battery and microSD expansion slot above it, but you better be careful not to get it scratched in the process. The back panel is not completely flat and its profile follows a dainty curve, with its elongated shape making it both ergonomic and appealing. All told, the Sony Ericsson Elm features proper build quality, nicely feeling materials and is quite elegant for a mainstream device. It´s refreshingly different, without being spectacular and relatively thin (not as much as the old Sony Ericsson W890i though). The surface finish feels good in your hand, the thing is the anodized aluminium part equates to “slippery when wet”, so you might want to be extra careful when holding the Sony Ericsson Elm in a sweaty hand.
You can compare the Sony Ericsson Еlm with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.
The Sony Ericsson Elm integrates a 2.2-inch TFT screen with QVGA (240x320 pixels) resolution that delivers relatively crisp images, although colors are just not saturated enough. The display remains usable in direct sunlight, just increase the brightness to its maximum setting. The handset is equipped with Sony Ericsson´s proprietary port, located on the left hand side, while the volume rocker and camera shutter are on the opposite. The buttons of the tactile, rubberized alphanumeric keypad are easy to press, feature proper travel and on the overall, are enjoyable to type with. This also applies to all other buttons, including the volume rocker, camera shutter and slightly overly rigid D-Pad.
All told, the Elm is an appealing device, even if there is nothing really exceptional about its design, since the slightly curved, ergonomic profile of its back is typical of Sony Ericsson´s latest cell phones.