Sony Ericsson Jalou Review

Introduction and Design
This is a global GSM phone. It can be used with AT&T and T-Mobile USA, but without 3G.

Introduction and Design:

Saying the Jalou is nothing to do with Ja Rule might raise some brows. Actually the name of the handset comes from French and the word means “jealousy”. Apparently, the creators of the Jalou believe the handset will attract jealous looks from those around you. We are not sure about that, but we did spotted people looking daggers at us for blinding them with the mirror of the Sony Ericsson Jalou. Oh, it has a mirror? Well, we’ll get to that part later on. Let’s first see what’s in the box. Aside from the Sony Ericsson Jalou, of course, what you get is a wall charger, headphones and user guide. We are reviewing the ordinary model and not the Jalou by Dolce & Gabbana, so the boxed accessories are as mainstream as it gets (meaning a bit unsightly on the overall), plus there is no fashion pouch with the famous designer’s logo on it.

As the ancient Greek adage goes “like box, like handset”. Well, we highly doubt they actually said that, since this was long before cell phones were eventually approved by Zeus, but... let’s just stay on target and get back to the Jalou. It is an exceptionally small handset with offbeat and angular shape that some may refer to as diamond-like, although we just cannot stop thinking of turtles... As a whole, the device is likeable, but we would never call it a beauty to behold.

You can compare the Sony Ericsson Jalou with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

Like most all the craze clamshell cell phones, the Sony Ericsson Jalou is equipped with hidden external display that measures 1.3 inches and happens to be somewhat transparent, i.e. you can see the reflection of captions and letters underneath.

Opening the handset is a relatively complex task in case you intend to do it with one hand. The internal display measures 2 inches, sports QVGA resolution and makes for a decent mirror, which happens to be one of the secret weapons of the Sony Ericsson Jalou. Naturally, the coating renders the screen virtually unusable in direct sunlight (but comes in extremely handy if you feel like bedazzling people), plus it just loves fingerprints with the same unfaltering passion that Eva Longoria has for paparazzi. 

The buttons of the alphanumeric keypad are comfortable indeed, despite being rather small, since they have proper travel and feel distinctive to touch. Don’t let the tiny print “microSD” on the right hand side mislead you... the slot is actually located underneath the battery. The phone is charged via the manufacturer’s proprietary port that can be found on the left hand side.

All told, the Sony Ericsson Jalou is a cool, compact handset that looks more like a toy than cell phone. Similarly to the Xperia Pureness, the device is eye-catchy, but will probably disappoint you when you take it in your hand.

Sony Ericsson Jalou 360 Degrees View:

Interface and Functionality:

Sony Ericsson Jalou has all the typical Sony Ericsson themes, but unfortunately they don't work very smoothly here. This is pretty annoying so we used the Clarity theme that lacks funny eye-candies, but at least runs smoothly. However, it strips the model of its luster to an extent.

The software of Sony Ericsson Jalou includes comfortable phone book, virtually all modern organizer functions and an elegant multimedia message creation method. There are several applications that may come in pretty handy, like Walk Mate that shows you what distance you have walked. The same program enables you to access a calculator that provides insight on your personal body mass index (BMI). The handset is equipped with Access NetFront browser that successfully handles simpler websites. You can connect to the Internet via HSDPA 7.2Mbps.

Camera and Multimedia:

The Sony Ericsson Jalou comes with 3.2-megapixel camera without autofocus. Unlike the Samsung Diva folder, you can capture images in portrait mode and the functionality is basic – there are options like white balance, effects, shooting modes, etc. As a whole, we are not pleased at the images – they lack enough details and their colors are surreal. Finally, you are allowed to upload content to Picasa, MySpace and Blogger. Keep in mind that the phone you buy might have an old software version, which causes images to be really poor. Be sure to update the phone's software, in order to achieve results similar to ours.

The device captures videos at QVGA resolution and 15 frames per second. In other words, what you videos will be best for is... being watched on the handset screen. 

Sony Ericsson Jalou sample video at 320x240 pixels resolution

It’s not the first time we have mentioned that Sony Ericsson’s music player is likeable indeed and were it paired with proper audio playback quality, well, the software would have made for an excellent audio entertainment pack. The boxed headset of the Sony Ericsson Jalou is, however, far from being the best we have seen, because it offers relatively quiet, muted sound that lacks bass. Since the handset comes without 3.5mm jack, you will have to shell out for a proper adapter in case you’re planning to use your favorite pair of earphones. Of course, you can always opt for better-quality accessories from the same manufacturer. We happen to have the Sony Ericsson MH907 at hand and we must admit we are truly impressed by the smashing sound quality it delivers.

Performance and Conclusion:

We stumbled upon a minor design glitch while testing the call functionality of the handset and it is nothing to do with the in-call quality itself. The sharp edges of the upper part of the phone body can be rather painful, especially for people who just love talking. On the other hand, the in-call quality is passable and voices sound a bit too sharp, but realistic. Our callers complained they could hardly catch onto consonants, which made understanding an uphill battle.

According to the manufacturer, the battery should provide 4.5 hours of continuous talk time and keep the device operational for 250 hours in stand-by (on 3G networks). This is a relatively mediocre performance of a device that lacks spectacular extra features and large display.
One of the issues we brought up in our review of the Samsung Diva folder S5150 was related to, well, the innate mediocrity of most cell phones aimed at women. The Sony Ericsson Jalou does belong to the same category with its slightly odd design, not particularly good build quality and basic functionality. Moreover, its price tag of $185 is rather high for what you get. In case you are willing to purchase a handset for its appeal and design only, we would advise you to look at the following alternatives:

-    The Samsung Diva folder S5150 – you will hardly find a glossier, shinier device on the market today. Its specifications are similar to those of the Jalou, but the S5150 is equipped with better camera.
-    The Sony Ericsson T707 – the model is simpler, but features sportier overall design, plus in one of its commercials Maria Sharapova claims she actually likes the device. Well, since we have a thing for her, so we cannot but recommend the handset.
-    The Nokia 3710 fold – a likeable model by the world’s largest manufacturer that is available in a plethora of colors schemes.

While we all keep waiting for a handset aimed at women that relies on not just weird design, but proper functionality as well, the Sony Ericsson Jalou and the like remain a good option for people who have found themselves hard-pressed to come up with a decent present to please their beloved, better halves.

Samsung Diva folder S5150
Samsung Diva folder S5150 Review
Sony Ericsson T707
Sony Ericsson T707 Preview
Nokia 3710 fold
Nokia 3710 fold specifications
Click on the images for in-depth review/preview or specifications


  • Compact size
  • Mirror screen


  • Rather sluggish (in most themes)
  • Unusable in direct sunlight
  • Mediocre camera
  • Lacks 3.5mm jack

PhoneArena Rating:


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