Sony Ericsson Z250 & Z320 Preview

Introduction and Design
Introduction:

Last June Sony Ericsson announced a few new phones of different classes, from top-of-the-range Cyber-shot K850 to the budget models that we’re going to focus on today: Z250 and Z320. These are two regular clamshell devices, equipped with cameras and basic capabilities, typical for downmarket phones.

These are three-band phones, including one version for America (850/1800/1900 MHz) and another for Europe and Asia (900/1800/1900 MHz). Just like previous models from the Z-series, these have replaceable front and back panels, so that you can easily change your phone’s look.


Design:

Official data from Sony Ericsson shows very small differences in the sizes of the two devices. It looks like Z320 is slightly bigger: 85 x 47 x 19.5 mm (3.4 x 1.8 x 0.8 inches) versus Z250’s 87 x 47 x 20 mm (3.3 x 1.9 x 0.8 inches), but these data is not accurate, because the two phones have in fact absolutely the same length (85mm/3.4 inches), the only difference being that Z320’s camera is a little more bulging, which makes the phone a bit thicker.



Both phones’ displays have the same characteristics: 1.8 inches, 65 536 colors, 128 x 160 pixels.

The location of the different features (camera, loudspeaker, etc.) of Sony Ericsson Z250 and Z320 is identical, the only difference on the exterior being front panel, where the camera and the loudspeaker are located, and under them the icons, twinkling in case of: calls, missed calls, message, as well as in case the silent mode is on. There is no outside display, so you’ll have to do with the information from these icons. On the back there’s nothing, save for the logo and the „Sony Ericsson” inscription. What’s more interesting is that one phone’s back panel can be used on the other phone, which proves that the two phones have exactly the same length.

The universal connector used both for charging and for connecting to accessories or to a computer, is on the left side. On the right is the eye of the infrared port, which is the only means of local wireless data exchange; under it is the volume key.

When open, the phones are not much different, either. The buttons are flat, lit in white and identically arranged. The two soft keys, back and clear key, as well as the Internet key are located around the five-position navigation button. Z250’s keypad is in the Motorola style: the buttons are divided only by a thin rubber strip. Z320’s keypad looks as if in consists of separate buttons, but this is just a visual effect achieved by the concaving outline.

On the whole, both phones look rather nice, one of them being on the stylish side (Z250), the other being more showy (Z320).



Interface:

Sony Ericsson Z250 and Z320 have the same functionality and therefore we are going to review them together, pointing out at the differences.
We are well-acquainted with the consumer interface from many other models by this company. The icons in the main menu are arranged in a 3 x 3 grid, and you can choose from a few preloaded themes. Only the standard themes are maintained, not the Flash themes.

Phonebook:

The phonebook is traditional for the company. You can save up to 1000 contactswith a total of 2500 numbers and you have the option of adding a fewnumbers, e-mail, web address, picture ID, ringtone, address, birthdayetc., to each contact.


Organizer:

The organizer features the following functions: alarm, calendar, tasks, notes, calculator, timer and stopwatch. The calendar offers a view of the current month and week; you can set one single alarm and one recurrent.

You do not have a memory card slot; you can only use the inbuilt memory, amounting to about 12MB.


Messaging:


The messages menu is also well-known from previous models of the company; it contains options for creating text and multimedia messages.

Multimedia:

As we mentioned already in the beginning, these are downmarket phones, so it wouldn’t be reasonable to expect great multimedia possibilities. They are equipped with cameras that can only make pictures, they do not have a musical or video player, but you can use the mp3 as a ringtone.

Here comes the other variation: Z250’s camera has VGA resolution with 2 x digital zoom, while Z320 has a 1.3 megapixel camera with 4 x digital zoom. Both cameras have portrait-oriented interface, and information about the resolution, the remaining number of pictures before memory full-up, the brightness level and zoom is shown on the display.



Expect our full review when final, commercial samples are released.


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