The first thing that impressed me when I got my new Sony Ericsson Z520a in March 2006 was its tremendous sound quality. Using Bluetooth(TM), my friend sent me the unedited version of his favorite country song. Once it was downloaded, we took a walk and listened to music; the new phone made a fair substitute for a boom-box. If the phone had more storage space for music files (the phone has 16 MB of memory), you could definitely make use of the Polyphonic sound to play all your favorite music.
The Z520a is a comfortable size to carry in your pocket or purse. At 3.3 ounces, it is light enough to take with you anywhere. It has an interesting little hook at the top; to me, it has provided merely artistic interest, but someone with a bit more creativity might be able to string a belt – or perhaps a necklace? – through it to make it easier to tote the phone around.
You can have a lot of fun with the video/camera capacity of the Z520a. The picture quality is moderate; the inner screen is a 65,536 color TFT; the outer screen has a lower quality, an LCD, 4,096 color STN. There are a variety of settings for picture-taking, as well as various fun frames and editing options that might appeal to children (or to the kid in all of us!)
The most annoying feature about this phone is the small photo-shooting button on the outside of the phone. The button is supposed to make it easy to take a self-portrait, so you can see yourself on the phone’s outer screen while taking the picture. However, the quality of photos taken in this mode is extremely low. And you will find yourself constantly taking pictures by accident. I’ve probably deleted several dozen random shots of ceilings, work papers and the inside of my purse.
Am I the only one who frequently drops my cell phone? My old Nokia, though bulkier, was much hardier than my new streamlined Z520a. Within the first couple of weeks, I had dropped my phone once and began to have periodic (unpredictable) problems with the screen. I would open the phone and suddenly the screen would go black. This problem has been occurring more frequently, and several friends of mine who have the same phone attest to the same problem. So if you don’t want to be extra gentle with a fragile phone, this may not be the cell phone for you!
However, there are good aspects to the Z520a that balance out it’s fragility and its annoying picture-taking button. This phone is great if you like to use your phone for file-sharing! The phone is equipped with Bluetooth(TM), infrared and MMS for quick and easy sharing with friends. In addition, you can connect your Z520a to your PC with a USB cable. This is a great way to increase your connectivity. When you connect the cable, the phone will instantly identify with the computer and make it easy to start file transfers. You can download File-sharing software from “Fun & downloads” section of Sony Ericsson’s web site. It’s easy to transfer items to your phone from your computer (or your friend’s computer).
The Z520 has plenty of interactive and extra features that are lots of fun, but you might be wondering about how it functions in its main capacity – as a phone! I have found the sound quality in conversations to be very commendable. Even in noisy locations (walking downtown mid-day) I am able to hear well without turning the volume up to its highest level. There is a handy volume control button on the side of the phone so you can easily adjust volume while you’re talking. The speaker phone feature is also well-honed. I like to talk to my brother while washing dishes or making bread, and he always comments that he can hear me just fine.
In conclusion, if you’re looking for a phone that offers good sound quality, picture-taking ability and superior connectivity, and you’re able to offer your phone the TLC it needs, the Sony Ericsson Z520a may be just the phone for you. But if you don’t care much for special features and just want a hardy phone that won’t break easily, consider another product for your cell phone purchase.