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Sony Ericsson Z200 or a new kind of the youth model

Step by step Sony Ericsson became a company positioned to youth market. This group of users is the main consumers of these products in Europe. Such models as Ò610, Ð800 are not taken into consideration. They are mostly used by elder people, though young men form considerable part of this user group. In future we’ll see that the company will announce more and more handsets, targeted to young people. The company stakes on youth in response of future sales and success on the market. The strategy is obvious, whether it is right we’ll see later. Sony Ericsson Z200 became one of the first products among phones targeted to youth.

Model aimed to youth should be unusual; it needs a special style, which will stand it out from the crowd. Functions play the second role, although they are also very important. Firstly, the company refused from the external aerial in a clamshell phone. It was definitely right solution. When the phone will be available on the market, it won’t have any rivals. Even Motorola v300 has an external antenna.

Secondly, the company tried to do its best to make the phone, which would be always in sight. The developers wanted the consumers to show their handset to as many surrounding people as possible. It was not very easy. At last the company decided to put a large plastic lug at the top of the handset. Leather strap is included in the standard kit and allows wearing the phone on the hand and around a neck. Compared to other accessories this phone looks different. It sticks to memory and harmonically supplement the handset.

Speaking about accessories, we can’t miss interchangeable covers – Style-Up. The standard delivery kit contains an extra set of covers that it is not typical for the phones shipped to Europe. It’s know-how of the company. You can easily change the cover, just pulling it and then setting new panel till you hear the flick. It will take about 10-15 seconds. These covers are reliably fixed in the phone.


We could pay attention to quality of plastic (if to say about blue color – Velvet Blue). It seems really velvet when you touch the phone. This impression increases similarity with Motorola v300.

Totally up to 4 different colors of the handset are available: Velvet Blue, Cosmo Silver, Frosty White, Pulse Red.

The phone fits a palm of a hand; its dimensions are convenient and you can wear it in the hand, on the palm and in the pocket. The handset measures 96.4õ52õ25.4mm and weighs 98 grams. These features are typical to the phones of this class.

Speaking about design it is necessary to add that the phone is equipped with a round external display. Analogue clock are seen in the standby mode on it. The user could change the screen saver on digital clock. In this case he will see signal level and battery status. An external display could notify you about different events, for example, name of caller is showed while incoming call. Dimensions of the display are not large, phone number is not scrolled there.

Volume key and IrDa are placed on the left hand side of the phone. Standard system connector is located on the bottom of the handset. It is not differed from the other models of the company. Handsfree and charger are connected to the same place.

The phone has a lithium-polymer battery. According to the manufacturer, it could provide up to 200 hours of standby time and up to 4.5 hours of talking time. SIM-holder is ordinary, it functions without problems.

If you open the phone you will see that a keypad has orange insertions. It improves exterior of the handset and allows to reach better and even keypad backlighting. All keys are made of plastic, they have middle size, well-spaced and very convenient. The innovation is hidden in the navigation key. It supports not only moving in 4 directions, but pressure and bias moving. The key consists of two parts, integrated one into another. You can use bias moving playing games; we think that it is a good advantage of this model. Generally navigation key is turned into a kind of joystick that is necessary in various games.

The screen supports up to 4096 colors and has a resolution of 128x128 pixels. It is STN-display, hence, it is blurred under the Sun. Monochrome external display partly helps to solve this problem. The picture looks nice inside, separate pixels are almost not seen.

On the whole, comparing Z200 with other models, we can conclude that it doesn’t stand out by its features, they are the same or even worse. In the beginning of the year this handset will loose to other new models in response to technical specifications. The question is whether they could surpass Z200 if to take into consideration all its features.


A menu structure is traditional. It was not changed. The main menu is presented by a set of 9 icons. They are similar to that ones, which are used in other models. There is a possibility to create shortcut list to keep the mostly frequently used functions. It is one extra list of fast access to menus.

Each menu item of the main menu and all submenus are numbered, that allows to use quick shortcut number navigation.

Phonebook. This phonebook resembles one in Sony Ericsson T68i, T610. The new one doesn’t have any considerable changes. Several phone numbers, e-mail address and other information can be added to one entry. You can select necessary fields, which will be displayed while filling one entry block. You can assign a personal ringing tone and picture to each entry. Special melody will be played back and special picture will be displayed while incoming call on the internal display.

Messages. You can choose a special tone for incoming messages among a small list, which consists of 8, not various melodies. It’s not obvious why total list of ringing tones is not available in this menu.

All capabilities concerning operations with messages are standard. There are templates and fields to create own ones. Both memories (SIM-card and phone) are used to keep messages. Chat-function also can be used.

Call records. Up to 30 records are contained in the total list (with date and time indication). There is a small icon near each record, which indicates type of call (missed, received, dialed phone number). Besides, you can view if this number is available in SIM-card memory. It’s a virtue of this model. A list of missed calls can be also displayed separately, it contains up to 10 records. Cost and time counters are also located here.

Multimedia. Pre-default pictures, which are displayed as small icons, can be found in this menu. Apart from pictures you can view your own sound files, including those which you recorded using your voice memo function. An access to voice memo is hidden in this menu too.

It is possible to select phone themes and download new ones. QuickShare enables to add new links to resources, which connected with melodies, pictures and phone themes. Later you can just click a link and see many files to download.

There is a built-in musical composer in the phone. You can edit 4 separate tracks, selecting existing instruments. An original melody can be created with a help of this application.

A graphical editor is also integrated in this phone. You can draw simple pictures there. As for me, this function is not necessary, though it helps to kill time.

Organizer. There are several functions in the organizer, first one is a calendar. It has three view types: weekly view, monthly view and a view for today. In the latter case you can see a list of all memos, in first two cases only a time (weekly view) of events or date (monthly view) are indicated. One can quickly go to desired date (year, month, day). The calendar, as well as the schedule can be filled traditionally. For example, you can select one of the six events type, indicate the place, duration and set a reminder (either beforehand or in time). Unfortunately, in my sample, I couldn’t find such feature as recurrent events. Only another time/date can be set for some of the events in the edit menu. Reminders are worked even if you point it in the settings. A peculiarity of the phone is that profile is automatically changed when the event takes place, then it is changed back after the event. It is similar to Time Profile in the Nokia’s handsets.

Notes. One can write short text notes in the phone. A first word from the note is displayed in the total lost. It’s not very convenient. Because you should begin your note with a special (main) word to remember the text after period of time.

Alarm clocks. There are both once and recurrent alarm-clocks in the phone. The latter one can alert in special days of the week. Both alarm-clocks operate when the phone is switched off.

Besides the phone has a standard countdown timer and stopwatch, which can keep intermediate results. The phone has codes reminder and improved more convenient version of calculator.

WAP. Browser has a special menu item. Z200 has wap-browser in 1.2.1 version. It is possible to download new wallpapers, themes, melodies to the phone. A good set is available on the original site of the manufacturer. You can easily fill in the memory during 1-2 hours. Animated GIF files are not showed by the browser, it’s a shortcoming of the phone.

Entertainment. There are two menu items in this submenu: games and applications. The phone has several pre-installed games: AlienScum, HoneyCave2, Minigolf.

The phone supports Mophun. So, there are no problems with downloading new games. Today a list of available games is really impressive, it includes more than 600 titles.


We described only the most general functions of the phone in this preview. In fact, Z200 is a cutting copy of its predecessor – Z600. The advantage of the model is that it supports 40-tones polyphony; it differs it from the other models from Sony Ericsson. The reason is that Z200 is an Odm-model produced in Taiwan by Arima.

Preliminary conclusion is the following: of the model will be launched in November and costs aboyt 230-250 USD, it will be very demanded on the market. Note that it is one of the first clamshells with internal aerial and interchangeable covers. In response to specifications, launching date and price, the main rival will be Motorola v300. Elder brother Z600 will compete with Motorola v600. So, the process is symmetric.

Z200 is aimed to the same place as T300 was positioned to. At that time the company made a mistake, offering very simple, not attractive design to young users. It was corrected in Z200. In response to desing the phone seems really nice. Set of functions is also rather wide. So, we can assume that it will be sold comparable to T310. Keep in mind that till recently it was considered that clamshells were only fashion phones. Samsung is the leader in this field. Quality of the screen in z200 is worse than the products from Korean manufacturer have. It means that the company should to attract new users who did not use clamshell before or are not anxious about number of colors displayed on the screen.

Well, leaving all explanations, we can say that the phone produces a pleasant impression, it is friendly. It’s not bad offer for this segment. Let’s see how the company will promote this product on the market with a help of advertising and marketing campaigns. Full review of this phone will be published in the end of this month.


Eldar Murtazin (
Translated by Maria Sennikova (

Published — 10 September 2003


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