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Review GSM/UMTS phone Sony Ericsson Z1010
A year ago Sony Ericsson amazed its worshipers by announcing model Z1010. Its characteristics seemed impressing for that moment, judge yourself, two digital cameras, excellent external screen and an expansion connector for memory cards. In a word, the model stuck into the minds of the company worshipers for a long time but its appearance in the market happened to be not as easy. The device was the first in this class and thus the engineers had to do all possible to make it capable of working. There are lots of examples of this fact because a new platform always rouses masses of questions and takes time for finishing. A triplet line by Motorola may be an example (v300, v500, v600). These models were awaited for about a year and now the company produces new models based on them.
And the same situation happened to Z1010 and several models based on this phone appeared at once. One of them is already announced officially and that is Sony Ericsson K700. Smaller dimensions are explained with a changed element base and the fact the manufacturer refused supporting UMTS and an expansion connector for memory cards. In the nearest future a completely full analog of Z1010 will appear in the T-series of the company (but not a clamshell) with an expanded memory size and improved camera. At the same time Z1010 will remain a 3G phone not for long and will be replaced with a device named Viola that is expected to appear in autumn. In any way Z1010 is interesting as the first representative of a whole family of devices and we'll consider it from this point of view. It has much in common with K700 speaking in software terms and that's why some parts of the review will be copied from a corresponding material.
The dimensions are hard to call small (98x48x28 mm) and in an opened condition the device is 180 mm in length. Subjectively the device is a bit thick and its other dimensions are not as critical. Having put the device in a shirt pocket you'll surprisingly find the pocket is bulged. That is a forgotten feeling of a 2G phone that was possible to carry in a pocket but its size was still too far from an ideal one. The wieght is up to the size - 143 grams. That's not so much and for example users of P900 do not feel its weight. At the same time the mass is spread over the whole body of Z1010 and that makes a feeling of lightness.
The company releases several color solutions for the model. The brightest of them are blue and red and a silvery one looks duller. The device lays well in a hand but is hard to open with one hand thus better to do it with both hands.
There is a screen with a blue backlighting and showing up to 4 hints of grey on the outer part. The quality of the screen is very high and the picture seems frozen, like drown. Naturally the outer screen works perfectly in the sun because it's not color and all the information is seen well. The resolution is 101x80 pixels and thus up to 3 text lines and one service line may be shown.
A paired volume level button and an MS Duo memory card connector may be seen on the leftside surface. A camera button and a headset connector are on the right-side surface. The connector is closed with a shutter fixed to the body and the same construction closes a miniUSB-connector on the bottom end of the phone. There is a standard interface connector on the bottom end also and the device works with standard accessories.
A mirror and an objective lens may be seen on the backside. The camera has the VGA resolution.
A cover closing the battery module has no backlash but it may appear in future though minimal. A 1000 mAh Li-Pol battery (BST - 15) is used in the phone. According to the manuacturer it is capable of working for 200 hours in the standby mode and up to 6 hours in the talk mode. In Moscow the device worked for about 3 days in case of 40 minutes of talks and up to 40 minutes of using other functions. The medium working time for the phone is 3 days and not more. Full recharging takes about 2 hours.
A SIM-card holder is usual and no any questions appear.
The second camera is under the screen and it is necessary for video calls.
Having opened the device you'll see a keypad. The keys are well distanced due to the phone size, they are average in size and are comfortable. The backlighting is white and the characters are seen in various lighting conditions.
The internal screen is TFD and has the resoltuion of 176x220 pixels. It is capable of showing up to 8 text lines and two service ones. This 65K screen seems to have not bad characteristics. That's really true the display is comparable with similar ones in Nokia phones but is inferior to Sony Ericsson K700 in the brightness of colors. The picture on the screen is very exact but color saturation is lower than average. The screen is not bad for displaying text infromation and not quite well for graphics. Comparing with other manufacturers that's possible to say the screen is somewhere in the medium position.
The screen fades in the sun and you have to eiter find an angle or have the device close to your eyes. The internal screen helps much in this situation and shows the whole information well. Comparing the behaviour of the internal screen with other phones that's possible to say there are no any evident differences because all the screens fade in the bright sun and none of the devices shows information fully readable.
Published (Russian version) 21 April 2004
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