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I bought the z530i about three years ago. At first I was really happy with it, it was my first mobile that had colors. Though there are only 65 000 of them.
So for a first advanced phone for me it was amazing, it has 3D games and a lot of different games are available for download on the internet. There were three games installed when purchasing it. I also like the many themes that are available for download.
On the downside, the phone was really poorly equipped, I did not get a hands free set, no memory card, no USB cable, nothing. The only thing I did get was the charger, but that is pretty obvious when purchasing a phone.
I actually never got around to buying a memory card for it, because they were very expensive, for a normal card, I remember I would have had to pay the price of the phone. That is just crazy. And that pretty much ruins its mp3 player, the memory cards are too expensive.
About the reliability, mine was doing good for the first couple of years. It had some scratches on it, but the buttons were working great. The battery was great too. But after a while, the screen started shaking a lot everytime I opened the phone. That was annoying. And the actual reason why I do not use that phone anymore is that I had this microphone issue with it. People simply could not hear me speak, so I had to yell at the phone everytime someone called me.
Okay, so to summarize this review, then this phone was really awesome at the time it was released, meaning couple of years ago, but it just does not appeal to me anymore.
The thing that made it special was its price, but nowdays you can get a lot better phone for example the Lg KM380 for the same price. And those phones aren't as poorly equiped as this one is. I guess it is an okay phone for people who want to have something different, but I still would not recommend it.
- 128x160 pixel
- 65,536 color UBC (ultra bright color)
- 36x128 pixels
- Memory Stick MicroTM (M2TM) support (up to 2 GB)
- Phone memory 28MB
- GSM/GPRS 900/1800/1900
- Black - Grey - Red
- 90.0 x 47.0 x 24.0 mm
- 3.5 x 1.9 x 0.9 inches
- 93.0 gr
- 3.3 oz
The phone comes in a good looking, well packed box. You get the phone, a charger, a manual (user guide) and the usual advertising material. As with most budget phones, there is no USB data cable, and this must be bought seperately which is annoying and instantly increases the price if you want to connect the phone to your PC. Despite the phone having an MP3 player, there are no headphones either included, so you have to rely on the speaker unless you want to fork out more. The Z530i doesn't come with a memory stick either.
As soon as you take the phone out of the box, it looks great - the front, depending on the model you bought (Soft Black, Elegant Red or Chromatic Grey) has a rubbery texture which is easy to grip too and which makes the phone look very good. The front screen has a mirror effect surround, but be warned - the edges of this chip easily and mine is now scratched. Below the screen is either the model number (Z530i) or some branding - the Ripcurl special edition of the phone, according to web pictures (I've never seen it sold in the shop) has the Ripcurl branding on it, and some networks may choose to put their branding on the front.
The front screen itself is quite nice - it displays the time, network, battery, and can display the song being played. It has orange writing on a black background, and the orange writing stands out really well in dark conditions. After a small amount of inactivity the backlight switches off and the time appears in light blue writing - as the screen is no longer backlit it can be very hard to read this though.
Above the small, front screen is the camera - this has a little sunken silver surround and a neat little circle mirror for self portraits which seems to be a proper mirror and not a cheap film covering. A loop sticks out the top of the phone - I'm not sure what its for (an aerial maybe?) but it looks quite neat and stops the phone from looking too boxy.
The back of the phone is simple - the bottom half is covered by a piece which slides on to hide the battery, and has the same effect as the front piece of the phone. Above this cover is the speaker holes, the S.E. logo and the S.E. name, all on a silver background.
The sides of the phone and loop at the top are finished in the same matt silver as the top of the back of the phone, meaning the outside of the phone is a nice silver and black finish.
When you open up the phone, the first thing you notice is the nice, large colour screen. Next, you see the really cool keys - their in a kind of necklace-bead setup, and with orange backlights they look very interesting.
One of the main features of the phone is the big colour screen - for a flip phone its surprisingly big. However, as soon as you switch on the phone the fact that this is a budget phone hit you; I don't know if its just my phone, but the screen suffers from strips of different strengths of light, so viewing a solid colour such as white results in a very poor effect. Videos and pictures look much worse quality than on other Sony Ericsson phones, which is very disappointing.
Moving on from the screen, the camera is another good feature. However, this quickly reinforces the fact it is a budget phone - you can take pictures and videos, but they are both extremely low quality, the colours look poor and, despite the fact there is a mirror on the front and buttons on the side, the phone cannot be shut and then the side buttons used to take the picture.
Moving onto some more positive aspects - the phone has a wide range of communication features; bluetooth, infrared and GPRS. Bluetooth transfer is fast, as is the infrared, and once you have set the GPRS up by receiving a text from your network provider the internet is relatively fast, and the browser is good.
The phone comes with 3 games - a Neopets game and mobile store application come with the phone and, rather annoyingly, cannot be deleted. Games can be easily added - Java games are supported so the file can be downloaded off the Internet, transferred onto the phone (my PC has built in bluetooth) and the installer run. Applications are provided too, and I have added things like currency conversion which is very handy.
The MP3 player is a nice touch - songs can be selected by Title, Artist or Album, and the menus are bright and easy to navigate. When a song is playing the volume can be changed with the side buttons - you'll have to use the speaker if you don't buy headphones, and luckily its not too bad. The MP3 player can be minimized so the phone can be used, and the song is displayed on the small front screen which is excellent.
The menu system is good, with big, animated icons illustrating each sub-menu nicely.
The phone takes the new M2 (Memory Stick Micro) which, while keeping the size down, means it can expensive to buy a large size stick (Carphone Warehouse sell the 1GB stick for ~£50 when they have stock) - the M2 stick can be put into phones which support Memory Stick Duos using the supplied adapter, which is nice. The fact that it has a memory stick slot shows that at least S.E. have put some thought into upgradability, even if it is quite a cheap phone.
The battery life is distinctly average - it is below what Sony Ericsson say you will get, even with a full charge over a long period of time, which is disappointing. I've found that, the amount I use it, I have to charge it every other night, all night, otherwise I start running out of battery - extremely annoying, but the battery is light (you can tell when you take it out) so sacrifices must be made. A car charger would have been nice to help keep the battery topped up.
Well, sorry for the relatively long review - I bet a few of you will have skipped straight to this part! Basically, its a very well-featured phone - if you want lots of features, and a cheap, stylish phone to text and call people on its good. If you want a high quality camera/video recorder, a good quality screen or lots of extras then this phone is not for you - take a look at the S.E. W800i or something similar. So, a good budget phone but, and I stress, you get what you pay for.
Looking at the outside of the phone some might think its ugly, but everyone has different views. Having owned the Sony Ericsson for about 5 months now i can see that it is a very reliable phone until you start to use up the memory. After it is nearly all full up the phone starts to jam and pause and gets really really slow. The camera on this phone isn't brilliant but its average. Texting on this phone is hard to get to grips with because of the layout of the buttons, but after a month i began to start texting really fast and i can now text with ease. The mobile fits in the hand really well and plays music fairly loud. The battery last for a long time and the features are great!
it is a VERY RELIABLE PHONE. which has got about 16mb phone memory on it but you can buy memory cards for it (the new m2 ones they are tiny) they are NOT delicate because i have dropped mine on the floor a few times because i am use to nokia phone it was quite hard getting used to the texting because it is different, but yo soon get used to it it has got an exellent mp3 player, vido recorder, camra, bluetooth, internet, infared and lots lots more. there is loads of free things you can get of of the internet which is cool.
from katie age 11
The Z530i grows with your needs. With features ranging from simple phone calls and text messages to a built-in camera, PC connectivity and a music player, it's a phone for today and tomorrow. And when you want to change the look of your Z530i, change the cover. A range of front and back Style-Up Covers is available for the Z530i.