• Full Review
  • Specifications

Full Review

Sony Ericsson has two strings to its bow. It creates top-notch Android phones (its Experia range) as well as eco-friendly devices with its Greenhart brand. While one is a bit flashy and pretty dear, the other comes in at a budget price. So, does Sony Ericsson offer something in between the two?

Looking good

Enter the Cedar, Sony's latest tree-branded phone, from the part of the phone manufacturer that produces the less expensive, eco range. It's lightweight, straightforward and a bit tacky.

The construction materials have been picked for their low cost and sustainability. The Cedar is definitely not a smartphone - the launch screen will make that clear. Without a sim card inserted, it can do nothing - except show you its demo animation and tell you to put that sim card in. In fact, we rather like the Demo - it lets you know the phone has Twitter and Facebook capability, and a long-life battery. Mind you, when the looping animation had come around for the third time, we'd pretty much had enough.

Going green

You'll find the Cedar very light - thanks to the fact that those green materials are mostly plastic. It does make it feel a bit cheap - especially if you turn it over and take a look at the plastic back. Its matte keys, however, are pretty tactile and give it a little touch of class.

Its green cred is lifted by three things - minimal packaging, the recycled materials used to make the phone, and an on-board manual. However, we found the manual labyrinthine and wouldn't recommend using it unless absolutely necessary.

Back to basics

Being at this end of the market means there's no touchscreen - so it makes up for that with plenty of keys. There are number keys (naturally) and send and end buttons too. A My Shortcuts keys can be customised as you want, then there are two soft keys beneath the screen and a Clear button. The direction pad is square, and has a round button in its centre. Use the direction pad to take you up from the home screen and you'll find more shortcuts - this time in the shape of widgets. There are widgets for Clock, Notes, Facebook and Twitter. If you press Show, you'll find the shortcuts can be part of the main screen, which means you are able to scroll sideways between them.

The display is 2.2inches, which is not a bad size for a neat, low-price device, but you'll find it gets filled up if you want to show your widgets. Mind you, we were quite impressed with some of the widgets - the Facebook one allows you to check recent updates and update your own status pretty easily. The browser was less impressive, so don't expect to be doing much surfing on the Cedar.

Sound and vision

At this price, you wouldn't be hoping for an amazing camera, but even so we thought the two-megapixel snapper, which lacks flash, was pretty basic. The resulting images are mediocre, and you'll have no luck in low-light situations, but we were pleased with the inclusion of Sony Ericsson's excellent Photo Fix. And if you want to upload snaps to Twitter, email, Facebook and so on, you can do so with a couple of clicks.

Happily for music lovers, a 3.5mm headphone jack is included - they are starting to appear on more and more budget phones now. And we've seen phones at this price with no 3G or Bluetooth, but thankfully both are present and correct on the Cedar.

The verdict

If you're looking for a low-priced device, which does a good job on the basic functions, and has a good go at social networking functions, this lightweight and rather likeable phone could be the one for you.

Specifications

Specifications

Type of phone:

Mobile phone

Style:

candy bar

Size:

111 x 49 x 15.5 mm

Weight:

84 grams

Display:

262,000 colours

Resolution:

N/A

Camera:

Two megapixels

Special Camera features:

N/A

Video recording

Yes

Video playback:

Yes

Video calling:

No

Video streaming

Yes

Music formats played:

MP3, eAAC+, WAV

3.5mm jack port:

Yes

Handsfree speakerphone:

N/A

Voice Control:

No

Voice Dialling:

No

Call records:

Yes

Phonebook:

1000 entries

Ringtones customization:

N/A

Display description:

TFT

Website:

www.sonyericsson.com

SAR:

1.16W/kg

Portfolio:

N/A

Standard color:

N/A

Launch Status:

Available

Ringtones:

MP3

Radio:

Yes

Operating system:

N/A

Connectivity:

A2DP, Bluetooth, MicroUSB

Announced date:

June 2010

What's in the Box:

N/A

RAM:

N/A

International launch date:

September 2010

Battery life when playing multimedia:

N/A

CPU:

N/A

FM Radio Description:

Stereo FM with RDS

Internal memory:

280MB

Memory Card Slot:

microSD

Messaging:

MMS, SMS, IM, Email

Internet Browser

WAP 2.0, HTML

E-mail client:

POP3, SMTP, Push email

GPS:

A-GPS

Java:

Yes

Games:

Yes

Data speed:

3G, GPRS, HSDPA, EDGE

Frequency:

Quad-band

Talktime:

210 minutes

Standby:

485 hours

Display size:

2.2 inches

Keypad:

Standard

Audio recording:

N/A

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