It’s been a good few years now since I bought my Sony Ericsson K800i. It really was an excellent phone – easy to use, basic functionality and a superb camera – and when it came to give it up (for my Nokia N95), I chose to give it to my wife. And, believe it or not, it was only until recently that she has decided to upgrade – she too liked the simple functionality (she’s not a smartphone or touchscreen fan) and the camera. That decision was made easier by my youngest daughter smashing a chunk out of the corner of it!
And, after much searching, she settled on the Sony Ericsson Elm.
Looking remarkably like the K800i, this is a much slimmer version with the latest Sony Ericsson operating system and an improved camera. This phone is part of the GreenHeart range which uses reduced packaging and recycled parts on.
Packaging wise, the phone comes in a simple cloth sleeve within a small box. The box also contains a simple charger (Sony Ericsson continue to use their own connection format – however the charger that came with the K800i had a “through port” allowing other peripherals to be plugged in at the same time. The Elm charger doesn’t have this), earphones (with microphone) and a small paper safety manual. And that’s it. The full manual is installed on the phone.
Features wise, it’s actually quite good, including GPS, wi-fi, 5MP camera with Xenon flash and various installed apps (including Facebook and SatNav). Many of the apps will display directly onto the home screen as well as in standby (allowing you to read your Facebook updates without having to unlock the phone).
Battery life was always good with the K800i but with wi-fi and the Facebook app switched on the Elm my wife found it only lasted a day. Switching these off extended it to a more acceptable week.
The Elm uses Micro SD cards rather than the Memory Stick Micro that the K800i did.
The clear screen is a simple 240 x 320 resolution and the rear of the phone sports a 5 MP camera with flash. The pictures are excellent – I’ve always like the cameras, and the camera software, on Sony Ericsson phone and this is no exception.
As I said before, it has various built in apps and more are downloadable (many at quite a hefty price though). Text messaging and surfing the internet is quick and easy and, well, it’s simplicity itself to use.
My wife got this free on a £15 a month contract but you can buy it, unlocked, from Amazon for £118.
[review]If you’re not after an all-singing and dancing smartphone and don’t get on with touch-screens this is an ideal phone at an ideal price. It’s good to know that phones like this are still being made, and at a reasonable price.[/review]