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Sony Ericsson Z770i mobile phone

Waving the flag for flip-phones

The essential guide to IT transformation

Instead of the usual central nav-pad arrangement, Sony Ericsson has delegated the cursor and select options to separate keys arranged in a cross pattern. The directional buttons are tiny, thin and almost flush with the surface. However, they’re each sufficiently far away from the other buttons to make navigation trouble-free for chunky fingers.

The direction buttons are pre-programmed as shortcuts but you can alter these yourself. Another button, the Activity Menu key, fires up a separate menu of handy application: Bluetooth, Google Maps, TrackID, calendar, notes and so on.

Sony Ericsson Z770i mobile phone

The Z770i has a so-so snapper but a neat mirrored display

Unlike many Sony Ericssons, this phone uses conventional call and end keys to simplify dialling. These may be too close to the left/right buttons for some people, but we didn’t experience any mis-presses during our review period. Similarly, we were pleasantly surprised by the responsiveness of the keypad for texting – sometimes a problem on one-piece numberpads.

The internal display is a decent 2.2in, 240 x 320, 262,000-colour screen, giving a fair amount of room for viewing content and browsing, particularly if you switch to landscape mode. The main menu is the usual Sony Ericsson grid of icons, with sub-menus presented as tabbed lists of options. It’s an intuitive, logically arranged system.

If a camera is an important phone feature for you, the Z770i won't appeal. Sony Ericsson does great Cyber-shot cameraphones, but this mid-ranger gets a run-of-the-mill two-megapixel camera without an autofocus system or flash.

There are no dedicated snapping buttons on the side, and you frame subjects in portrait mode, with the viewfinder image squashed into a central portion of the screen rather than framed in full-screen landscape mode. There’s a 2.5x zoom, but this only works on the smallest, 640 x 480 (VGA) picture-size setting. There are some standard-issue Sony Ericsson photo options: brightness and white balance control, plus multi-shot, panorama, frames, colourisation effects and a night mode.

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