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.
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.
more: partial review
Posting as AC as I used to work for Motorola and don't want to get into a slagging match.
I think that if you're of the opinion that syncing just works then you haven't tried hard enough, and in particular you haven't used Motorola's offering! They still use their own app which is the slowest most pants solution ever. I have little doubt that it works on a virgin install but you try making the damn thing work once your data's been on a few phones and you're trying to wipe, resync etc...
And whilst I'm having a bitch about syncing, does any one else have a problem with
Google Calender -> GCal daemon -> Mac cal -> N95 syncing?
In my experience it can't tell two, day long, events apart on the same day if you delete one and then add a completely separate new one. I'm pointing my finger at the Nokia isync plug-in as the damned mystery event only appears on the N95 having been expunged from Google calendar and Mac Cal bloody ages ago.
@Tony Smith: partial reviewage
Tony, I'm glad for you that you happen to know that:
"These days, this stuff works, and while Vendor A's software may be slightly better than Vendor B's, no one's going to buy Vendor A's phone solely as a result of that."
...but some of us don't (or didn't) know that. I'm a SE user with no idea how good Nokia or Sanyo's Mac connectivity (say) is.
A brief reminder of what the problems/issues/limitations are each time would still help us, and would keep your reviewers honest (they'd have to check for improvements and new limitations). It is, as yer man said, a major part of the functionality. (If, as an example, a phone's PC software requires XP SP2, say, tell us - I know people unable to upgrade from SP1, for whom such a phone would be useless.)
@AC, re. partial reviewage
Fair point, AC, but I think World+Dog has established how phone interact with PCs, and Mac users have come to expect they'll often need to do a bit of iSync tweaking to support new handsets - or buy a third-party plug in, as you did.
There's little point rehashing coverage of, say, Sony Ericsson's PC software *every* time we review an SE product. Even more so all the phones that just use Microsoft's ActiveSync.
These days, this stuff works, and while Vendor A's software may be slightly better than Vendor B's, no one's going to buy Vendor A's phone solely as a result of that.
So, instead, we focus on the more tangible reasons that punters *do* buy phones for, though we'll always point it out if a Bluetooth sub-system is below par, or there's an obvious issue with content syncing.