The numberpad keys are ample, slightly angled and well separated for easy tapping. They have a pleasingly responsive action for fast texting and number dabbing. A slightly raised square navpad tucks up close to soft-menu keys and control buttons, which are subtly curved for more reliable finger guidance. All in all, a sensibly arranged bunch of buttons that are a breeze to use in regular phone mode.
Ample keys and a decent control layout
The soft-menu key design does become problematic in landscape camera mode, where the positioning of on-screen soft-menus can get you straying onto the adjacent call end button when making adjustments. They’re squeezed very close, so careful pressing is required.
The scratch-resistant display is a fine-looking 2.2in, 240 x 320, 262,144-colour TFT that’s bright and clear. A motion sensor is built in for flipping the screen between sideways and upright, depending on how the phone’s being held.
Operating the menus is straightforward, with a grid of icons on the main menu leading to tabbed lists as you delve deeper into the system. Options are mostly intuitively arranged, while the navpad and soft-menu keys, plus the Activity Menu key on the control panel, offer additional shortcuts to often-used applications.
The most distinctive design touch, though, is around the back, with a neat up-and-over sliding panel protecting the camera lens and LED flash. Closed, the back panel is flat and flush, with no sign of a camera apart from the Cyber-shot branding. Slide the top section down a centimetre or so, and the camera is revealed, automatically switching the phone into Cyber-shot mode.
The camera UI is standard Cyber-shot fare
The camera app has a similar user interface to the more up-market Cyber-shot handsets, presenting an intuitive way of working the shooter and making adjustments to the settings.