Sony Ericsson Hazel review: Earth, wind, green heart

GSMArena team, 20 May 2010.
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Introduction

Long-time Sony Ericsson users may find the Hazel the perfect cure for nostalgia. Monster gadgets like the Vivaz and the XPERIA X10 are trusted to get the brand back on track. But for all we know, it takes a good old-fashioned slider to rekindle the romance.

The Hazel falls in the company’s GreenHeart line of phones. The echo-friendly vibe is perhaps supposed to make up for the missing Cybershot and Walkman magic. The green credentials are all there anyway. The phone is made of recycled plastics and uses waterborne paint. There’s a power-efficient charger in the tiny, shipping-optimized retail box and no user guide (it’s on the phone’s memory instead of being printed on paper).

GreenHeart is Sony Ericsson’s way of saying they care. We all do – but a phone is as likely to save the planet as it is to give you a direct line to Elvis. Either way, it’s not the phone’s fault. So, the Sony Ericsson Hazel will be considered for what it is and what it does. Not for the color of its heart.

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Sony Ericsson Hazel official photos

The Sony Ericsson Hazel isn’t just another feature phone. It can’t afford it on a market like today’s where cheap smartphones and touchscreen lurk behind every corner. GreenHeart implies some sacrifices but users won’t have to give up on phone features. The Hazel is a high-performance handset with an ample 2.6” mineral glass covered scratch-resistant display solid imaging and all sorts of connectivity options. Not to mention it’s totally weather-proof.

Key features

  • Splash-resistant body with “human curvature” design
  • 2.6" 16M-color TFT screen, 240 x 320 pixels, scratch-resistant surface and nice sunlight legibility
  • Quad-band GSM support
  • Dual-band 3G with 7.2Mbps HSDPA, 2Mbps HSUPA
  • 5 megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash; geotagging, face detection; VGA@30fps video recording
  • Built-in GPS receiver with A-GPS; Trial version of Wisepilot navigation software
  • Wi-Fi with DLNA
  • FM radio with RDS
  • Stereo Bluetooth 2.1
  • microSD card slot, 280 MB internal memory
  • Eco-friendly package and materials
  • Social networking integration, widget enhanced interface
  • NetFront v3.5 web browser with full Flash support
  • Active noise cancellation
  • Excellent audio quality

Main disadvantages

  • No standard USB port
  • No bundled data cable or memory card
  • No 3.5mm audio jack
  • No DivX/XviD video support
  • No document viewer
  • No camera lens cover
  • Feeble loudspeaker
  • Navigation gets expensive when the trial period expires

In terms of connectivity, the Hazel sure is a handful. Along with the HSDPA/HSUPA support (for data transfer speeds reaching 7.2 Mbps), the slider also boasts Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and a built-in GPS receiver to top it off.

The Sony Ericsson Hazel knows social networking is essential these days and it gives it all – right on the homescreen. The nifty widget set gives you on-screen live updates from Facebook, Twitter and MySpace.

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The Sony Ericsson Hazel has the curved shape of the Elm

Of course, the Sony Ericsson Hazel has its flaws as well, and we’re not going to let them by. But before we dig in deeper, let’s first take a look at the retail package and check the phone’s build and feel. Jump to the next page for a chance to see the Hazel from some new angles.

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Reviews > Sony Ericsson Hazel review: Earth, wind, green heart