Sony Ericsson K510: Unexpected contender

GSMArena team, 29 May 2006.
Pages: 12345»

Sony Ericsson K510 is a new tri-band bar phone with the classic Sony Ericsson K-series design. It will be sold at a reasonable price and as far as our impressions go it would become a price/performance champion. The tri-band GSM 1.3 megapixel camera phone will be labeled K510i for the European market, K510a for the Americas and K510c for China Mainland.

Sony Ericsson K510

Main advantages:

  • Compact size and weight
  • Really fast user interface
  • Very good quality 1.3 megapixel camera
  • Lithium-Polymer battery
  • Good web browser with RSS feeds reader
  • Bluetooth & IrDA

Main disadvantages:

  • Low resolution display
  • No memory card slot
  • No FM radio
  • Poor music player

Sony Ericsson K510 comes in the upper lower class of mobile phones and is aimed for every day use of people who want functionality and reliability from their phones. It's neither a luxurious piece nor a powerful device. The phone offers very good camera performance for its class, good connectivity features and very fast response in such small dimensions.

The regular Sony Ericsson bar

Sony Ericsson K510 looks just like a normal Sony Ericsson bar phone and cannot surprise in terms of design and construction. The size of 101 x 44 x 17 mm and the weight of 82 g make it a rather small device and when held in hand it feels very comfortable and easy to operate with. The black and silver combination is elegant and suits the phone's shape very nicely. However, the design of the phone cannot mislead you to think that K510 is an expensive phone.

Sony Ericsson K510 Sony Ericsson K510
Sony Ericsson K510 front, bottom and top

The construction of the phone is very solid and stable. It did not produce a single creak or any other sound during the testing period. It feels very comfortable in one hand and the proportions of the phone are perfect.

Sony Ericsson K510 Sony Ericsson K510
K510 held in hand

The front side of the phone is made out of black plastic and the four functional keys and the navigation joystick stand out with their silver color. The main speaker is located at the top with a Sony Ericsson sign found just below it. A silver line frame designates the display and below it is the keypad.

Now the use of joystick for navigation can be a reason for many protests from disgruntled clients. The infamous SE joysticks tend to gradually stop working in the course of using the phone for let say a year. Sony Ericsson realized the fact and is trying to improve their design in order to seal the joystick from dirt and dust which actually lead to its short life fate. Many users think that the company should start producing their handsets with 4-way navigation pad instead with a joystick but truth is that the joystick is incredibly comfortable means of navigation… as long as it works, of course.

The two soft keys and the Back (on the left) and clear C (on the right) buttons surround the navigation joystick. Below them are located the numeric keys. The four silver keys and the joystick are made out of plastic while the numeric keys are made out of some different rubber-like material.

The back cover features the camera lens and the self-portrait mirror, all located on a bulging silver ring. The rest of the back is black. The camera lens is located rather deep in the phone construction, probably for protecting it from scratches. Below the camera balloon is the speaker grid, which is in an interesting form. There is also a vertical Sony Ericsson sign embedded on the battery cover.

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The phone's front and back

Both lateral sides are silver and have one button on each of them. The left side shelters the camera release button. On the right side is the Activity menu button. Unfortunately, this time the design lacks the traditional side volume swing key and that may turn out as a bit of disappointment for all Sony Ericsson fans.

Sony Ericsson K510
K510 right side

The battery cover opens easily when you push it upwards in its bottom part. When you lose the cover, the Lithium-Polymer battery is visible, covering the SIM card bed beneath it. Sony Ericsson deserve compliments for supplying the phone with such a good battery. According to the manufacturer, it should provide the handset with 360 hours of standby time and 7 hours of talk time. Of course those numbers are strictly indicative. Pitifully, we couldn't test the K510 battery life since we used the phone heavily during our tests and thus the battery life we experienced was not indicative for the real-life performance of the phone. Unfortunately, there is no memory card slot in the Sony Ericsson K510.

Sony Ericsson K510 Sony Ericsson K510
Under the battery cover • with removed battery

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