The Sony Ericsson C510 is Cyber-shot-bred cameraphone with reasonable thickness and a big metallic camera lens cover that keeps a low profile but allows the handset to really stand out of the crowd.
The general impression that C510 can give you is as if you have a budget variant of the popular Sony Ericsson C902 in your hands. Even the sides of both phones are styled similarly.
The front side of the C510 certainly doesn't amaze with original design, but obviously Sony Ericsson are pretty insistent on keeping their phones easily recognizable (even if boringly identical).
The 2.2-inch QVGA display of the Sony Ericsson C510 is definitely not small for a "really affordable cameraphone", but we somehow feel that the Sony Ericsson UI really shines on bigger screens such as the one of W715. So far 2.4-inch screens are as large as Sony Ericsson feature phones go.
The keypad is relatively comfortable and we like the way it responds to presses. As you can see the keys are sufficiently large, so we won't be expecting problems in that department.
The Sony Ericsson C510 is entirely made of plastic although the silvery color may mislead you at first glance. The only thing we found truly made of metal on the phone is the camera lens cover. It's got a really nice brushed finish and most of us really liked the original low-profile design.
We are pretty pleased with the handling and construction of the Sony Ericsson C510. While its design didn't manage to win all our team members, but as you know, that thing is pretty subjective.
The Sony Ericsson C510 user interface won't surprise anyone and you would find all things that we already said about the W715 true.
The Sony Ericsson C510 has support for Flash Lite themes and has several of them preinstalled. Auto screen rotation in selected parts of the interface is also available thanks to the built-in accelerometer.
Much like the W715, the Sony Ericsson C510 has the YouTube client preinstalled and integrated in the Media Center. The new conversation-srtyle SMS/MM feature we showed you on W715, is also present here.
As a true Cyber-shot, the Sony Ericsson C510 is mostly all about the camera. Dubbed as the most affordable Cyber-shot cameraphone to date, the C510 still offers some nice camera features.
There is no BestShot, but you have a dedicated Panorama mode plus face detection and the special Sony Ericsson Smile Shutter intended of getting all-smiley group or portrait shots.
Additionally there's an option for geotagging the photos taken by using cell triangulation, which is a relatively accurate (up to several blocks) way to still have your photos location-signed without a real GPS receiver.
Since we wondered if the Sony Ericsson C510 is as good as the now elderly Sony Ericsson K810, we did an impromptu camera shootout. You can see all about it on the next page. For now, we'll just give you a quick taster of how the C510 performs.
When it comes to video recording, the C510 is certainly not an impressive performance. Still, the Cyber-shot lineage has played its role and the C510 records QVGA vide at 30 fps. Such video clips are usable in everyday situations, they generally look really nice on screen and they can even do YouTube. But still, that doesn't change the fact that Sony Ericsson are still seriously lagging behind in the vide recording department throughout their whole portfolio.
Here's a sample Sony Ericsson C510 video for you to check out.
The Location services menu is present on the Sony Ericsson C510, but as the handset lacks GPS, it has some cut-down functionality. There's only Google Maps preinstalled here and there's no sign of the Sports Tracker application. Most stuff in the menu however are best used with an external Bluetooth GPS receiver (third-party or by Sony Ericsson) that's optional and relatively inexpensive.
The C510 doesn't have that much applications preinstalled, but typical Cyber-shot comes with the well-known Photo Mate application that's a nicely made photo helper tool full of tips for shooting various tricky scenes.