Sony Ericsson Zylo review: Walkman rewind

GSMArena team, 30 July 2010.
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The Media Center is the place for fun

The Sony Ericsson Zylo runs the flash-based Media Center. Its menu lists the Photo, Music, Video, Games, RSS feeds and Settings icons. As we already said, there's an accelerometer on board so auto screen rotation is enabled.

Sony Ericsson Zylo
The Media Center

Walkman music player

The Zylo has the latest Walkman player. Across the Media Center menus, you can enjoy screen auto-rotation. The player is compatible with numerous file formats, including the regularly used MP3, WAV, WMA, M4A and E-AAC plus the MegaBass equalizer preset and Stereo widening. Surprisingly, the Zylo also supports the HD FLAC audio format – an open-source lossless audio codec.

The interface colors of the Media center vary across different themes. The Walkman player on the Zylo also offers fun Styles – skins that change the look of the player into a vinyl record player, a reel-to-reel tape player, CD player and others.

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The Styles change the look of the player

There is no shake control however, despite the built-in accelerometer. It is a hip feature – on phones that support it you can skip songs or even shuffle the playlist by just a flick of the hand.

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Sony Ericsson Zylo has the Walkman 3.0

A familiar Walkman goodie, SensMe, offers a different approach to populating a playlist. It automatically generates playlists based on what tempo and what mood you want – fast or slow, sad or happy. Songs need to be tagged, which is only possible with the Sony Ericsson’s PC software.

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The SensMe interface

TrackID is also present – it analyzes the currently playing song on the radio or whatever it picks up with its mic and retrieves the performer and name of the song.

Image gallery

The Photo gallery stores the shots you've taken along with the pre-bundled wallpapers. Luckily, auto rotation is available so you can still rotate images to landscape orientation not only manually but automatically as well.

Images are generally displayed as a 3 x 4 grid of thumbs. The shots in the dedicated Camera Album are sorted by the date they were taken on.

Opening an image makes the thumb zoom in to fullscreen view mode, while exiting the fullscreen view zooms out to thumb view.

Unfortunately, the Photo gallery can get quite laggy when there are a lot of photos in a folder. At times, the phone froze for a couple of seconds before moving on.

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The dedicated Photo viewer

The dedicated Photo viewer

The Sony Ericsson has no inbuilt GPS receiver but it still can geotag camera images (using Cell-ID). Then, you can use the View on map option in the image gallery. It allows you to check the place where the shot has been taken directly on the map using the preinstalled Google Maps application (data charges may apply).

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The view-on-map feature that we love

Video player does subtitles

The video player in the Media center supports fast-forwarding and rewinding, and the interface is simple and stylish. The video files are accessible via the file manager too. Display mode automatically switches when the phone is rotated. It works with the MP4 and 3GP video formats.

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Videos in the Media Center • playing a clip in portrait and landscape mode

The video player can also show subtitles, it handles the .SRT format. Subtitles are displayed against black background. We wish this was more customizable – options like text size, background opacity and so on would have been nice.

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The Video player can work with SRT subtitles

The video section also keeps the pre-installed YouTube client, which gives you full access to clips and uploading, bookmarked favorites and so on.

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The YouTube client is integrated in the Media Center

FM radio with RDS and TrackID

The inbuilt FM radio of the Sony Ericsson Zylo has memory for 20 stations and supports RDS. It has a nice interface and makes great use of the TrackID music recognition service. The radio can be minimized in the background much like the music player.

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FM radio interface

Very good audio quality

Unsurprisingly the audio quality of Walkman-branded Sony Ericsson Zylo is great. The handset performed excellently in each and every part of our traditional tests, scoring some pretty nice results.

The frequency response is perfect for the entire audible range, the greatest deviation being hard to detect even in lab conditions. The signal-to-noise ratio is also excellent and so are the dynamic range and the stereo crosstalk.

The distortions are also neatly kept under control and if it wasn't for it being slightly on the quiet side we would pronounce the Zylo a perfect portable audio player.

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk
Sony Ericsson Zylo+0.02, -0.10-85.585.50.0031 0.019-84.8
Sony Ericsson Hazel+0.03, -0.09-87.387.10.0049 0.016-86.8
Sony Ericsson Elm+0.02, -0.09-87.287.00.0054 0.019-85.9
Sony Ericsson XPERIA Pureness+0.03, -0.09-86.786.60.0058 0.017-86.1
Sony Ericsson Vivaz+0.39, -1.94-86.285.70.011 0.143-85.7
Sony Ericsson W910+0.25, -1.25-81.582.70.00710.028-81.9
Apple iPhone 3GS+0.01, -0.05-92.192.10.00350.011 -95.0
Sony Ericsson W902+7.31, -2.18-81.784.10.0039 0.020-85.4

Sony Ericsson Hazel
Sony Ericsson Zylo and Hazel frequency response graphs match perfectly

You can find more information about our audio quality test here.

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