The user interface in K530 differs in no way from the rest of the handsets by the Swedish-Japanese maker. The status icons and shortcuts on the display are the good old stuff. The different size options for the digital clock are the only interesting thing. Users will likely welcome the possibility to use animated wallpapers.
Stand-by display with big and small watch
Note: Some screenshots have been borrowed from Sony Ericsson K550, in which the menu and user interface are in practice identical with K530.
The main menu displays as a grid of 12 color icons and, again, is teeming with animations, which you can't turn off. The preinstalled themes don't alter the menu icons this time around. Deeper menu levels are displayed with text, enhanced by a small icon at the beginning of every row. A pleasing detail is the displaying of current time all across the menu system.
Standard main menu • submenus feature a highlighting tab for selected items
Menu is accessed through the Confirming center of the navigation key, or the right soft key. The left selection key opens Recent calls. The directions of the navigation key can be assigned shortcuts to selected applications.
Shortcuts to frequently used functions can be placed under the My Shortcuts tab of the Activity Menu too, which allows multitasking applications. The rest of the Activity Menu tabs are New Events, Running Apps and Internet.
Sony Ericsson K530 can be set to prompt you every time you switch it on whether you would like to start it into flight mode with all transceivers disabled. The inconvenience here is that the flight mode too requires an inserted SIM.
To us, the camera of the Sony Ericsson K530 was a disappointment. The handset doesn't belong to the Cyber-shot elite and is equipped with a common-or-garden 2 MP camera without autofocus and lens cover. It could've at least been given a LED flash.
Camera viewfinder and settings pop-up menu
The K530 is held horizontally when taking pictures, like an ordinary digicam. The shutter key is placed on the right-hand side. The maximum picture size is 1600 x 1200 pixels. The pictures fail to impress with quality. The high compression takes its toll and photos suffer a considerable loss of detail. In pictures of grass for example, pixelation is quite discernible. Colors come out well however. Of course, problems with macro shots are inevitable given the lack of auto focus or of a dedicated macro switch. The camera settings are accessible from the toolbar at the bottom of the viewfinder, the available options for each feature appear as a popup list. Inside the camera menu you can select picture size, white balance, exposure compensation, picture quality, self-release timer, night mode, shutter sound, color effects, picture frames, and burst mode. There's a panorama shooting mode for combining three shots into one wide picture.
The 2.2x digital zoom is available only with picture size set to VGA. Pictures can contain info on the time and date of taking, and allow white balance correction. They are saved in the phone or on memory card. Pictures are easy to send via Bluetooth, email or MMS. Sending a picture to a blog and direct printing on a PictBridge compatible printer are other available options. The phone memory is the thrifty 16 MB. Users will have to consider buying a memory card, since none is shipped with the handset.
Sample pictures taken with Sony Ericsson K530:
We saw no improvements in the video recording. The K530 captures video in 3GP format; recording length is unlimited and depends on the available memory only. Users will have to put up with the dismal resolution of 176 x 144 pixels. When shooting video, digital zoom and exposure compensation are enabled.
File manager and photo gallery
The picture gallery for viewing your shots is under File manager. Depending on the user preference, 4 or 9 pictures are displayed in thumbnail view, or a list of photos with details about the time they were taken. A handy option is the Timeline view allowing you to browse your pictures chronologically. User can opt for fullscreen view or use the slideshow function.