It’s refreshing to see when most new mobiles are getting chunkier, more expensive, and packed with things you probably won’t use. It’s like the mobile equivalent of your favourite Chinese take-away – cheap and cheerful, not big on the gourmet and you know exactly what you’re getting. With a decent camera and a svelt design the C510 isn’t a heavy hit on your hip-pocket, but is it too light on features?
The C510’s main selling point will be its Sony Cyber Shot-branded camera. At 3.2 megapixels, the camera in this phone will be just enough for taking printable-quality happy snaps or decent resolution pics to go online. The camera even comes with some nifty features, like automatic face-detection to keep your friends in focus and a ‘Smile Shutter’ key, which waits for your subjects to smile before clicking a picture. But as far as dedicated camera phones go, the C510 isn’t head of the class – 3.2 megapixel is pretty stock-standard and if you’re looking to replace your digital camera, you’d be looking at the LG Viewty or Renoir, or other Sony Ericssons like C905 with an 8.1 megapixel camera and xenon flash.
Apart from the camera: even though the C510 packs a pretty-standard numerical keypad, you might find clicking the buttons a bit fidgety. The keys are small and tightly-packed, making menu navigation annoying at times with your thumb bumps 2 or 3 buttons at once.
The music player is simple enough to use – an 8GB memory card stuffed with MP3s means the C510 could replace your old iPod mini or nano if you wanted (but it’s not quite as sexy as an iPod, in either its menus or design.)
A few other features are convenient but not really ground-breaking – MMS, calendar, easy upload links to blogs, PictBridge compatibility for photo printers, video calls, 3D games and in-built accelerometers (not that they really do much).
Value for money is really where the C510 stands out. So many new mobiles are up towards the pricier end of town, and this one’s cheap as chips. It’s slim and light, nice clear screen, packs in a music player and web browser and the uber-handy Google Maps and YouTube features – not bad for the price tag. It’s also great to get a high-speed 3G connection in such an inexpensive phone – games and music downloads will be quick and easy, but be warned – the web browser is basic at best, good for checking the news at the train station but that’s about it. All that said – it is still a price-conscious mobile, so be warned: it’s not a top-performance handset, even with a couple of nice apps it’s a long way from being an iPhone or any smartphone.
If you’ve ever owned a Sony Ericsson before you’ll know exactly what you’re getting into. It’s an old-school mobile – none of this fancy stuff like mobile email or PC-perfect web browsing – the C510 is built for the basics and does them well.