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Thread: my Z500 review:

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    my Z500 review:

    I've been using my Rogers retail Z500 running R2A009 there is a version out now that is R2A011 on cingular phones but I don't know what differences that does, if any. I have been using the Z500 for a solid week now and would like to post up this review of the phone. I would like to say that I am very impressed with the phone and the simple yet powerfull features it possesses.

    Reception:

    This phone is very good. I am impressed with it's ability to make/receive calls in even the worst conditions. It's really hard to tell wether it's the phone or the AMR codec smoothing everything out these days, but it performs and performs well. Furthermore, the unit seems to be very good at handoffs to different towers when I go out driving seeking the oh so tasty Huartz (tim hortons)
    it also maintains a phone call across 19th ave from woodbine to Yonge which puts me through 2 weak areas to test the phone.
    the Corner of Bayview and 19th isn't the greatest but the Z500 has no issues maintaining calls there.

    Also, in my V551 review I noted that depending on how you hold the phone could affect reception in weaker areas..
    It doesnt' seem to affect the Z500 wether you like holding the phone this way:


    or this way:


    so that's a good thing.
    subconsciously I move my hand down anyway if I know i'm in a weaker area, but either way it seems to work and doesn't affect recpetion. I'll keey trying this but I haven't noticed any degradation in audio holding it the first way, which I think most people hold clams.
    the Antenna is the grey strip across the top FYI.


    cantina test

    this phone passess with no issues.
    i made numerous calls in there and it worked fine. Callers were loud and clear and they didnt' complain of my voice quality.

    this phone is definately a winner in it's price point if you're looking for a phone that has good RF characteristics and maybe a little more on the side.


    Camera

    it's your standard fare. 640x480 with nightmode and other SE effects like Black and white, sephia etc etc. I'm a firm believer that camera phones are just for fun, spontaneous pic taking and they will never replace a tru digital camera. However, a Digital camera will never be able to make a phone call

    here are some shots from the camera in the different sizes.
    there is not "picture quality" setting like the nokia from what I could find, but there is a small/medium/large setting that is 160x120 320x240 and 640x480 resectively.
    there are no "quality" settings on the camera so what you see is what you get.

    The camera can also be activated by holding the camera button down with the flip closed, it will use the external LCD as a viewfinder to capture the image.

    here are some shots of the various pic sizes.











    and that sexy car from the 6230b review, with winter shoes on


    Video camera
    the phone also has a Video camera so i'll throw a few vids in for you to see. there are 2 sizes of Video, small 128x96 and large 176x144.
    Also, the video camera can be activated with clam closed, however you'll have to open the flip, engage the came3ra button and then set video, then close flip. After that the phone will remember you want Video and next time you press and hold the camera button outside you'll get Video mode. Furthermore, you can zoom in and out up to 4x with the Clam open or closed.
    with the Clam opened you use the up/down Dpad to zoom in and out, and volume up/down to increase/decrease the brigtness.
    With the clam closed the volume keys up/down act as zoom in/out

    here are some Vids anyway
    thanks to Analogtrail for hosting the Vids
    the last clip is of the larger size
    http://www.2ndglance.ca/clip2.3gp
    http://www.2ndglance.ca/clip6.3gp
    http://www.2ndglance.ca/clip7.3gp

    Aesthetics

    this phone isn't small..

    which is exactly why i like it. it's not a small "girly" flip, it has style and substance. Ultimately you will decide if you like it or hate it, but I like it. the covers come off easily for customiztion and are nice and tight. I don't think these covers will become loose over time like NOkia express on uints tend to do. The phone makes a satisfying click when opened and closed similar to that of the Z600 which I also liked a lot. The build quality of this phone is very good and surprises me for a phone that is $79.99 on a 3 year stint with no coupon. It's direct competition is the V220 and 3220 for the price points, but it is the most expensive of the 3 and for good reason. It is the only phone in the class that has full Class 10 EDGE and uses that while sending/receiving MMS or when using the Email client, and, it seems to use EDGE in wap browsing since this phone is very fast on the larger hofo wap pages at loading it up.

    Menu and ease of use
    wow
    wow.
    SE has listened and has completely revamed the menu style and speed on thie Z500. I've been told the K700 uses this menu but not having 850 I never bothered to pick up the K700 as I'd never use it. The menu is just smart and very intuitive with neat little tricks that I've come to love from SE.
    Aside from the blazing fast menu's in comparison to other SE products, I have also noticed:

    SMS
    the SE sms system is king
    SE T9 rules the roost for ease of use. It allows custom words, it allows custom alphanumberic words, IE, Z500, 6230b GSM850. It has a list of words as you're typing which can be turned off if you don't like it. It guesses the word even if you're not done writing it, IE, I type Snowe and SonyEricsson pops up because I've saved it in the dictionary. It has the ability for you to go into your custom dictionary and see the words you've entered and delete some that you no longer want or need.

    the SE SMS system is the smartest, easiest, most powerfull SMS system that I have EVER used. Ever.

    however, with good comes bad.
    the SE lacks a delete all in one shot feature so you'll have to go into the inbox, delete all, then go to the sent items, delete all. Unless I'm missing something, which I will append the review later if I am

    Phonebook & scroling speed
    is fast. I have a 279#'s in my Z500 and when you press down and hold it it'll sroll the first 3-4 entries at a normal rate but if you hold down the Down key it kicks it into hyper mode and burns up the phone book. it will scroll the whole 279 #'s in 20 seconds if I keep it held down... AND, if I let go it stops instantly, not like the T616 where it would lag and pass a few entries. Bravo SE on that feat

    you can also use the SIM card now as a phonebook.
    for those of you who hated the fact that the SE products forced you to use the phone memory and not the sim you'll be happy to know that you can now run your sim phonbook. You can't do both though. It's either SIM or PHONE.

    there is also SIM controll now in the phonebook so you can save #'s to the sim (if your using the phone as your main book)

    SE phones also allow you to save images/ringtones to specific callers so that when that person calls you you can have a specific ringtone and image come up.. the Image also shows up on the external LCD as well, and if that image is an animated GIF, that GIF will be animated on the external display as well when that person calls. Really neat thing there.

    also worth noting.
    the phonebook is smart. If you have a person with multiple #s saved (phone only, not sim) you set a default # to call that person. Now if you want to use alternate #'s you scroll to that person, then go Right or left on the Dpad and you'll get their other #'s. What's even better is that if you have a Email address saved in that contact the email address will come up and "call" changes to "send to" which will provide you with 2 more options. you can send a MMS, or send an Email (using pop3 email client)

    speed dialing
    no more messing with sim positions.
    the speed dialing option resides in the options of the phonebook and you've got 1 through 9 to select. simply pick the slot, press add go find your entry in the phonebook and voila. Done and Done. To use the speed dialing you press the number, then press call. you don't hold the # down like on nokia and you'll see why later.
    You can also set 1 as a speed dial as well as being the voicemail key... you press and hold 1 for VM, or press 1 then call for the speed dial. I key, 2 features.
    Also, if you hold down any # key 2 though 9 it will go to the first letter on that key in the phone book.. it's a quick way if you want to find all your M's for example.. press and hold 6 and it'll jump you to all the M's.

    profiles
    The SE phones have profiles as many know.
    what many of you may not know or not pay attention to are 2 little things in these profiles that set SE product apart from the rest.

    1> the profile can have a # to which to automatically forward.
    For example, my HOME profile has my home # under the forward option. SO, when i select the HOME profile the phone automatically will forward all my calls to my house, or any predetermined #. these #'s are independant of each other so you can have different forwarding #'s in the different profiles.. Work will forward to work etc..
    I have a "Do not disurb" profile in which i forward my calls to VM that way I can still get SMS if it's really an emergency, i use that profile when i just want people to leave me alone for a bit so I can clean my head.

    2> accepted callers list.
    I can set a list of accepted callers, dependant on the profile (8 profiles, 8 lists) what happens here is that based on the profile I can select who will get to call me, and who the phone will bounce to my VM. I have a profile in which only the most important people in my life can get me.. Close friends, family etc.. their #'s i've placed on that list so if they call my phone will ring. If anyone not on that list calls they will be bounced to VM. The great thing about this is that even thouth the phone bounces them you can still see tha tthey called as the phone keeps track of who called in the call list. Speaking of call list>

    I would also have liked to see a "not accepted" callers list where you can single out a few people that are annoying you and you don't want to talk to them. Or instantly bounce blocked call ID's since i never answer those. Maybe is SE is reading this they can implement that into future firwmare of this phone or future products.

    Call list
    Gone is that mess of a call list where everything is thrown into one window. It's still there, but now across the top there are different fields you can see:
    All/answered/Dialed/Missed.
    Of course is that hodgepode of a screen where everything is there for those of you who liked that. the other 3 are seperate entries and do what their name says. that way you can only see answered calls, dialed calls and missed calls. Great feature.

    Java
    I've downloaded quite a few java games for the Z500. it's compatible with series 40 games since it's a 128x128 playing screen and of course will work with SE java games that are or a 128x160 screen. It will not work with K700 games since those are 176x220 screens.

    what else impressed me is that the phone prompts you where you want to save the game. So, Pacman goes into games, and World Time goes into applications. This is key becuase I want games under fun, and utilities under the file manager/applications where they should go.

    The java engine is also very fast now and loads up instantly compared to what I remember on the T616

    Keypad
    a bit of a mixed bag. I like the layout and how you can now assing what you want to the 4way Dpad and the side button, but the keys are sunk in and stiff at first, I have loosened them up, but I don't know if customers hammer the keys the way I do so this may be an issue for some. The keypad lacks feel so I suggest you leave the keypad tones on so you know if you hit the key or not.

    the keypad also has this trick effect to it where when you open it, or when the lights go on from being off it will scroll the light in in a special effect.. This is done on purpose and no, it's not defective. just a little something I though was neat.
    http://www.2ndglance.ca/clip1.3gp

    File manager
    the Z500 uses a new file manager type of system now. it's really convenient. I have set up different folders in my ringtones for example. One for MIDI the other for MP3. the file system is also bery intuitive allowying you to mark several files to be moved or deleted, and of course you can always pick a file, select more and be prompted with a bevy of options with what you can do with that file. You can send it via MMS/email you can use it as a ringtone/picture/wallpaper/callerid etc etc etc. very smart and very usefull

    Themes
    the SE Z500 supports the classic SE themes. I feel SE has it the best with regards to the themes because in one click you can change the whole appearance of your phone within seconds, and there are tones of theme creators out there so you can make your own, or download one you like that somebody else made. Furthermore the Z500 supports the SE animated themes at a 128x160 resolution. K500/F500 themes work for those of you who want to use themes on the Z500 since it's so new but T616/T637 won't since menu etc etc is different. I'm also very happy to report that the Themes go up quickly now, no waiting around like you used to do in the T616/T637/Z600. it's usualy up and done within 5 seconds and the phone is useable right after. No more lag waiting for the phone to come to once a new theme is applied

    screen
    it's a nice large 128x160 unit.
    My only gripe is that it's CSTN (T616) and really takes a beating outside like the T616. Also, there is no contrast setting. It's strangely missing from the setup menu and even the "secret" SE menu's.. Odd.

    Ringtones and call quality/volume
    the phone supports MIDI and MP3 tones with 6megs of memory onboard. you will need a cable though for the easy way to get the ringtones on the phone so I suggest that.
    the Phone plays the tones nice and loud and the sound quality of them is good. If you're looking for a phone with loud crips MP3 ringtones this is it. Unfortunately you can't set custom SMS tones on the Z500 and will have to choose 1 of 6 pre set midi tones.

    the call quality and volume of this phone is equally good. nice and loud, it could be a touch louder but i'm not complaining. my callers say i sound good and loud as well

    Connectivity
    This phone lacks connectivity in the traditional SE ways which some are upset about. However, once you realize the Z500 is entry level and really wasn't designed to be the next K750i you'll let it slide. Furthermore the Z500 has that SE email client that I love. It can attach files and send them via POP3 email using EDGE with no size restriction. I emailed myself the "bouncer" stock video on the Z500 which is a 946kb. The phone sent it no problems and didn't choke once although transitting 1 meg on EDGE did take a litle bit.

    you can also buy a cable, standard issue DCU - 11 to synch with outlook or send media to and from the phone. Standard issue stuff really and many may want to buy that cable if you're heavy into the picture taking etc.

    Battery
    The battery life isn't the greatest and definately isn't a stong point on the Z500. Most of you know that I am a heavy user and as such I will need to top off the battery usually @ about 5pm to make it through the night. Now, I'm also not the typical user so if battery life is a concern to you talk to other users of the phone. Hartom is also using a Z500 and he says it lasts him a day and he's happy with it. I am also happy with the battery life as well, but, some of you may not be. it's a 700mah battery so it's not the largest battery out there.
    average to light users should get 1-2 days out of it if the flip is closed and you leave the phone sitting. It's when you open the flip, play some games etc etc that the battery will suffer.

    Organizer
    calender is good. you can make appointments and have them remind you with alarms set on the appointment time or before etc etc. Standard issue really.

    Alarm
    the alarm is good, you can also set a recurring alarm, and, pick the days that alarm will sound which is handy if you use your phone as the alarm clock and have certain days off in which you don't want the alarm to work. The alarm also works if the phone is powered off which is a good thing if you're one to turn the phone off when you charge/sleep

    Notes
    the phone can take notes, and you can also "show in standby" if you're one to forget things you can create a note and then pick the show in standby option and it will plaster that note on the main screen until you delete the note or change the show in standby option.. it's a new way to "tie a string around your finger" reminder

    timer & stopwatch
    pretty straightforward, you can time things with the stopwatch and have lap times, like the amount of time it take you to complete 1 lap of the huartz (tim hortons) drive through

    the timer is just that.. a countdown timer, once that countdown expires the phone will sound an alarm (old fashioned egg timer alarm) the external LCD also shows the countdown which is also a well thought out feature.

    Miscellaneous
    things that really don't need a whole heading but I want to say.

    Active Flip
    when a call comes in and you open the phone there is about a .5 second delay on the cal going live.. It answeres the call but there is some lag of when you can hear the call and that lag is about 0.5 seconds. SE tells me that this will be corrected as they initially thought it was a hardware chipset feature but have goten the lag to ve virtually eliminated in hew new upcoming SW

    Speakerphone
    Speakerphone works well, my callers seem to like it better then when i'm using handheld. However, the flip can not be closed while speakerphone is active since there is no speaker on the back, it uses the earpiece speaker.

    Media player
    the phone features a media player that you start and then close the flip and it will play all the MP3's in your root directory and show the file being played on the outside LCD..
    what value this feature has, I dunno but you decide.

    Ratings
    Performance..........................8
    Build quality..........................8
    Battery life............................7
    Features for $......................10
    Software..............................10
    SE really impressed me on this

    Overall...............9
    for the value for money*, and the fact that this phoine has a large 128x160 screen where it's closest competitors offer 128x128 units (although the 3220 is a nicer TFT unit) and the fact that is has and uses class 10 EDGE for sending/receiving MMS/Email I give this phone a 9. If it had better battery life and a TFT screen it'd be an easy 10.

    *this scoring is based on a $79.99 price point.
    as such I am very happy with the phone and what it does in thie price range.

    Pros
    *Good RF
    *excellent build quality with satisfying click when opened/closed
    *amazingly redone software that is quick, efficient and powerfull. Nokia and motorola should really listen to their customers, SE does.
    *excellent features for it's price point
    *excellent buy in it's price category.
    *Excellent use of the external LCD from displaying pics of callers to showing the time and other pertinent info.
    *ability to bounce a call to VM without opening the flip. double press of the volunme key and they're listening to my oh so friendly greeting.


    Cons
    *average battery life
    *CSTN main screen (i would really like a TFT although thats pushing it I know)
    *Camera not the greatest
    *Video recording lags a bit when moving phone
    *no contrast setting
    Last edited by Treatz; 02-08-2005 at 02:06 PM.

  2. #2
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    it got a 9!! NICE!

    that is goood. Very long and good review. Your reviews are getting better each time. WAY TO GO! THANKS TREATZ!

    VERY WORTH THE WAIT FOR THIS REVIEW!
    Last edited by anotheran; 02-08-2005 at 02:12 PM.
    Currently writing for FeedingMobile
    My Reviews: HTC One, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S7

    Looking for a new unlocked phone? Check out the Smartphone Buyer's List

  3. #3
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    Can you comment on the incoming call volume and clarity at this setting?

    btw: Nice review..

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    Something I'd like to add about phonebook:

    You can add multiple numbers to one entry when stored on the phone. To access these other numbers, scroll to the name and use the left and right keypad to find the number you want to dial.

    That is awesome.

  5. #5
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    youve just convinced me to get one....what the heck...its only $79
    "If I saw an alien I'd tell it to fook right off because whatever planet he came from, they wouldn't have the Beatles or any decent music. So they can fook right off, I ain't going nowhere with them."- Liam Gallagher

  6. #6
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    Originally posted by felpot
    youve just convinced me to get one....what the heck...its only $79
    exactly.
    I kept having to remind myself it's only $79.99 for the features it brings to the table. I really am impressed with the phone

  7. #7
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    nice, I'm convinced.


    did you test out data speeds? I noticed it's class 10, but are the speeds you get reflective of this?

    any speed test reults?


    thanx
    xbox live gamertag: Mighty Boink

    Add me and come get pwned

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    I want to try the new "CLARA" SE phone, since my brief experience with the T637, SE has always had a place in my heart

    can you save more than 1 email address to 1 contact?
    All thoughts and opinions expressed are strictly my own.

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    Originally posted by boink9999
    nice, I'm convinced.


    did you test out data speeds? I noticed it's class 10, but are the speeds you get reflective of this?

    any speed test reults?


    thanx
    Unfortunately i couldn't get a data cable quick enough but once I do I will append the review

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    Originally posted by J.
    I want to try the new "CLARA" SE phone, since my brief experience with the T637, SE has always had a place in my heart

    can you save more than 1 email address to 1 contact?
    no, it appears you can only save 1 email addy per entry

  11. #11
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    I read somewhere this phone is compatible with PTT. I know rogers dont have that for now but would be a nice feature for future so does it have it or not ?

    thx

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    Originally posted by crankypunk
    I read somewhere this phone is compatible with PTT. I know rogers dont have that for now but would be a nice feature for future so does it have it or not ?

    thx
    it is compatible, but so is the T637...
    it's just SW

  13. #13
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    TREATZ thanks for reviewing this phone. I wanted to buy this phone because it's cheap and I like it's look, especially that colour external display.

    thanks dude, the fact that it's RF roxxorz a haxxorz boxxorz makes me all for it.

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    my keypad lights on the buttons 1, 2, 3 doesnt light up... is this a defect?

  15. #15
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    Originally posted by MizTEcK
    my keypad lights on the buttons 1, 2, 3 doesnt light up... is this a defect?
    yes

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