The Sony Ericsson Spiro's battery life proved to be pretty impressive over the course of testing. Under very light use, you could go for a week without charging the phone.
However, it doesn't fare so well once you get busy on the internet (or making phone calls). It doesn't take much time on the Facebook app with Edge running before you start seeing the battery meter dropping.
This all isn't really surprising – with no giant touchscreen to eat up the battery life, the Spiro is pretty power frugal under quiet conditions, but the handset's small size and budget price mean the battery can't stand up to too much power-intensive use.
Ultimately, we'd say the battery life on the Spiro is good, but not if you're planning to be on the internet all the time (there are much more appropriate phones to do that with).
Despite missing 3G mobile broadband access and Wi-Fi capability, the Spiro actually does alright for connections. Charging is done via an EU-friendly micro-USB port, which can also be used to connect the phone to your computer.
Sony Ericsson has developed an annoying habit of not including USB cables in the box any more. When the company was still using its proprietary connectors, that often wasn't an issue because half the country had a drawer full of old Sony Ericsson and Nokia cables.
The thing is, micro-USB is still relatively uncommon. Certainly too uncommon at this point to assume everyone's got a spare cable. Come on Sony – we know it's a budget handset, but at least give us the tools to get it working well.
The 3.5mm port is always a welcome addition, meaning you can swap SE's basic earphones for something more powerful (unless you want to use the radio, since the supplied handsfree kit works as the antenna).
The microSD card slot enables you to add up to 16GB of extra storage, while built-in Bluetooth means you can transfer files wirelessly, and it can be used for stereo audio output.
File transfers over Bluetooth were impressively fast, though getting Bluetooth turned on and paired with our computer was a bit of a pain – it kept crashing and even caused the Spiro to give up and restart itself once (though we had no such problems once the pairing was done).
Aside from the Facebook and Twitter apps detailed in the 'Internet' section, the Spiro ships with several productivity apps. It's all the usual fare, and more can be found in the Organiser menu.
The only exception to this is the alarm function, which is on the main menu. While it seems odd to single out this one for addition to the main menu, we actually think it's a good idea.
Acting as an alarm clock is pretty much the second purpose of most handsets these days, so it's good to have the settings handy.
Aside from that, you have a standard calendar, into which you can add alerts about an event, as well as some details about it, including recurring appointments. There's no syncing with online calendars or anything, so you'll need to enter everything into it manually.
There's also a task list and note-taker, both of which are fairly simple. One nice feature of the Tasks app is that you can specify a task to make a call, and then add in one of your contacts.
The timer and stopwatch are as simple as they can be, but we can't fault them for performance (at least, they seemed to be counting seconds correctly).
Finally, there's the calculator. We always find Sony Ericsson's calculators on phones like the Spiro to be a little complicated in their layout and differently sized buttons, but you can get used to it.