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Sony Ericsson Spiro review

No bells, no whistles – can a stripped-back phone make it in a smartphone world?

We'll save everyone some time here and open this page by saying that the Sony Ericsson Spiro is simply a brilliantly made phone.

Sony ericsson spiro

It's consists of three parts (the battery cover, the central body and the sliding screen section), all of which fit together perfectly with no shift, no give and no wobble. The screen slides up smoothly, with a small amount of resistance to avoid accidental slides. Once you get it to the top it clicks into place, and slides back down with the same small resistance.

Sony ericsson spiro

It feels very comfortable in the hand, thanks in no small part to its small size. At 92 x 48 x 16.75mm (when closed) and just 90g, it's very portable.

The front of the Stealth Black version of the phone, with the screen and main buttons, is glossy black, while the rest is easy-to-grip matt. On that front panel we have two softkeys, Call and Terminate buttons (the latter also acting as the power button), and a shortcut key and a 'C' delete button.

Sony ericsson spiro

In the middle of all those is a round navigation pad with a middle, 'select' button that also doubles as controls for the Walkman software.

The 2.2-inch 240 x 320 (QVGA) screen is bright and vibrant, as we're used to on Sony's phones. Despite its glossiness it was fairly usable in bright sunlight. Though the resolution isn't particularly high, its high enough for text and menus to be perfectly legible.

Slide the front panel up and we get access to the numberpad, which is matt, rather than the gloss of the other buttons. The numberpad is backlit, as are the softkeys and shortcut and 'C' button. The navigation pad is lit around it, but not behind the symbols on it, making it harder to use in the dark.

The numberpad's keys click slightly, though don't have much travel. The click is generally enough feedback for fast typing though. They're not very big, but few keypads are these days. We struggled with a few mistakes when typing long messages, but smaller hands than our big man-hooves will do better.

Sony ericsson spiro

The keys are ever-so-slightly raised in the middle to make touch-typing easier, but it isn't a big bump, and it seems as though Sony Ericsson is determined to keep the Spiro smooth.

The left-hand side is smooth and featureless, save for the micro-USB port. There's no cover or anything, just a hole, but it's small and sturdy enough that it's not a weak point in the build.

Sony ericsson spiro

On the right side of the Spiro are the volume keys, which sit flush to the rest of phone and are easy to accidentally press, but again feel solid and reliable. On top of the phone is the 3.5mm headphone port, sitting right in the middle.

Sony ericsson spiro

Sony ericsson spiro

On the back of the phone is the lens for the 2-megapixel camera, as well the usual Sony Ericsson and Walkman liveries.

Sony ericsson spiro

The backplate pops off without much bend when you slide your nail under it, revealing the battery and microSD card slot. Being able to remove the card without having to turn off the phone is always nice, though access to the SIM card slot does require removal of the battery.

Sony ericsson spiro

Tech Specs

Product TypeCellular Phone
Network BandDual Band
BluetoothYes
USBYes
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported16 GB
Built-in Memory5 MB
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE
SAR Value1.03 W/kg
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 900, GSM 1800
Rear Camera Resolution2 Megapixel
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleSlider
ColourStealth Black
Brand NameSony Mobile
Battery Talk Time4.50 Hour
Product ModelW100i Spiro
Screen Size5.6 cm (2.2")
Screen Resolution240 x 320
Weight (Approximate)90 g
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE, RoHS, ENERGY STAR
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Height92 mm
Width48 mm
Depth16.8 mm
Radio TunerYes
Battery Standby Time476 Hour
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product NameW100i Spiro Cellular Phone
Screen TypeLCD
Manufacturer Part Number1233-4521
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sony.co.uk
Marketing Information

Sing it out loud. Go wild. Or just chill. The Sony Ericsson Spiro with Walkman is a music phone for the best sounds around - your sounds.

How do you want your music?

Wanna be free to jump around to the beat? Go for a wireless Bluetooth stereo headset. Or use your favourite old headphones. Plug them into the 3.5 mm jack.

Find the song with TrackID

You hear a great song - on the radio, in a shop, anywhere. But what is it? Press TrackID and find out. If you want it for keeps, get it from PlayNow.

Get the gossip

Spread the word. Learn what's hot. Chat in style. Stay connected with the Sony Ericsson Spiro - a phone with Facebook and Twitter.

Limited Warranty2 Year