Sony ericsson zylo

Considering that the unique selling point of the Sony Ericsson Zylo is the FLAC music playback, you'd be forgiven for thinking that's the ultimate decider in how we view this phone.

That's not the case, though. With its handy social networking widgets, media focus and nice messaging features, it's a reminder of what a flexible operating system Sony Ericsson has on these phones.

We liked

The vibrant screen is lovely to use everyday, even it does struggle with video. Apps are presented brightly and text is clear.

Email was ridiculously easy to set up, and we like the new Conversation option for viewing messages.

More than anything, this is just an easy phone to use. Good media functions, background apps and the excellent widgets make this a phone that's great to live with in the online age.

We're also in support of the introduction of support for lossless music codecs, even if this implementation is clumsy.

We disliked

Well, you can maybe guess where this starts off. Proprietary headphone connector, no USB cable, no microSD card… we could forgive these sins if large music files weren't the marquee feature for the Zylo.

All that, and we were disappointed with the final sound quality anyway. It just feels like such a wasted opportunity.

The camera was also a low point of the phone. We just couldn't manage to take a single good photo. The 30fps VGA video sounds like it would have promise, but it just failed to pick up enough detail.

Verdict

When we first started exploring the Sony Ericsson Zylo, and realised the massive shortcomings of its FLAC support, we were expecting the theme of this review to be 'scathing'.

Ultimately, that's not the case. Disappointing though the lossless music situation may be, it still plays music – a whole bunch of audio file types, actually. It works, even if it wasn't thought through properly.

The rest of the phone is solid, and easy to use. The social networking widgets are excellent. We still say it's a little uncomfortable to use for a while, but you get used to its shape.

Most of all, the raft of features packed in here is hard to fault for the price. Anyone looking for a hardy internet and media-focussed phone will do well with the Zylo.

Audiophiles – we're afraid this isn't the phone you're looking for. Move along.