Sony Ericsson Zylo review

The Sony Ericsson Zylo is the first phone with FLAC support, but does it hit the right note?

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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.


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.

Tech Specs

Product TypeCellular Phone
Network BandQuad Band
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported16 GB
Built-in Memory260 MB
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyEDGE, GPRS, HSUPA, HSDPA
SAR Value0.88 W/kg
Cellular Network SupportedWCDMA 2100
Rear Camera Resolution3.2 Megapixel
Front CameraYes
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleSlider
ColourChacha Silver
Brand NameSony Mobile
Battery Talk Time4 Hour
Product ModelW20i Zylo
Screen Size6.6 cm (2.6")
Screen Resolution240 x 320
Weight (Approximate)115 g
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityENERGY STAR, WEEE, RoHS
Maximum Video Resolution640 x 480
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Messaging TypeEmail, Instant Messaging, SMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service)
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Height103 mm
Width52 mm
Depth16 mm
Radio TunerYes
Battery Standby Time339 Hour
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product NameW20i Zylo Cellular Phone
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer
Manufacturer Part Number1240-2744
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Hip hop heroes. Indie icons. Rock legends. Stuff your fave artists into the Sony Ericsson Zylo music phone, style the Walkman player, pop in the earbuds and lose yourself in superb sound.

Music intelligence with TrackID

You hear a great song on the radio. Then another from the speakers in the coffee house. But who's playing? Find out with TrackID.

Your social scene - Facebook and more

Share the fun. Or the utterly boring. On Facebook or Twitter. Snap pics and post on Picasa and Flickr, and let the world see what you see.

Clips on YouTube

What makes you laugh? Regardless, it's probably on YouTube. On the Zylo 2.6" screen, you view videos whenever's good for you. Or upload your own in just two clicks.

Limited Warranty2 Year