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With the Elm, Sony Ericsson has delivered a handset that doesn't require the user to deny themselves to the point of austerity just to pocket a more eco-friendly handset.
If you're looking for a mid-tier candybar handset rather than anything more high-end or touchscreen, the Elm delivers a very decent package of features for the price and in a very usable and understatedly attractive package.
Fine data options, including Wi-Fi and HSPA mobile data connectivity provide the Elm with good online capability when using connected applications, browsing, downloading or uploading content.
The slim, lightweight curvy design is tactile and feels comfortable to handle and pocket. Its numberpad, too, is responsive and nicely manageable, with a fluent action for texting.
Sony Ericsson hasn't skimped on the features packed into the Sony Ericsson, with A-GPS technology complemented by several apps that use it – including sat nav.
There are also decent media player capabilities, plus a host of additional applications ranging from fitness functionality to eco educational software promoting the GreenHeart message.
The GreenHeart core appeal of the phone is also something we liked – giving consumers a greener alternative when making their phone-buying decision,
The camera put in a decent performance, with some good solid functionality that delivered some pleasing images and acceptable video clips.
We also liked the widgets on the homescreen; they may be limited in number but they work well enough and are welcome.
The music player performance is compromised by a mediocre set of earphones and no standard headphone adapter in-box. Again, we would have preferred Sony Ericsson to have opted for a 3.5mm headphone connector rather than persisting with its bulky multi-connector side slot.
We also found the back cover awkward to take off and put on correctly – something that may be an issue if you're swapping memory cards.
And while some users may welcome the environmentally-friendly apps, others may feel it's a little over-done for eco-conscious people who have already made their green-buying decision.
We'd have liked to have seen a better flash unit for the camera, and possibly some more memory storage out of the box. An update of the email user interface would also be welcome.
Looking for a greener mobile phone may still be a niche pursuit in the UK, but with its GreenHeart range Sony Ericsson is at least aiming to offer more choice for the eco-aware phone buyer.
To its credit, despite its green credentials, the Elm feels far from the sort of hair-shirt option previous eco-friendly phones have suggested.
If you're looking for a sensible mid-tier candybar phone that provides good connectivity options and are more concerned with reducing your environmental impact than with touchscreen smartphone capabiliies, the Sony Ericsson Elm certainly offers an alterative that's worth considering.
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