Sony Ericsson Elm review

Adding a dash of eco-appeal to a decent phone

Sony Ericsson Elm
The definitive Sony Ericsson Elm review

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Being a phone targeted at the eco-conscious phone user, the Sony Ericsson Elm is kitted out with a low power consumption charger to minimise the amount of energy wasted.

The Elm is powered by a 1000mAh lithium-polymer battery that Sony Ericsson claims can deliver up to 446 hours of standby time or four hours of calls on 3G networks (or 430 hours' standby or 10 hours' calls in GSM-only coverage).

Sony ericsson elm

It puts in a reasonable performance. As there's plenty of functionality onboard (Wi-Fi, A-GPS, etc.) that can sap battery power, individual usage patterns will determine exactly what life you can expect between charges.

We managed around two days with regular phone usage and carefully managing Wi-Fi.


Sony Ericsson packs in a suite of it usual mid-tier phone organiser tools in the Elm. These include calendar, tasks, notes, calculator timer, stopwatch, sound recorder and alarms functions.

Sony ericsson elm

It also supports Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync and SyncML remote synchronisation, plus syncing with a PC. No PC data cable is supplied in-box, however.

Sony ericsson elm


The Sony Ericsson Elm is a dual band 3G handset capable running on UMTS/HSPA 900/2100 frequencies. In non-3G coverage it defaults to 2.5G coverage, with quad-band GSM (850/900/1800/1900) with GPRS or EDGE data connectivity.

Wi-Fi is supported on the handset too, and Bluetooth with A2DP stereo data streaming for music playing on Buetooth headphones, speakers, in-car systems, and so on.

Sony ericsson elm

There's also USB connectivity, with a mass storage option, although the Elm doesn't come with a USB data cable in-box. Local and remote syncing of data with a PC or Microsoft Exchange server is supported.

You can expand the memory using microSD cards up to 16GB with the Sony Ericsson Elm, though none is supplied in box as standard.

The Elm can also be used to interface with DLNA-compatible products for sharing content and data, with a Media Home set up option available in the phone's organiser menu.

No syncing software disc is supplied in-box, although users can download from Sony Ericsson's website support section Sony Ericsson PC Suite or iSync software for Macs, plus Media Go and Media Sync content management PC software.


Among the more eye-catching of the other applications pre-loaded onto the Elm are applications that use the onboard A-GPS satellite positioning gadgetry, plus a selection of applications that emphasise the green message behind Sony Ericsson's GreenHeart initiative.

Firstly, the A-GPS receiver on the Sony Ericsson Elm works well; it's quick to pick up satellites and lock on to your position and alters position swiftly and accurately.

Google Maps v3 is loaded up in standard Sony Ericsson fashion, providing a useful way of finding your position on a map, searching for routes and directions, locating local businesses and services and so on.

Sony ericsson elm

It updates mapping info swiftly over the air (though that means the possibility of extra data charges for the unwary, particularly when roaming abroad). Google Street View is supported and users can also sign up for Google Latitude real-time location tracking service.

Sony ericsson elm

A WisePilot satellite navigation application is also included, providing route-finding and step-by-step guidance to your location. It's a welcome extra to have onboard, with plenty of sat nav options and good in-car onscreen graphics for 2D, 3D and map overviews of routes you're driving.

Sony ericsson elm

It may not be an in-car replacement, or as intuitive as the best systems, but it's okay for a feature phone inclusive app.

Sony ericsson elm

Other GPS-leveraging features include Sony Ericsson's Tracker training application – so you can monitor your running regime via your phone and keep tabs on your progress.

Sony ericsson elm

Sony Ericsson's NearMe application adds another location-sensitive search facility to the handset.

Sony ericsson elm

There are some worthy green applications on the Elm, including an EcoMate function that provides sessions of eco-aware questions and answers to test and expand your knowledge of environmental issues.

Sony ericsson elm

There's also some virtual eco-pet action going on related to your quiz performances.

Sony ericsson elm

A GreenCalculator is also part of the GreenHeart Elm offering, providing you with a calculator to tot up your carbon emissions as you go along.

Sony ericsson elm

A green-aware version of the Walkmate app – Walk Mate Eco – is included too, using the accelerometer functionality to keep track of your steps and tell you how much carbon you're saving by walking rather than driving (which is fine if you assume every step you take all day – even indoors – replaces a car journey).

Sony ericsson elm

An application to keep track of expenses, Checkbook, is included, and of dubious worth is a grocery list, which supposedly can replace the scrap of paper you jot down shopping lists on.

A NeoReader function for reading smartcodes related to online content is also embedded. More immediately useful is the previously mentioned torch function, using the LED photo light, that can be switched on from the Activity Menu shortcuts.