By November 29, 2010

Sony Ericsson Spiro review

spiro-main The Spiro from Sony Ericsson is the Zylo Walkman phones little brother. Certainly smaller, Certainly cheaper but is there much separating these two in the mobile gene pool and is does the Spiro’s lower price tag hold it back in terms of performance and functionality?

Read on to see how the Sony Ericsson shapes up!

 

Sony Ericsson Spiro specification:

  • Dimensions: 92 x 48 x 16.8 mm
  • Weight: 90 g
  • Display: 240 x 320 pixels, 2.2 inches
  • 5MB Internal Memory
  • MicroSD Memory card (up to 16GB)
  • Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP support
  • microUSB
  • FM Radio with RDS
  • 2MP camera
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Walkman 4.0 player
  • Facebook and Twitter apps.

 

 

General

The front of the device feature the familiar Walkman playback controls which double as navigation, either side of that are the call buttons and select and back keys as well as the addition of the cancel and shortcut buttons.

spiro-front

 

When open the Spiro features its backlit numerical keypad.

spiro-angled-open

 

The left of the device houses just a solitary micro USB connector used for charging and connectivity.

spiro-left

 

Although difficult to see I can assure you tat the right of device does feature a two-way volume rocker.

spiro-right

 

The top of the Spiro boats the holy grail of Walkman devices in the form of a standard 3.5mm headphone jack.

spiro-top

 

The back completes the Spiro with the Sony Ericsson branding as well as the lens for the included camera.

 spiro-back

 

Highlights

  • 3.5mm Jack
  • Micro USB
  • Well Built

Lowlights

  • No 3G
  • Lack of features
  • Poor Camera Quality

 

Review

Even still in the box the connection between the Spiro and Zylo is very apparent, as with the Zylo the Spiro comes complete with it’s own eco packaging. Looks wise the Spiro in my opinion does lack that certain gloss of its older brother but it certainly does the job. Smaller and lighter then the Zylo the Spiro has both benefits and drawbacks with this. The numerical keypad is smaller however still large enough so as to avoid problems with pressing the wrong key. The navigational buttons are larger than those on the Zylo however still feel a little fiddly and one other problem I found with the black model reviewed is the playback buttons are marked in black making them difficult to see a times. The Spiro is a compact device and although comes with its new name it is difficult to differentiate between the devices in the ever expanding Walkman range. The Spiro doesn’t offer anything new in the way of style, as I mentioned it’s light and compact and looks fairly sleek. Given it’s price as with the Zylo the Spiro and a reassuringly solid feel the slider works great and feels sturdy and although plastic the back feels well made. The navigational menu is identical to any other Walkman device and as with any other Walkman device it works and as I said in the Zylo review if it ‘aint’ broke don’t fix it.

 spiro-keypad

 
As far as Walkman features go there is not much between the Spiro and Zylo certainly not enough to warrant the Zylo’s price tag. The addition of a micro USB is a positive one and although the cable is not included, users are more likely to have a spare lying about the house then they are a Sony Ericsson connector cable. For me though the Spiro’s biggest coup would have to be the 3.5mm Headphone jack which is not only present but also located on the top of the device.

Headphones are included however because of the input you will be able to use any you fancy. Sound quality is on a par with that of its older brother which when added to the price of the Spiro adds up to a great addition to the Walkman Range. Internal memory stands at 5MB so is pretty much non-existent so a Micro SD card which is not included is a must. Support for up to 16GB is achievable and is likely to be plenty for even the most avid of music fans. Track ID and an FM radio are also present with the Spiro.

The Spiro comes with just a 2 megapixel camera which for it’s price is fair but it wont be replacing your standard digital camera any time soon. No Flash means that really the camera is likely to be used simply for capturing those moments of madness when the moment takes you. The 2.2″ screen is slightly smaller than the Zylo however with no 3G connectivity browsing the Internet is not going to be top of your list of priorities with this device and therefore can be forgiven.

As far as other features on the Spiro go unfortunately they are few and far between and it is this area in which the Zylo pulls away showing it’s worth. No location services or 3G, no Wi-Fi or GPS. Bluetooth is present but it’s not enough to claw it back I’m afraid. That being said on a device, which is available for as little as the Spiro it hardly seems fair to complain or compare it to a device, which is over, double its price. As with the Zylo the Spiro comes in a range of colours so I’m sure you will find something that takes your fancy. At this point in the review I find myself struggling for things to say that have not been said in a previous review of a Walkman mobile. Sony Ericsson is making little progress in terms of design and features. The Spiro does include the 3.5mm jack and a micro USB however we then see the more expensive Zylo do away with both of these features the phrase one step forward two back springs to mind.

 

 
Conclusion

The conclusion I would draw from the Spiro is similar to that of the Zylo. For me personally if I were to choose between the two I would go for the Spiro the reason being it doesn’t pretend to be anything it’s not. The Zylo is not a bad phone however given it’s price there are better phones on the market the Spiro is hard to beat with it’s low price and Walkman features and the inclusion of the 3.5mm Jack and Micro USB is the icing on the cake.
The Spiro is sleek, well built and functional at with a price like this it is hard to knock. 3G may have been a nice inclusion along with the integration of Sony Ericsson’s widgets but the Spiro as with so many that have come before is a solid entry and as much as I would love to see some progression from Sony Ericsson as I said in the Zylo review having found a winning formula why would they go and change things.

 

Review by: Nick

Posted in: Reviews

About the Author:

More than 20 years in the IT industry. Blogging with a passion and thirst for new technology since 2005.
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