Posted by vlotnet
Happy New Year all.
Cedar™ - Specification - Phoneportfolio - Products - Corporate - Sony Ericsson
I must say this is an intriguing model. Looks like a lovely keypad and the thing that I really love; people say it has excellent reception and earpiece.
What I would like to know is:
Can the social network infestations be removed / not displayed on the phone?
Is anyone using this with their computer and MicroUSB cable?
General thoughts on the model? Tempted to get one here, despite owning a smartphone.
Posted by Oogamous
Yes, it's a solid phone. Go for it.
The social infestations can be hidden and not displayed. I use the bluetooth pairing to use the 3G on my laptop. Micro usb cable not required.
Posted by hihihans
Cedar is a good phone and yes you can turn everything on and off to match your needs.
Posted by Run_dawn10
It's a nifty little phone. An upgrade from previous feature phones as it uses standard connectors (microUSB and a 3.5mm headphone jack).
[ This Message was edited by: Run_dawn10 on 2012-01-01 17:22 ]
Posted by vlotnet
Excellent. Thanks guys!
Posted by vlotnet
I purchased it today
* Keypad is as good as I imagined from the pictures. Absolute joy.
* D-pad seems to be made out of metal, which surprised me. I've heard others saying it's a bit hard to press, but it's not too bad.
* 240 X 320 screen is quite adequate. Nothing to write home about compared to more capable models, but does fine considering the price and size.
* MP4 360p videos are playing fine and play bigger in Landscape Mode on the phone's small screen. Portrait is a bit like squinting at postage stamps...
* Display virtually disappears in the direct sun, but I wasn't expecting any more here.
* GUI is fluid and fast. Browser doesn't seem great but I didn't really browse.
* I still haven't worked out how to delete the Facebook icon inside Messaging, but I hope I can do it.
* Calculator is pretty good. Calendar is OK too.
* I didn't go in expecting miracles with the camera, so it's fine for the odd (daylight) shot
* I loaded up an 8GB MicroSD card and it seems to handle it fine, though when adding new files it tends to take its time updating the list next time you dive into the Media section there. But it let me resume other media without waiting.
* Timer only rings once; I was kind of hoping it would ring longer.
* Phone is light and small and GUI is far more logically-arranged than Symbian S60
* Headset seems to work fine, though obviously don't expect EX headphones
* Earpiece / reception so far seems really good in my limited testing so far. Speaker is perfectly adequate too.
* Volume buttons could do with more surface area, but they are OK.
* Back of the unit (battery cover) I really don't like silver plastic, but it's OK; I would prefer it more grippy and unpainted plastics. This will show up ugly scratches with some use, no doubt, especially with that rounded back sitting on the table or whatever. The battery cover also doesn't fit flush with the surface of the phone. It's down to taste what your preferences are here, but I think I'd prefer a flush-fitting battery cover and a more grippy one. It also makes it harder to hit the volume buttons since the cover is raised right next to them, so the buttons stick out less and are harder to locate by feel. Might be a nit-pick, but it could have been done better.
* Battery cover takes a little getting used to (a bit hard to remove first time).
* There is no default clock on the standby screen (the screen that appears when the backlight goes off from non-use); you have to hit a volume button to see it.
* Radio works well with headset attached.
* I preferred the icons and default GUI look of my old SE K500i in the past, but you can't have it all
* Mine is a branded handset (Telstra, Australia), locked to the network, but it's well worth it (first time I've bought a branded unit). Was a bit disappointed to find the carrier's logo printed on the unit as well as their crappy firmware on it, so I am currently looking at ways to unlock and debrand it but really it's working great as it is.
Over-all, I like it a lot It's nice to have a smaller and lighter phone again, with a great little keypad.
It weighs 87.2 grams with MicroSD card versus 126.9 grams of my current phone
I miss smaller feature phones! Recommended.
[ This Message was edited by: vlotnet on 2012-01-04 10:34 ]
Posted by vlotnet
Small update (after a bit more time with it
* Media playback is very nice (aside from basic problems...). I like the way it resumes where you were in the previous video even after you've decided to dart back and forth between videos (with the Next Track/Previous Track pressed as you dart through videos). You can return to a previous video and it will remember the exact point before you decided to dart between them. This is probably common in SE phones now but new to me Nothing worse than losing your spot, even after you've decided to hunt around But I can't find a way to add songs from your memory card to a new Playlist on the phone. It simply doesn't let you browse to your memory card to add files. You can only make a playlist by playing a song and going to Options > Save Playlist. Then it adds every song under the sun that's on my card; I can't select which ones I want on my card (in advance). I simply can't find how to loop a (single) song repeatedly either. It will do loops, but not of a single song. Odd quirks.
* I'm liking the main navigation keys more and more, especially its metal construction and the surface area of the round Selection button in the middle. I wonder how long that paint will last? They could have made the navkey bigger vertically instead of giving that thin strip of space to the phone keys above and below it, for more surface area; horizontally, the navigation keys have more surface area than vertically, so they could have evened things up a bit here and made it a bit easier to hit. Not sure why they chose to do it like this. Minor nit-pick anyway. It feels solid and is OK to use.
* Back cover of the phone is still my most-hated part of the aesthetics. I'd love if the plastic were uncoated, and the same colour as the other side (inside) of the battery cover, with its uncoated, no-silver-paint plastic. It's so much more elegant being uncoated and we can do with less cheap silver paint these days. Much less. Time for more real uncoated plastics.
* Unfortunately the Calendar doesn't allow searching of past events, unless I'm missing it somewhere. Big disappointment to me because I'm always searching past appointments. My K500i had this. Not sure why this hasn't got it years later and with more processing power. Market segmentation?
* The radio can't be played in Flight Mode.
* Speaking of Flight Mode, there is no easy way to switch to or from it. You can have the phone prompt you when you start your phone, whether you want Flight Mode or not. There is no easy Profile Switching to or from Flight Mode in the GUI. It's a real shame since sometimes you just want to chill out with some music or movies and don't want to be disturbed and want maximum battery and no brain-frying frequencies, but you need to turn off the phone then turn it on again to be prompted for Flight Mode. To switch from it is also a chore. It's a very odd decision, especially considering the generally excellent GUI choices.
* impressed that I can play music while doing other things on the phone, especially only having experience with relatively budget SE phones in the past (T230, K500i).
* Still impressed with the mostly-good GUI and responsiveness (Camera UI, Converter UI, etc). Probably also common things now with SE but new to me
* Activity key is very handy (key under the Green phone button)
* I would love to remove Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and other instances in various parts of the UI. For example, when playing videos there's a Send > To Youtube, Send > To Twitter options in the GUI. I don't want any of this available to me, much like old-school SE phones that had no tie-ins with any of these websites. I hope there's a way I can remove this because I don't want anything to do with these websites; I definitely want no links to them in my phone. Facebook too. I can't seem to delete these apps on my phone. Entertainment > Applications > Options gives me no joy. Delete is greyed-out.
* I'm used to having a torch these days. I felt a bit bare without it. Of course I wasn't expecting it here, but it comes in handy.
I really don't know how other budget SE featurephones compare here, but now I've become more interested in investigating. Is it worth $29 I paid for it? Absolutely. Even with the crappy carrier branding and social network infestations (with apparently undeletable apps?).
It's a very nice unit over-all, with relatively minor flaws. But I still need my Calendar searching. It'd be far closer to perfection (for the price) if it had that.
[ This Message was edited by: vlotnet on 2012-01-06 10:22 ]
Posted by vlotnet
Twitter and Facebook have been decimated for free (with WotanServer).
I simply chose a firmware with no Twitter, Facebook, etc.
That was my first time debranding a SE phone and first time using WotanServer (a free way to debrand your phone). It went really well and felt really great when I saw Telstra's annoying customised firmware vanish!
YouTube still is in the firmware, but that's far better than how it was. There is absolutely no link to Facebook and Twitter in the phone and no phone company customisations making it very easy for you to lose your money (Telstra's junk is totally gone).
I'm far more pleased.
Sony Ericsson still need to improve the firmware to make it more useful, in my opinion.
* Actual ability to choose songs for a playlist from the memory card would be a basic necessity. The whole Playlist thing on the phone is a joke. Playing a song then adding a Playlist is a nightmare too. Definitely not sane functionality here.
* The ability to Repeat a song (and just that one song!!) is missing. Unbelievable. Creating purposeful differences between their Walkman products and others? Your guess is as good as mine. Can't believe reviewers gloss over this.
* Time Remaining is the default time display for media playback. This display should be selectable and changeable.
* Timers should ring again, not just once. Even my T230 does a better job with timers.
* Calendar events should be searchable (K500i even has this!).
* Flight Mode functionality needs to be improved. Make it easy to switch to/from this. The current system is primitive and annoying. Make radio work in this mode too.
* Past default GUIs were sexier, I still miss K500i's standard interface. The icons here can be a bit bland, if that sort of stuff bothers you. It does a bit to me.
* The speakerphone volume would be nice to be higher, but for my purposes it's adequate (and I wasn't expecting a great speakerphone)
* display is cheap but functional, but don't expect to see it in the sun or have great viewing angles. For the budget it's fine.
* Sound is OK with decent earphones; it could go louder and won't drive higher-impedance headphones well, but that is nothing unusual for Sony's Walkmans, let alone their phones. Call quality is good, though my use so far is limited.
But there are many surprises here compared to what I'm used to at this price, so the value is very good.
Those are my main thoughts on the phone after using it for a bit.
I hope this covers some areas that regular reviews simply don't cover and helps someone
Posted by Run_dawn10
The phone is more than adequate if you only need to text and call. My brother has that phone and he doesn't really use it much but if you need a basic mobile phone, the Cedar will fill that void
Posted by hihihans
I think you can place the flghtmode switch into your activity list. Also, the keys work as quick mouse, 1 = left-top, 0 = centre -bottom. If you are in a submenu and want 4th app just press 4
Posted by vlotnet
I think the same. But it's still a shame to see it fail in some areas compared to budget SE devices I've tried in the past.
Flight Mode can be added as a shortcut, but the shortcut will do the same thing that going to Settings > General > Flight Mode does (ie. the shortcut only lets you assign shortcuts to some menu items the phone does). So you can only assign a shortcut for the phone to ask you whether you want Flight Mode on or off when you restart the phone, which is an inconvenient way to switch it on or toggle between Profiles when you want. Unless you know some other way? Regarding those keys, I noticed the keys working as shortcuts on my third day or so...this was a nice surprise.
I love the GUI and features in general. Biggest missing things are simply:
* Proper media playback features (like repeating a track and creating a Playlist sanely from the MicroSD card)
* Calendar Search (non-existent and we had this on budget SE phones of the past, like the K500)
* low speaker (I really would love something louder the more I use it)
* non-repeating timer tones (they only play once)
* slippery design with silver paint (ugly, ugly, ugly...) could be more comfortable to hold and back cover should not 'stick out' on the unit's sides, which would make it easier to hold securely in my opinion. Back cover is prone to scratches and other visual signs of damage.
* metal navigation pad should be unpainted metal to avoid future paint wear
* volume buttons could be designed with more surface area.
* no protective covers for MicroSD and 3.5mm headphone jack (too common with many phones these days unfortunately...yet so many cameras (for instance) come with basic port protection covers). This is something I'd want to see for more longevity and less chance of damage and more resistance to dust and moisture.
All the rest - for the price - are excellent and the phone in general offers a lot, especially in this age of large smartphones with poor battery life. So if those things don't bother anyone wanting to buy a cheap feature-phone, I'd say go for it. It's just a shame that so few reviewers actually 'review' the phones online in detail.