Sony Ericsson Elm Review – High Spec, Standard Style Phone

Sony Ericsson Elm Review: Released in 2009, the Sony Ericsson Elm represented a generation of phones that did not want to move with the times. Popular phones of this year included the likes of the Apple iPhone 3GS and the Nokia 5230. These both were massively different to the phones popular just a few years before, as their interface was entirely touch-based.

By contrast, the Elm had a simply standard candybar shape with keypad. But Sony Ericsson were pretty much consistent in this style of phone and since the introduction of phones such as the Sony Ericsson T610, they had a reputation for putting some of their best technology into this format.

The Elm also was a few phones into a new style, which was to give phones a name instead of a model number. This phone debuted with another one called ‘Hazel’ which was similarly pitched in terms of spec but came in a slide format. As for the spec here, we have a very strong line-up and perhaps as punchy as these phones would get. Fast processing, Wi-Fi and a very good camera came was now standard in these devices.

Full specifications here.

Sony Ericsson would only be making handsets for about a year after this as the joint venture would be disbanded. Still, the Elm represented one of the last of its type, as the company concentrated its efforts on the touchscreen, slide and QWERTY keyboard formats after this. The Sony Ericsson Cedar was a later related phone, but with the specification toned down this catered more to the budget market.


Sony Ericsson Elm Review Pros:

  • The phone style had been refined and this was probably the peak. The phone was not too large, not too small and at 90g was about the right weight. Construction had improved and the phone was now splash resistant.
  • The screen was a TFT, 256K, 240 x 320 version. This resolution was not the highest, but at 2.2 inches for the screen provided a decent resolution for images.
  • Connectivity was well provided for on the phone, with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and a microSD card slot replicating what the touchscreen phones offered.
  • Applications were abundant here, with many social networking functions. The phone also had a Flash-compatible browser.

Sony Ericsson Elm Review Cons:

  • Despite the excellent browser support, the screen was probably slightly too small for browsing. The lack of touch made it harder to navigate.
  • The camera was 5MP but lacked the more powerful xenon flash and camera lens cover functions which were seen in other high-end phones.
  • Surprisingly common components were left out. Both data transfer and headphones ran off the proprietary ports rather than use standard ones.
  • Whilst a range of applications were bundled on to the phone, upgrading these were hard and lacked the openness of an Android/Apple ecosystem.

Current Pricing and Future Prospects

The Elm was among the last of these types of phones made by Sony Ericsson. With customer preferences already swinging away from this format, the phone did not sell in as large numbers as phones such as the Sony Ericsson K750i. That being said, it is a powerful enough phone in its own right and can still be used today.

Where can I get one?

Both Ebay and Amazon have second-hand and refurbished models.

Interested in more phones? See a list of phones I own here.

Sony Ericsson Elm Disassembly

If you are interested in taking apart the Elm for repair purposes, here is a useful link.

Sony Ericsson Elm Video Review

Here is a video review of the Sony Ericsson Elm, covering the main features of this phone:

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