A closer look at the Sony Ericsson W508 and C510

Live from CES we get a hands-on experience with Sony Erisson's W508 music phone and its C510 camera phone.

The W508 has a flip phone design. Kent German/CBS Interactive

Sony Ericsson's new C510 Cyber-shot and W508 Walkman phone don't break a lot of new ground, but they're certainly worthy of attention. In many ways they resemble other Sony Ericssons that came before them--the W508 looks a bit like the W980 and the C510 reminds us vaguely of the C902.

The W508 is shiny inside. Kent German/CBS Interactive

The W508, of course, is a flip phone with circular music controls on the front flap. It's also thin and light, and you can change between gray and white removable covers. Just above are the external display and the camera lens. The display is small and monochrome so its usability with the camera will be limited. Also, we'd prefer to see a flash on a megapixel camera phone.

The interior display lives up to the Sony Ericsson standards with bright colors and vibrant graphics. The menu interface and Walkman player are also similar to other Sony Ericsson phones, which is to say they're easy to use. We're a little apprehensive about the flat and shiny keypad. The circular keys could be a bit more tactile, but we suppose we'd get used to them over time. Fortunately, the navigation controls are a tad better.

The C510 has a large display but cramped controls. Kent German/CBS Interactive

The C510, on the other hand, is a slim candy bar phone in shiny silver. The huge display takes up almost half of the phone, and its vivid resolution is easy on the eyes. Below are the navigation controls, which are plentiful but also a tad crowded. There's a square toggle with a central OK button, two soft keys, a menu control, and a clear button. The keypad buttons appear to be somewhat cramped as well. We'll wait for a full review to give a final verdict.

The camera lens sits on the rear of the phone behind a sliding cover. The design is a lot simpler than the C902, and that's a good thing. Instead of splitting apart in the middle to show the camera lens and flash, which we always found too complicated, you only need to slide the cover to the right. Unfortunately, there's no self-portrait mirror. The charger port sits on the left spine, and on the right spine you'll find the camera shutter and volume rocker. You'll have to remove the battery cover to use the memory card slot.

The C510 has a sliding lens cover. Kent German/CBS Interactive

On the whole, both phones look promising and their feature sets offer a lot to explore. We'll give them a full shakedown just as soon as we can.

 

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