Sony Ericsson Cedar review:

Sony Ericsson Cedar

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Typical Price: £150.00
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3.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars 3 user reviews

The Good Great design;. 3G and Bluetooth connectivity;. Home screen widgets save time;. Uses standard micro-USB connector.

The Bad Poor camera, with no LED flash;. Web browsing is a pain;. Twitter client is awkward to use.

The Bottom Line The Cedar is yet another likeable addition to Sony Ericsson's eco-friendly GreenHeart range, offering impressive functionality and attractive aesthetics for an eminently reasonable price. It's just a shame that irksome Web access and occasional social-networking issues spoil the overall impression.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

7.5 Overall

Like its eco-friendly predecessors the Elm and Hazel, the Sony Ericsson Cedar forms part of the company's environmentally conscious GreenHeart range. Constructed from -- and packaged in -- predominantly recycled materials, the Cedar is the perfect handset for mobile users with lofty morals.

The Cedar is available for free on a £15 per month contract. Alternatively, you can pick it up for about £60 on pay as you go, or around £150 SIM-free and unlocked.

Heart of green

Although Sony Ericsson's GreenHeart proposal does tend to come across as a little disingenuous -- especially when you consider the vast quantity of mobile phones that end up as nothing more than landfill -- it's certainly a step in the right direction. The Elm and Hazel marked the opening shots of this righteous eco-warrior campaign, and impressed us with their functionality and range of features.

The Sony Ericsson Cedar continues the good work achieved by its forebears, and proves that being sympathetic to Mother Nature doesn't have to mean being saddled with an ugly phone. The Cedar is arguably one of Sony Ericsson's more attractive offerings of late, combining a two-tone colour scheme with smooth lines and a visually pleasing, ridged keypad.

Curves in all the wrong places

The phone isn't especially small, but it is light. At just 84g, it certainly won't add a significant bulk to your pocket. The only real complaint we have about the design of the Cedar is the ergonomics. The back of the phone curves at both ends, which can make gripping it somewhat difficult. The weight of the phone is focused in the middle, which causes it to tip out of your paw should you grip it too tightly at the base.

The Cedar's curved back is visually pleasing, but can make the phone hard to grip.

With 280MB of on-board storage available, the Cedar has an unusually generous amount of room for photos, videos and music. Thankfully, it's also possible to boost this total with a microSD card of up to 16GB in capacity, which can be inserted in the card slot located rather cunningly under one side of the battery cover. Sadly, a microSD card is not included, so if you do intend to load up the Cedar with your tunes and snaps, you'll need to purchase one separately.

The Cedar's multimedia aspirations are enhanced further by the presence of a 3.5mm headphone jack, which allows you to use your own personal set of cans to listen to music. The on-board media-playback software is based on Sony Ericsson's Walkman program, and offers an above-average range of options and customisation.

Shoot me now

A 2-megapixel camera can be found on the back of the Cedar, which takes decent shots and is able to shoot low-quality video clips. Sadly, it lacks an LED flash, so low-light images look predictably muddy and ill-defined.

Finally, it's worth noting that unlike the Elm, the Cedar uses an industry-standard micro-USB connection for both charging and data transfer. No USB cable is included in the box, but the standardised nature of this particular interface means you're bound to have a compatible one lying around somewhere in your house.

It could be argued that the Cedar occupies a shrinking portion of the mobile phone market devoted to mid-range 'dumb phones'. As cheap smart phones like the HTC Wildfire and Huawei Ideos encroach ever further into this territory, manufacturers are being forced to get creative with their products.

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