Sony Ericsson Z555i is a mid-range fashion phone in the clamshell form factor. You could consider it a designer version of the W380i to some extent. The W380i, which came out recently, has rather interesting features but a specific, somewhat “rough” design that not everyone will like. It’s likely that the Z555i was created by Sony Ericsson to remedy the situation and offer a phone with similar functions, yet different, softer design that is clearly targeted at women.
The phone has a reflective, diamond-like front panel, and comes in pale red color (“Dusty Rose”), although an alternative is also available. I would even go as far as to say it’s made for teenagers, because it’s hard to imagine a serious businesswoman using a phone like Z555i.
There are almost no problems with the assemblage of the phone; it’s constructed reliably and looks good, providing you like the design. The only snag is the back lid, which is really hard to take off and it feels like the small plastic knobs could break off at any time when you try to open it. Those who like replacing their SIM cards often might want to look for a different phone. The memory card slot is located under the back panel as well.
SIM and memory card slots are hidden under the back lid:
The only button on the outside is that of the volume control, like with most phones of the company. Inside there’s a large, easy to use keyboard, and a not so large display. Let’s not forget that Z555i is a mid-rage phone, so it shines neither in features nor the technical specs.
There are no controls on this side of the phone:
Like said before, the keyboard is large and convenient; everything would be great if it weren’t for the layout. The power on, browser launch, and application switch buttons are identical in form and texture with the keypad buttons and are located right above them; as a result, you often press them by accident. Like with many other Sony Ericsson clamshell phones, those buttons “travel around” a lot, and this time they ended up integrated with the keypad – it’s up to the users to decide whether that is a good decision or not.
The keyboard is large and convenient, but there’s an extra line of buttons above the keypad:
Z555i is built on a slightly older platform, as shown by “Back” and “C” buttons instead of green “Answer” and red “Drop” ones like in newer phones of the company. Accordingly, there are only two menu choices at the bottom of the screen as well.
The pre-installed themes fit the phone’s design well; expect lots of flowery and fluffy thingies. Like with Walkmans, flash themes are supported. The music player is somewhat dated and basic; it doesn’t have visualizations, nor the album covers you have come to expect in new Walkman models. That’s fully understandable, since the company wouldn’t want Z555i to compete with its brother, the W380i. Further comparing the two models, the Z555i also lacks gesture control (meaning you can’t silence the call by waving your hand in front of the phone, and do other small, yet cool things like that).
As for the functionality of the phone, it’s very average. That doesn’t mean it’s bad – the phone actually has all features you’d expect, only they’re no different from many other Sony Ericsson phones and there’s no need for a lengthy review of what has been explained in detail many times before. The only common feature that it lacks is the TrackID – granted, not many people need it, but if you do – remember that this phone doesn’t have it.
A few words also need to be said on the external display. Due to the diamond-shaped cover behind which it is hidden, the view of the screen is somewhat distorted and fuzzy – so, depending on your viewing angle, you can’t always see what exactly does it say.
Depending on what angle you look at it, the view of the external display might be distorted:
The Z555i will cost around $200-$250, which in my opinion is an adequate and fitting price for this model. Personally, I’d buy such a glittery phone for a daughter, or perhaps younger sister, but I don’t think it would be a fitting present for a wife or mother.
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