Sony Ericsson S500i

Mobile phone Sony Ericsson S500i has a pleasant feature: themes of the screen and menu can vary depending on the time of year, month or time of day, and the quality of their performance is outstanding…

Sony Ericsson S500i has three different topics which use flash, changing a main menu and its organization. Topics are very interesting. When navigating there are vibro-effects, in the stand by mode some of the themes change the location of windows that show information on the current composition. In short, this model is really good in themes.

Mobile phone Sony Ericsson S 500i is equipped with a high-quality 2 Mp camera, a goood mediaplayer (MP3/AAC/AAC+/eAAC+), Memory Stick Micro slot and a Bluetooth module. SonyEricsson S500i allows to travel through the Internet and connect to a PC and play 3D-games.

As the recent release of a Taser with a music playing holster proves: we are living in the age of convergence. Twenty-five years ago you could be the coolest dude on Wall Street with a phone the size and weight of a loaf of ciabatta sourdough bread. These days, if your mobile phone can't take A3 photo-quality prints and doesn't have enough internal memory to carry 4,000 songs, you're considered a techno-joke. Considering this, we were surprise to see that Sony Ericsson's S500i has none of the high-end selling points of other convergence devices on the market, but nonetheless is managing to be a very popular mobile phone, while avoiding a high price tag in the process.

The practical design of the handset is that of a standard slider; a circular directional button and menu selection keys on top and a numeric keypad underneath. However, it's in the S500i's aesthetic design that you'll either swoon or roll your eyes. Of the two available colour options, we had a chance to test the "mysterious" black and green model, and we have to say, it didn't fail to impress around the office.

Below the top half of the slider is a bright backlight that emits either an electric blue or "mysterious" green light from the sides of the phone, depending on whether the phone is in daytime or night time theme mode. That's right; the phone changes theme based on the time of day and, apparently, on the current season. Neat, huh? Similarly swish is the main standby screensaver that looks like a snapshot of a fantasy garden, complete with animated butterflies, and again following the blue or green theme based on the time of day.

At 14mm in thickness the S500i shares very similar dimensions to another recent release and "pocket-friendly" Sony Ericsson phone, the W910i Walkman phone, including the gentle curve at the bottom of the handset which makes the phone look like a snow sled when laid face down. On the right side of the device is an all purpose Sony Ericsson input port for charging and USB transfers, volume adjustment on the left, and an M2 memory stick reader on the top of the phone.

Aside from fancy lights and animated backgrounds the S500i is without the top-line features you might expect in a mobile phone; though that's not to say the S500i is devoid of features. There is still a serviceable 2-megapixel camera, Web browsing (albeit at GPRS speeds), a very handy music player, Bluetooth for hands-free and file transfers, and a couple of cool pre-loaded games.

As with most new Sony Ericsson handsets the S500i gives you access to the Sony Ericsson "Picture Blogging" service, and content downloads from the PlayNow net portal; although, when we logged on to the portal we struggled to find any content worth the time or money involved in downloading. Photos taken with the camera can be manipulated with a small set of image filters and then printed directly via the supplied USB cable.

We found using the S500i for the purpose of our tests to be a pleasure. The calls we made were crystal clear and text messaging is a predictably simple task using Sony Ericsson's predictive text system. Using the menu system is fast, with only a small amount of lag when accessing menu items and applications.

Mobile Web browsing isn't the best experience without access to 3G network speeds, but the QVGA screen is large and bright enough to make the pages easily legible if you persevere with the time taken for data transfers. Other entertainment options on the handset are much better; the music player sounds great through the supplied stereo hands-free headset, and has a basic audio equaliser built-in. As noted above, the handset comes with two pre-loaded games -- Brain Juice and Lumines Block Challenge -- and both are a decent way to while away a bus trip.

Sony Ericsson estimate battery life to be nine hours of talk time and about fifteen days of standby time. With moderate use of calls, messaging, the camera and the music player we experienced about four days between charges. Of course, you could expect this to drop considerably the longer you use the music player or Web browser.

The S500i is a rare treat, a phone that doesn't punch above its weight with a list of expensive features, but instead is a budget priced, fashionable handset that performs all the basics well, and looks fantastic doing it. For the recommended retail of AU$199 the S500i is a bargain -- a very stylish bargain.


  • Talk time
  • 9 hours
  • Standby time
  • 370 hours


  • Camera resolution
  • 2-megapixel
  • Digital zoom
  • 4 x
  • Video capture
  • Yes


  • Networks
  • GSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900
  • Connectivity
  • Bluetooth
  • Data services
  • EDGE
  • USB connectivity
  • Yes


  • Main display: Screen resolution
  • 240 x 320 pixels
  • Main display: Number of colours
  • 262K


  • Video player
  • Yes
  • Games
  • Yes
  • FM radio
  • Yes
  • Music player
  • Yes


  • Input method
  • Numerical keypad
  • Voice recorder
  • Yes
  • Ringtone options
  • Polyphonic, MP3
  • Java
  • Yes
  • Operating system
  • Unknown/proprietary
  • Supported audio file formats
  • AAC
  • Supported picture file formats
  • JPG
  • Video calls
  • Yes
  • Web browser
  • Yes


  • Form factor
  • Slider
  • Phone type
  • Fashion, Multimedia, Music
  • Dimensions (W x D x H)
  • 47 x 14 x 99 mm
  • Weight
  • 94 g


  • Internal memory
  • 12 MB
  • Expansion slot
  • Memory Stick Micro


  • Messaging options
  • SMS, MMS, E-mail


  • Other features
  • Flight mode

Physical features

  • Available colours
  • Yellow, Green
  • Included accessories
  • Manual, Charger