The Sony Ericsson Spiro is a basic slider phone with good looks and a penchant for playing music. 

The Sony Ericsson Spiro proudly carries the 'Walkman' tag, and is reminiscent of the non-touchscreen phones era. This is a fresh-looking, unpretentious mobile phone aimed at the budget buyer.

Sony Ericsson Spiro: Features

The Sony Ericsson Spiro is a very basic mobile phone, so don't expect any major connectivity options: if you're thinking of buying the Spiro, you'll have to be happy with no Wi-Fi, 3G or GPS. The only connectivity features that you get are GPRS, EDGE and Bluetooth.  The camera also is a very basic 2Mp one with no flash and no autofocus.

Sony Ericsson Spiro menus

The Spiro also comes with a couple of pre-installed applications. Social networking is taken care of by a Facebook app but strangely there was no Twitter app pre-installed on the review model we received. Another weird thing was that although a Track ID app exists in the Spiro's list of applications - there's even a hardware button for it - the Track ID app just didn't work on the review model.

Other applications include a basic organiser, a calculator and a colour-matching game.

Sony Ericsson Spiro: Design & usability

The Spiro comes with Sony Ericsson's own user interface (UI), which is pretty basic but good to look at and easy to use. The UI is also quite fast and navigation is aided by plenty of hardware buttons including ones that control media playback.

Sony Ericsson Spiro D-pad

The Spiro's D-pad also serves as media navigation buttons

We did have an issue with the placement of the volume control button right in the middle of the left side of the phone, and it would have been easier to use if it had been placed closer to the top. The Spiro's alpha-numeric keypad is decent and the keys themselves are slightly curved to aid in typing without looking at the keypad. 

Sony Ericsson Spiro keypad

The Spiro's keypad features slightly curved keys to aid in typing

The Spiro's 2.2in display is good for a phone in its price range but overall, it's nothing special. The screen's sunlight visibility is low and because it's completely made of plastic, the screen is prone to getting scratches.

Our review model of the Spiro came with a white plastic body which made it look really cute and fresh. I don't think I've seen a better looking phone in this price range. The build quality also feels solid and the slider action is smooth in spite of the Spiro using a lot, and I mean a lot, of plastic in its construction.

Next page: Performance benchmarking, browsing & multimedia, and our expert verdict >>

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The Sony Ericsson Spiro is a basic slider phone with good looks and a penchant for playing music. 

Sony Ericsson Spiro: Browsing and multimedia

The Sony Ericsson Spiro does justice to its Walkman tag with really loud and powerful audio playback. The Spiro uses the regular Walkman phone music player interface and as a result is very simple to use. The player offers equaliser options and stereo widening and the external speaker is also decently loud, although not very clear. The bundled earphones are disappointing, and if you want the Spiro primarily for listening to music, we would suggest buying a pair of good earphones.

Sony Ericsson Spiro media menu

The Spiro features the well-known Sony Ericsson media menu

The Spiro isn't the best phone for watching videos. We converted test videos and played them on the Spiro, and were thoroughly disappointed. The frame-rates were very choppy and while playing the videos, the phone got really sluggish. Also, there's no way to watch videos in landscape mode.

As expected, the 2Mp camera is definitely not the Spiro's strong point. The images we shot with the camera looked alright on the phone's screen, but not on a computer screen.

Like on the Sony Ericsson Cedar, the Spiro's web browser is really basic and only good for light, superficial browsing. Plus, no 3G support on the Spiro means you will have to rely on GPRS and EDGE.

The Spiro's battery is reasonably powerful and you can expect it to last over a day of normal usage. Call quality is very good, although voices do tend to sound a little thin over the line.

Sony Ericsson Spiro: Performance

Our colleagues at PC World India put the Sony Ericsson Spiro through its paces in their lab. Here's how the Spiro got on.

Call Reception Quality: Very Good

Messaging: Fair

FM Quality: Very Good

Imaging: Poor

Audio/Video playback: Very Good/Poor

Gaming: Fair

Battery Life: Fair

Screen Quality: Poor

Sony Ericsson Spiro: Pros and cons

Pros:

Simple UI

Looks good

Very good music playback

Inexpensive

Cons:

No Wi-Fi, 3G or GPS support

Terrible camera

Only 5MB of internal storage

Video playback is choppy

Next page: Our expert verdict >>

See also:

Best deals on the Sony Ericsson Spiro

Mobile phone deals

Mobile phone reviews

Sony Ericsson Cedar review

Sony Ericsson Spiro: Specs

  • Mobile phone
  • 2.2in (320x240) screen
  • 5MB internal storage
  • memory card slot
  • 2Mp camera
  • FM radio
  • talktime 6 hours
  • 48x92x17mm
  • 90g
  • Mobile phone
  • 2.2in (320x240) screen
  • 5MB internal storage
  • memory card slot
  • 2Mp camera
  • FM radio
  • talktime 6 hours
  • 48x92x17mm
  • 90g

OUR VERDICT

The Sony Ericsson Spiro is available for £39 pay-as-you-go, making it a budget phone. If you are looking for a very basic phone that looks good and is capable of very strong audio playback, then the Spiro is a fair purchase.

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