Sony Ericsson Hazel Review: Design and User Interface

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Sony Ericsson Hazel Review


The Sony Ericsson Hazel is a stylish new slider phone which has been launched recently. It isn’t a smartphone but you will find most of the features you would normally expect in a smartphone in the Hazel. After the deluge of Android and Symbian powered smartphones, it is refreshing to see a normal, stylish slider phone which is aimed at people who just want a nice looking phone to make calls and take pictures.

Sony Ericsson Hazel Specifications

  • Dimensions: 102 x 49.5 x 16 mm
  • Weight: 120 gms
  • Display: 2.6 inch TFT display, 240 x 320 pixels, 16 M colors
  • Memory: 280 MB internal, upto 16 GB microSD
  • Connectivity: GPRS, EDGE, 3G HSDPA, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g with DLNA, Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP
  • Camera: 5 MP camera with autofocus and LED flash, 2560 x 1920 pixels, face detection, smile detection, VGA video recording at 30 FPS
  • GPS: GPS transceiver with A-GPS
  • Radio: Stereo FM radio with RDS
  • Battery: Standard Li-Po battery, 1000 mAh

Design (4 out of 5)

The Sony Ericsson Hazel has a really nice design with a sliding keypad. It has dimensions of 102 x 49.5 x 16 mm and weighs 120 gms which makes it a bit bulky. It has a nice plastic body with great build quality. The sliding action is smooth and the keypad is good. The front face sports the 2.6 inch display and the D Pad with the standard menu keys. On the left there is the Fastport to connect headphones and the data cable and on the right is the volume rocker and the camera key. The back houses the 5 MP camera with flash and the battery compartment.

The 2.6 inch TFT display has a resolution of 240 x 320 pixels and supports 16 M colors. The display quality is pretty good and displays crisp images. The sunlight legibility is also quite good and the viewing angles are decent. The display is covered in mineral glass which is scratch resistant.

User Interface (3 out of 5)

The Sony Ericsson Hazel sports the standard UI which is found in all their other feature phones. It is intuitive, easy to use, fast and responsive. It also supports multi-tasking; you can easily access the running apps from the Activity menu and switch to them. The UI also supports homescreen widgets which include Calendar, Facebook, Twitter and Myspace. This addition is quite helpful to active social network users and allows them to view live updates. Other than that, everything is the same old stuff: Phonebook, Messaging, Logs etc.

Multimedia (4 out of 5)

The Sony Ericsson Hazel comes with a built in Media Center which includes an image viewer, music player, video player and games. It also has an FM Radio with RDS and TrackID to identify the station and the track.

The Music Player has a nice interface and supports the playback of MP3, AAC, eAAC+, WMA and AMR files. It supports Megabass and Stereo Widening. It also has the popular SensMe and the TrackID features which allow you to create playslits automatically and identify songs. The audio playback quality is really good but one drawback is the proprietary connector. You can’t use your own headphones with the phone without an adapter.

The video player is pretty basic. It allows you to play 3GP and MP4 videos in full screen and have the basic play / pause controls. You can also view Youtube videos. It also has an image gallery which stores all your images and allows you to access them. You can view them as thumbnails, sort them and view geotagged pictures on a map. You can also upload the images to Picasa and Flickr.

The Sony Ericsson Hazel has a 5 MP camera with autofocus and LED flash which can take shots at a resolution of 2560 x 1920 pixels. It also has additional features like face detection and smile detection. The image capture quality is very good with well resolved detail and nice contrast. It can also capture VGA video at 30 FPS in the MP4 format. The camera is one of the high points of the Hazel.

Connectivity (3 out of 5)

Despite not being a smartphone, the Hazel offers almost every connectivity option: GPRS, EDGE, 3G HSDPA, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g with DLNA, Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP. It comes with the Netfront browser installed and also has a built in RSS reader. The browser also supports Flash content. It also has a built in GPS transceiver with A-GPS and comes with the WisePilot navigation software.

The Sony Ericsson Hazel has excellent call quality and also offers active noise cancellation features.

The Verdict (3 out of 5)

The Sony Ericsson Hazel is a nice option if you don’t want a smartphone but want a stylish looking slider instead which offers good music playback and a nice camera.