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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