The Sony Ericsson Cedar is the latest phone to join the eco-friendly GreenHeart range. Read on to see if it’s green credentials stand up to those of the Elm and Hazel GreenHeart phones and what other features its hiding in its boughs.
What we like
The Sony Ericsson Cedar is a light and compact phone that fits comfortably in the hand. The curved back and the angled shape of the numeric keys make it easy to text quickly on. This coupled with the simple layout of the main menu means you can get to know your way around the Cedar in no time at all.
As with other phones from the GreenHeart range the Sony Ericsson Cedar lets is green credentials be known at every juncture. When you unplug the mains charger from the microUSB port a little message pops up on the screen, reminding you to turn off the socket at the mains, if you’ve not already done so. There’s a scarcity of paper manuals in the box, with all the set up guides being stored on the phone itself (under Settings > User help). This is to cut down on wasting paper on printed manuals. These are things we’ve seen implemented before on other GreenHeart phones and we’re glad to see them returning here.
Obviously the 2-megapixel camera isn’t the most powerful we’ve seen by a long shot. But all the same it’s pretty good for what it is. The Cedar takes and processes pictures quickly with no fuss. There’s a handful of colour effects (sepia, negative etc) and white balance settings and its easy to switch between standard camera and video mode as well.
There’s a 3.5mm headphone slot and a micro USB port for headphones and charging. We’re glad that Sony Ericsson is moving away from its proprietary FastPort connection - it makes more sense in general and especially on a phone like the Cedar which is all about cutting down on waste.
Getting your music onto the Sony Ericsson Cedar is a piece of cake as is making playlists. You can expand the memory by up to 16GB with a microSD card so the Cedar could work as an effective replacement for an MP3 player There’s an FM radio included as well, should you fancy a change from your playlists.
What we don't like
Lack of Wi-Fi on the Sony Ericsson Cedar means that you’re also unable to take advantage of the growing number of open Wi-Fi hotspots in the UK. Web access over 3G is all fine and dandy speed wise but over GRPS or EDGE you might as well not bother.
The Facebook and Twitter apps in particular suffer when accessed on slower than-3G networks; scrolling through the main news feed feels like walking through Copydex in cement boots.
Surfing the web using the built in browser can also a be a cramped affair. Big websites get reformatted to fit the small 2.2 inch screen to the point where surfing familiar sites becomes a confusing mess of overlapping links and pictures.
The 2-megapixel camera, despite all its features and the nice layout of the menu, doesn’t compare to the 5-megapixel camera of its predecessor the Sony Ericsson Elm. There’s also no flash relegating you to daytime pics and well lit indoor shots.
The Sony Ericsson Cedar handles the essentials in style. It'll appeal to those who want to reduce their carbon footprint and aren’t bothered about apps or accessing the web on the go. Social networking addicts may want to look elsewhere though.