The Sony Ericsson Naite is a 'green' phone - not literally, it's actually silver and black and looks a lot like Nokia's popular 6700 classic. But it's purported to be environmentally friendly as part of Sony Ericsson's Green Heart range. Admirable intentions, but are a 'green calculator' and recycled packaging all it's got going for it?
What we liked
Although the design is a little familiar, it's quite smart and the handset is so light you'd be forgiven for thinking it's a dummy handset.
At just 2.2-inches, the screen isn't huge but it actually feels quite spacious when you're using the handset - it's not ideal for things like web browsing, but for messaging, low-res photos and the organiser functions the screen is fine.
We have to applaud the green elements of the handset - it's designed to be eco-friendly by using less power and saving on packaging. We didn't notice a massive difference in power consumption from other handsets of a similar calibre but perhaps it'd be more obvious over a longer period of time.
One thing we really liked about the Naite was the ability to change the menu layout - instead of the boring old grid, we opted for a rotating menu which made the handset look much classier and less dated. When messaging, we really liked the amalgamated inbox which housed text messages (available as threaded conversations), email and Facebook messages. Really handy.
Although it's a lower-spec, lower-cost handset than many Sony Ericsson offerings, the Naite still comes with the tech conglomerate's proprietary media player - which looks pretty swish in the midst of fairly basic looking hardware.
What we didn't like
Like a lot of candybar phones out there, the Naite just couldn't keep up with the speed we text at - which would be eternally frustrating if we were taking it on as a full-time handset. If you take it slow when penning messages then it's absolutely fine, with each separate key providing a satisfying click of its own. But for fast texters, you may be better off with a physical Qwerty like those on the LG KS360 or its successor, the GT350.
The camera is pretty slow to load, and the photos are poor quality with pixilation aplenty - the camera totes just 2-megapixels so it's no huge surprise, but worth bearing in mind if a good quality camera is important to you.
Although the Naite handset is purported to be running 3G and the 3G icon was present and correct in the top left hand corner of our screen, we didn't enjoy massively speedy connection rates using an Orange pay-as-you-go sim, and with no wi-fi to fall back on, we were quite frustrated.
Unfortunately, the Sony Ericsson Naite is saddled with the proprietary FastPort connector, so you're limited in your choice of headphones unless you invest in an adaptor. In addition, the handset doesn't come with a USB cable, so you'll have to invest in one separately. We transferred tracks using Bluetooth, which is only really an option if your computer is Bluetooth ready.
The Sony Ericsson Naite is definitely not a smartphone, but it's no idiot-phone either; the clever multi-purpose inbox, media player and the eco-conscious side are all great. Unfortunately it wasn't fast enough for us - we felt frustration when opening a couple of applications like the camera, the web speeds were slowing us down and the text messaging lag was a real bugbear.