I'm a Nokia loyalist. Nokia loyalists do not actually like other phones other than the fun, funky, sophisticated and suave phones the prodigies at Nokia concoct up time and again. However, I've got to admit that the Sony CMD-Z5 has got me smitten - it has not only caught my attention, but have actually impressed me more than it should have.
It has not only caught my attention, but have actually impressed me more than it should have.
Its superb combination of looks, features and handling makes it a real jewel to behold. Weighing at just 83 grams with its rechargeable Lithium-ion battery and measuring a mere 87(h) x 49(w) x 22(d) mm with a 25mm stub antenna, the Z5 is just about the lightest phone around. The number-pad has a flip key cover, which can be set up to answer and end calls automatically as it is opened or closed. The screen is of decent size, with up to six lines of information that can be displayed. However, with the top and bottom lines being used for icons and other information, it only adds up to four lines of readable text. The attention grabbing detail of this phone was the thumb-wheel interface - which is and has been Sony's hallmark for some years now.
This wheel is not only the heart of the menu's system, but can be used to control most of the phone's operations - allowing manipulation with just one hand, with the thumb alone doing all the work. Sony has improved on the jog/dial on this phone - as well as being able to turn the wheel to act like a cursor to control and pressing the wheel in to select a function, the Z5's thumbwheel can also be tilted forwards and backwards. Pushing the control forwards acts like a 'clear' button, while pushing the controls away from you brings up the special menus.
While the thumbwheel is the main navigation control, Sony has taken other steps to make this little baby as straightforward as possible. The way that the screen is laid out, for instance, is designed to aid the operation it is in at the time. A perfect example of this is with the calculator function, where the screen provides a diagram of exactly what each of the keys below will do.