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The new Sony CMD-Z5 mobile phone binds together advanced technology and a groovy design. In its size, which is smaller than a credit card (apart from its thickness of course), it contradicts the theory that a reduced size is achieved at the expense of a number of functions. It offers WAP services, e-mail (via POP3), a scheduler and a voice recorder. Also, with this telephone, Sony relies on handling with the use the wheel-style "Jog Dial".

All of those who are used to leaving their telephones lying about wherever possible will certainly appreciate this model. That is to say, it is equipped with a thick protective layer preventing scratches. In addition to this, the display, which provides well-ordered information about incoming calls, messages, timing, battery status and the signal, has a flip cover.

Access to WAP services has become quite usual on new models. Also, Sony wants to provide its users with access to the mobile Internet through www.sony.com or www.sony-europe.com. The offer also includes improved support for e-mail sending and receiving which is built into the telephone as POP3 operation and which also makes it possible to work with pictures, attachments and long texts when connected to a PC.

Another device is an integrated voice recorder, which is able to record up to 14 messages of maximum length of 20 seconds. With the help of this feature, it is also possible to record the important parts of some calls which you may need later. You can also save your personal answer on the automatic answering machine.

As for the telephone directory, Sony makes a real diary of it. The capacity for more than 500 contacts with telephone numbers, fax numbers and e-mail addresses probably speaks for itself. For easier orientation, you can assign a graphic icon to each record and divide the directory into business contacts, family, friends, enemies, etc. in this way.

Sony mobiles have always been a little different thanks to their unusual design and comfort and this one is no exception. In future, hopefully the general impression will not be spoiled by the price which will only now be specified for the european market.

Personally, I'm saving up for one.

All Sony mobiles released before the CMD-Z1 were manufactured by Siemens. Hence the closest competition for the CMD-Z5 is the Siemens S35i (released in April 2000, unlike the CMD-Z5 that came out in Singapore in June 2000). The Z5 looks smaller, but unlike the S35i has an aerial and a flip.

I had to do a lot of research before settling on one of these two phones, and in the end the Siemens had most the features of the Sony at less than half-price (The price for the Z5 in Singapore in June 2000 was $SG 1100, and the Siemens S35i was around $SG 450. Prices do not include the $SG 100 SingTel NSCK disconnection fee and apply to non-contract binding phones).

Nevertheless, Sony CMD-Z5 offers spectacular features, and is definitely the phone to get for those who can afford it. For the rest of us, I would recommend the Siemens S35i.
I don't want to accuse old nick of working for sony, I mean I'm a sony whore myself, but the above writeup sounds a hell of a lot like a press release. The CMD Z5 certainly has some limitations:

    The games suck.
    No doubt about it. Fishing or Shooting, either of which is slow, repetitive, and makes poor use of the jog dial.

    The interface is poorly designed
    Ok, it's not awful, but there are little annoying gremlins, like the pressing the jogdial three times in a row to confirm sending and SMS, or the way a back-press on the jog dial can mean, help, clear, or cut & paste depending on the context.

    You can't use it with one hand
    Well, I can't! The instructions say I should be able to, but I either have to repeatedly shift my grip by pressing it against my body, or try to do everything with the jogdial.

    Sony customer support is a heap of steaming dung
    Supposedly there is an upgrade available to fix an echo problem with the CMD Z5, but considering the the crap that I have already put up with, the echo isn't that bad.

The jogdial is cool though, you can press it in, pull it backwards or push it forwards, making it something like a joystick that is analogue in the vertical axis. I just wish it had been positioned a bit better, and that the software used it consistantly.

Oh yeah, it is sexy.

But sony customer support really REALLY sucks.

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