The latest in a range of eco-conscious phones under the ‘GreenHeart’ moniker, the Cedar is an affordable, yet feature packed handset that maintains its planet friendly reputation with a host of concepts that is refreshing to find in the age of disposable technologies.
Sony Ericsson’s green approach is initially apparent by the lack of paper manual and sparse recycled packaging. It doesn’t stop there though, as their environmental ethos has been carried through into the design of the handset itself.
The Cedar is constructed of recycled plastics, utilising water borne paints and utilises a low voltage adaptor to help minimise your impact on our ecosystem. Who said functional and green needed to look frumpy? The smooth curves, bright screen with vibrant colours and animated wallpapers add a touch of sparkle to an old tried and tested form factor.
The Cedar handset is lightweight, with just enough weight to feel secure in your grasp, whilst the smooth curved underside of the phone complements the shape of your hand, providing ergonomic relief for even the most avid thumb typist.
The large four-way navigation pad is suitably raised and has a satisfying click to it. In addition, the keys are angled inwards, rising along the bottom edge, thus resolving the small keys/big thumbs conundrum.
Whilst WIFI is absent, the snappy 7.2Mb/s HDSPA connection means that you are never far away from an update via the included Facebook, Myspace and Twitter widgets. The 2MP camera is included as a formality, but integration with the social media functions means that neither you nor your friends will miss that vital photo opportunity.
Internet access is available via the built in browser, and whilst it is somewhat cramped on the smallish screen, remains functional in the event of a Google emergency. Those wishing for a fuller internet experience can always plug into their laptop and use the Cedar as a fast 3G modem.
Entertainment features include the reliable media player functions and solid build quality synonymous with the Sony Ericsson brand. Storage comes via Micro SDHC card, allowing up to 16GB of removable storage, and thankfully this time you can use your favourite headphones via the welcome addition of a 3.5mm jack.
‘TrackID’ can identify any music that you hear, avoiding embarrassing encounters with stroppy DJ’s, whilst the ‘Playnow’ portal gives you access to a plethora of new music, ringtones games and applications.
The Youtube application provides on-demand entertainment on the go, whilst the FM radio rounds off the fun features with a touch of the old school, just plug in some headphones and let auto-tune find your favourite stations for you.
Despite all this under the hood, the battery still manages to pull an impressive 2 days or more of moderate use, which will be a relief when you’re caught away from the mains. And whilst the Cedar has a definite playful side, it’s not work shy either.
Push email is provided to the relief of business users, and the built in calendar, note functions and files are easily synced via Bluetooth, and the convenient inclusion of a micro-usb port that doubles as the charger socket.
Those traveling or working abroad will also be happy to hear that the phone is quad-band GSM and therefore usable worldwide, although don’t forget to offset your carbon footprint before you buy that long distance plane-ticket!
To sum up, the Cedar provides an impressive balance of work and entertainment features especially considering its size and price point. This would be an ideal phone for businesses or individuals who want fuss-free communications, whilst maintaining their green credentials.
Its generous battery life will be an eye opener for users moving from more flashy handsets who still need to keep tabs on their digital social lives, whilst its bevy of social communication features provide a perfect entry level phone for those wishing to take their first steps in the world of mobile connectivity without breaking the bank.