Sony Ericsson K530 Review: Evolved 3G Bar: Construction, Design, Keypad, Display

By 08:20 Sun, 08 Aug 2021 Comments


Loveable at first sight

Regardless of the lesser number in the model ID, we're looking at the Sony Ericsson K610 next of kin. The changes in design and functional equipment are almost insignificant. The fine thing about K530 is that it's gotten rid of the cheapo see of its predecessor.

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Comparing size to a CD

Standing at 102 x 46 x 14 mm and weighing 92 g, the neat bar has near perfect oblong shape with rounded edges. It's all made of plastic but that doesn't seem to upset the solid and robust feel of the handset. Even hard pressure on the casing won't result in alarming creaks. Our test unit was the Warm Silver variety, which did complement the refined exterior of the device. The other available color version is Thunder Black.

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Camera button and volume rocker • memory card slot with its protective cap

The side lining of the front panel starts to recede correct above the keypad, making the classy screen unit project from the casing. The resulting asymmetrical side view of the handset is a very likeable choice of design. The correct side of the handset hosts the shutter key and the volume rocker. On the left, you'll find the Memory Stick Micro card slot, hidden beneath its protective cap. Topside is the minute power button; the classic Fast port connector and the neck-strip eyelet are at the bottom.

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Fast port connector • the capturing camera lens is totally exposed • manufacturer logo on the back

Almost half of the neat back panel is taken by the black battery cover with the manufacturer logo badged on it. The only adornment rearside is a dimple-patterned crosswise strip. Alongside the loudspeaker grill and the external antenna connector, you'll also spot the 2 MegaPixel (MP) capturing camera lens. It is, sadly, rather unprotected and will require extra care handling the phone and a lot of cleaning. Cost reduction went another step further and we're disappointed to not have at least a Light Emitting Diode (LED) flash.

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Back cover off • battery contacts • taking the SIM out of its holder is quite ticklish

Under the easy-to-rego cover is the 950 mAh Li-Po battery. It is assumed to provide 540 minutes of talk time or 395 hours in stand-by. Video calling time is up to two hours. The SIM card is placed under the battery. Taking it out proved quite a trial.

Cascading keyboard

The keypad comes off quite well, consistent with the neat and reliable feel of the handset. Controls and alphanumeric keys are put together in an unbroken layout. The middle-column keys are notched out at the sides for better touch orientation. Bulging at the bottom, each key has a slight tilt, making the rows of alphanumeric buttons tangibly terraced. It's really a very user-friendly keypad offering remarkable touch orientation, although some may frown at the keys being too tightly packed.

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The keypad is quite fine • the navigation part of the keypad has the typical Sony Ericsson keys

The pivotal navigation element is the D-pad. Its confirming center is ample and sufficiently elevated from its surroundings to ensure reliable keypresses. The couple of soft keys follow, along with the usual Back and Clear keys. The last two controls are the Activity Menu key and Internet key. All control keys are easy to operate, and the keypad is backlit in strong and even white.

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The cascade layout of the alphanumeric keypad • quality backlighting

No indication of missed calls, again

We just can't speak highly of the Sony Ericsson K530 display. The manufacturer has chosen to integrate a low resolution classy screen of 176 x 220 pixels. Topped with the unenviable 31 x 39 mm surface, it really pulls off a rather grainy, coarse imaging. The classy screen is enclosed in a black frame, which it makes it see bigger than it actually is. QVideo Graphics Array (VGA) resolution would've surely suited this classy screen better. It displays 262K colors of high saturation. Brightness levels can be set from within the menu. Above the display is the minute secondary capturing camera for video calling.

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Video-call capturing camera above the display

The manufacturer has yet again abstained from displaying the digital clock permanently in power-saving mode. The classy screen will go completely blank after a certain time, so you'll need to power it back up to check for missed events. The illuminated digital clock will appear on classy screen by pressing the volume rocker. Why a small Light Emitting Diode (LED) notification of missed events is missing is beyond us. Seems like most users, us included, would've welcomed such a perk.


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