Wait a minute. A mobile phone being reviewed on an eco-friendly bog? Yes that’s right as this Sony Ericsson Elm is one of its new range of Greenheart phones.
Along with the C190, Aspen and Hazel phones, the Elm (or J10i to give it it’s product number) is one of the first environmentally friendly phones from Sony Ericsson so I had to try it out. I chose the Elm as I like ‘candybar’ phones, having trying the flip and slide ones which disagreed with me. Also I like Sony Ericsson phones, I’m not one of these people who upgrade every year so had one (the W810i) for almost five years but it recently started playing up, so I bought a new Sony Ericsson. But not this one, I bought a cheap Walkman phone and it was awful. Truly awful, Slow, unresponsive, small memory, I couldn’t set up the shortcuts I liked etc so I came to the Elm with both hope and apprehension.
I’m not going to review the phone in depth as this review is more about the eco-friendly aspects, but I’m pleased to report that it’s fast, smooth, comfortable, user-friendly and if you like the shape of thses sorts of phones I don’t think you can go far wrong. Sony Ericsson surprised me by abandoning the Micro Memorystick format in favour of Micro SD (which isn’t included) but apart from that it’s a wonderful phone and even has apps to update Facebook and Twitter if that’s your thing. Oh and you can turn text messages into conversations like on an iPhone if you like too.
Anyway, the first you notice when buying the phone is the minimal packaging. It comes in a small phone – about a quarter of the size of other ones I’ve had – and there aren’t any plastic bags involved. The phone itself come in a material pouch and there aren’t any instructions. There is some basic symbols on box about how to insert a sim card but that’s it, you have to go online to find the full instructions. Also the headphones, USB cable and charger all come loose in the box.
Talking of the charger, it’s a Greenheart one so is low-energy. And when you have finished charging and unplug the lead from the phone a handy reminder to turn off the plug on the wall to save energy pops up. The battery is actually excellent and a full charge last me three or four days, much longer than other phones I’ve had.
Along with the e-manual, minimal packaging, low-energy charger, the phone is made from recycled plastics, free from hazardous chemicals and uses a waterborne paint. There’s also a rather strange app called Walk Mate Eco which counts your steps and tells you how much CO2 you’ve saved today. And that’s it, there’s no customisation or anything you can do with it really. I would at least like it tell me how many calories that equates to as well. And it only works in your pocket or bag as I was testing it with it in my hand and as I was keeping it steady it didn’t think I was moving.
There’s a lot going for the Elm, not just it’s eco-friendliness, so it should appeal to mainstream phone users as well. I’ve listed some of those features below. You can find more about Greenheart here.
• Noise shield, clear voice and intelligent volume adaptation
• Natural fit – human curvature and ergonomic keypad fits in the palm of a hand
• Social networking – Facebook, myspace and Twitter
• 5.0 megapixel autofocus camera
• Google search and Google Maps
• Media player
The Sony Ericsson Elm costs vary depending on what plan you have. Mine was from O2 and on special offer on Pay As You Go for £100.