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(Pocket-lint) - While many mobile phones on the market offer the latest this and the latest that, there’s still room at the lower end of the market for phones that just make phone calls. While for some this seems antiquated, for others the need to have a phone that just works rather than trying to double up as a camera, MP3 or personal organiser is important. In steps the Z200 from Sony Ericsson, a functional phone that offers little frills apart from its styling.

The solidly built handset offers a smart casing with a circular LCD screen on the front that can be switched from a retro digital analogue watch face to displaying signal and battery strength as well as digital numerical time. Open it up and you’re presented with another LCD - this time in colour measuring 124x124 pixels and a standard keypad. Compared to most colour screens on similar phones this one is smaller but it’s still big enough to offer you access to the rather similar, but standardised Ericsson menu system. Besides, getting too large would threaten battery life and therefore talk time.

The phone offers little in the way of extras - no Bluetooth, no built in camera, no java support, and really the only thing going for it is its ability to play polyphonic ringtones and the style up switch faces. Covers like the Nokia phones can be swapped to suit your mood and an extra cover is enclosed in the box to get you going.


This phone is clearly aimed at the hip young market - there is a belt strap and loop on the handset for example and as a basic starter phone it does quite well. Its basic approach should appeal to anyone not wanting to be confused by all the multimedia elements that we seem to get bombarded with nowadays. The fact that it's triband seems a strange inclusion, but one that is welcomed if you’re a hip young happening dude who likes to travel the world. It’s a simple but solid mobile from Sony Ericsson.

Writing by Stuart Miles. Originally published on 12 March 2004.