Sony Ericsson Spiro Review

What Mobile
February 15, 2011

Sony Ericsson’s range of phones stretches from low-cost eco models to high-end Android phones. But there’s not much in between, so it’s nice to see the Spiro which falls into neither category, though it’s certainly still affordable.There’s no 3G, no GPS and no Wi-Fi on board. And it’s definitely not a smartphone. If there’s no SIM inserted, it won’t do anything at all (besides telling you to insert one).

The Spiro is compact but glossy in a snazzily self-confident way. Its slide mechanism is smooth and springy and its keypad is clear and easy to use, even eye-catching because of its subtle orange backlight behind the keys.

Look closely and you can see the Walkman logo embossed on to the front of the handset, with little multimedia playback symbols.

This may be a very affordable phone, but it’s a music phone, complete with a  3.5mm headphone jack, reminding us of when Sony Ericsson were churning out loads of Walkman models each year.

Restricted access

There’s limited storage space built in, so you’ll need a memory card for your music. The Spiro can handle microSD cards of up to 32GB capacity, although you’re not likely to want to shell out £100 for a card when that’s around double what this phone will cost in the first place.

However, given an eight or 16GB card can be picked up for a reasonable amount, it doesn’t seem like a bad investment. The card will also be needed to store photos too.

The shots you take won’t fill the card too quickly, it’s only a 2-megapixel snapper, but with the small 2.2-inch display you will want to upload them to your computer to see them properly. The images aren’t bad, but there’s no flash and you won’t get photos that are good enough to print. Nevertheless, they’re find for sharing on social networks.

Although this is a low-priced phone, it does have Bluetooth too, so you can use a headset, wireless headphones or send your images by Bluetooth instead of over USB. The Spiro is also set up for Facebook and Twitter apps, though you’ll only be connecting over GPRS or EDGE, so don’t expect lightning speeds.

You shouldn’t expect these apps to be as sophisticated or complex as a smartphone app. They’re basic, but functional, much like the phone as a whole.

Reviewed by: Tom Radley


The little lozenge that is the Spiro is a design success. It sits comfortably in your hand like a soothing worry stone and is simple and enjoyable to use. The music player is the most sophisticated part of its make-up and it works well. Look further and you’ll find basic specs from the lack of 3G, Wi-Fi and GPS to a basic 2-megapixel camera. If you want a phone that has a good keypad for dialling and texting, the Spiro has a lot going for it. But if you need further advanced features like apps, speedy web surfing or gaming, you’ll need something more than this handset.

Ratings (out of 5)

Performance: 4
Features: 2
Usability: 3

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