With its mirrored finish and attention-grabbing colour scheme, Sony Ericsson is obviously aiming the Z750i at the style-conscious. This handset has substance too, however, thanks to its decent onboard music player, GPS and speedy HSDPA support. Our phone was supplied by 3, which offers the handset for free on most contracts.
The Z750i is available in either purple or silver, and as both variations have a mirrored finish, the handset certainly stands out from the crowd. The front of the phone also has a small OLED screen that remains hidden beneath the mirrored finish until you receive a call or start up the phone's music player when it suddenly springs into life. The screen only shows a single line of large text, but it's still useful and looks quite neat.
Flip the handset open and you'll be greeted by the excellent main screen. Not only is it large and brightly lit, but it also has a high resolution of 320x240 pixels, so pictures and text look crisp and sharp.
Sony Ericsson seems to be forever experimenting with different shaped keys for its ever more elaborate keypad designs. The Z750i is an exception to this rule, though. Its keypad is unusually spacious and has traditional, large and responsive keys that are a joy to text with. You also get dedicated call answer and hang up buttons along with three short cut keys and two soft buttons.
The phone supports HSDPA (3.5G) for fast download speeds and has twin cameras so you can use it to make video calls. It also has a built-in GPS chip and although there's no navigation software included, there is a link provided in the Location Services menu to Google Maps that can use the GPS coordinates from the phone to pinpoint your location. The chip seemed a little bit slow to lock on to our location when outdoors, however, and couldn't get a signal at all indoors.
Naturally Bluetooth is present too for transferring files to a laptop and there's 32MB of built-in memory. 3 supplies the handset with a 128MB M2 Memory Stick for storing pictures and music tracks.
As we've come to expect from Sony Ericsson phones, the handset's music player is excellent. It's very similar to the one found on the company's Walkman range of handsets, so track navigation is a cinch and the sound quality is top-notch.
The Z750i is also a good performer when it comes to battery life. You'll get around 9 hours of talk time from it and over 16 days on standby.
The Z750i's camera is rather a letdown. It's only got a 2-megapixel resolution, so while shots look fine when viewed on the mobile's screen, transfer them to a PC and the lack of resolution quickly becomes apparent. The shutter speed is a tad on the slow side too, and because there's no side-mounted camera button it can be tricky to avoid taking blurry shots -- holding the phone steady enough while pressing the d-pad shutter button takes practice.
What's more, the camera lacks a micro mirror for taking self portraits and doesn't have any kind of flash. As a result if you try to take a shot in a dimly-lit club or pub, your friends are likely to be rendered as little more than a few grainy black bobs.
The Z750i's design isn't going to appeal to everyone. The handset is on the chunky side and the phone can look slightly awkward when it's open, because the hinge is not at the edge of the handset, but instead slightly further down the body of the phone. And although the mirrored finish on the front is initially quite easy on the eye, after you've used the phone for a while you'll be cursing the fact that it picks up more finger print than a forensics expert.
The Z750i is an accomplished budget 3G handset. You'll either love or loathe the design, but there's no doubting it's very easy to use and has a good screen and great keypad. If you're after a no-fuss handset with a dash of style, it's certainly worth a look.
Edited by Nick Hide