I absolutely adored SonyEricsson’s K800i, and the positive experience prompted me to rather quickly seek out another handset from the company to review.
I’ve gone, not surprisingly perhaps, for something in the ‘W’ range.
Where the K800i uses Sony’s Cyber-shot capabilities for photography, ‘W’ series handsets use Sony’s experience with mobile music via its Walkman brand.
Now, the ability for a mobile phone to play music is not exactly ground-breaking these days, so we have a right to expect something pretty special from handset in the ‘W’ range. That should mean competent or better performance on every musical level including audio format support, music to handset data transfer, user interface and obviously audio quality. And that’s all over and above being a good all round handset, of course. Let’s see.
The first point to make is that there are a lot of ‘W’ range handsets to choose from, and I’ve selected the W810i because it sits near the top end in terms of general specifications. It is not a 3G handset (it is quad band though), but the forthcoming W900i and W950i will both take care of that, and I’ll review at least one of these in due course.
The W810i is mostly black, with silver touches for some buttons. Fast access to music is one of the signature features of ‘W’ series handsets, which always have a dedicated button that launches the music player. In this case the button is on the far left edge of the casing beneath the screen, and is styled in a rather fetching TrustedReviews orange, as is the Walkman logo on the bottom edge of the casing. SonyEricsson likes this colour, though I have to say the shininess of the orange in this case reminds me of the contents of the Christmas tin of chocolates.
Press this button and the music software runs. You can now use the round navigation button under the screen and its central select button to control playback - pausing, flicking between tracks and scanning forwards and back. Volume is controlled with a rocker button on the upper right edge of the handset. I found I needed to use my thumbnail to accurately prod at the under-screen buttons – they are a bit on the small side.
If this button management is beyond you, a single button on the upper left edge will play/pause the next track in whatever playlist you were last accessing.