There was a big “Hoo” and a relatively large amount of “Hah” when Sony released its first branded Walkman phone back in March. Well, here’s number two.
Like the W800i, the W550i sports the same silver and orange colouring, though it looks more akin to a chubby S700i with a chunky screen, hidden keypad and circular navigation button at the bottom.
It is no slouch however, featuring the same easy access music playing software as the W800i and 256MB of internal memory (good for about four albums when encoded at 128kbps). Less is impressive is that there appears to be no slot for flash memory which is a shock, but Sony does say the W550i should enable users to listen to 30 hours of music off a single charge. Format support is narrow playing just MP3 or AAC (Ogg please), but I guess that does at least cover the vast majority of the market.
Away from the audio side of things, you find the W550i comes equipped with a 1.8in, 176 x 220 pixel 262k colour screen, 1.3 megapixel camera, Bluetooth and built in FM radio. The games list is also impressive, given that it comes with 3D editions of Worms Forts: Under Siege, Extreme Air Snowboarding and a multiplayer version of Gauntlet from arcade genius Midway.
There’s no word on pricing yet, but given that anyone buying this phone is going to be getting it as part of a 12 month contract that doesn’t really make any difference. As for the release Sony says “Coming Soon” to which we reply “Oooh, mysterious”, Q4 then.