Review Price £79.99
Sony Ericsson Mix Walkman - Camera, Call Quality, Battery Life and Verdict
The Sony Ericsson Mix has a basic 3.2-megapixel camera. There's no flash and it's fixed focus, but there are a few features missing from most affordable alternatives, most notably the dedicated camera button.
This, in tandem with the fixed focus, makes taking pictures pretty quick. With an autofocus sensor, you'd have to wait for the camera to hone-in on its subject. It does limit the kind of photos you can take, though. Try and get a shot of something up close and it'll be blurry, but we've seen worse performance in phones of this spec. As you can see below, while the berry-like bits on the branches aren't entirely sharp, they're not a blurry mess either.
In perfect conditions, the relatively low resolution and budget sensor limit the amount of detail captured, and colours are fairly muted too. It'll do the job for the most basic of applications - for sending MMS messages or posting the odd shot to a social network. But you won't get shots worth printing out, even at standard 6x4in size. If you're desperate to save your shots for posterity, connecting the phone to a computer lets you access the file system directly, for drag 'n' drop transfer.
Unusual even in a budget phone, you're given no control over the camera's settings. The camera app uses the corner shortcut layout adopted throughout, but these only give you access to the gallery, the stills/video switch and a touchscreen shutter button. Manual settings are of limited use in such a low-powered camera anyway, but panorama and burst shot modes would have been appreciated - and the lack of some fun effects seem like an oversight in an arguably youth-oriented device.
Call quality is decent if unspectacular. The earpiece speaker is nice and loud, but there's no noise cancellation to combat noisy environments.
The Mix Walkman is powered by a 1000mAh battery. This is a bog-standard capacity for a small-screen phone like this, but the phone lasts longer than a proper smartphone because it doesn't have 3G and its apps don't secretly pay poker with each other while the phone's in your pocket. Under normal nonintensive use, it can last for a solid 2-3 days off a charge. Set it to more intensive tasks and the battery performance is thoroughly unremarkable.
The Sony Ericsson Mix Walkman would seem like an OK deal if its price were lowered, but, as is, it competes with fully-fledged smartphones. And it doesn't come off too well. There's no 3G, no GPS (ruling out using the phone to find out where you are) and there are no worthwhile apps here. Its Walkman cred can't make up for these gaps and its generally good-looking UI is all surface and no substance. It falls well short of earning a recommendation. Seek out the Samsung Galaxy Europa or Orange San Francisco for the real smartphone package, or look to spend less.
The Sony Ericsson Mix Walkman wills buyers to believe it's a smartphone, with an interface that looks snazzy and seems to offer plenty of connected functionality at a quick glance. The problem is that it isn't, and doesn't. There's no 3G connectivity, and while Wi-Fi is on-board the clumsy implementation of built-in apps makes web browsing and social networking feel clunkier than it would with other phones.
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