The W705 is a neat phone for the pocket. The measurements of 95mm x 48mm x 14.3mm and weight of 98g make it an easy carry. It grows to about 125mm tall with the slide opened.
Sony Ericsson spoils all this goodness with one major error. Regular readers will be anticipating this. On the left side of the phone is the mains power jack. The connector is the usual bulky beast, and this time it has a passthrough connector for the awful headset jack. Pocket snagging is sure to ensue.
There is one other usability feature to comment on. Sony Ericsson’s shake control is back. There’s a Walkman key on the top edge of the handset. You can press this at any time to get into the music software. When music is playing, you hold this key and shake the phone left and right to move through tracks, up and down to change volume. It is a gimmick. The Walkman button is a fiddle to hold down, shaking the phone makes you look like an idiot, and there are side buttons for these features that are easier to use.
The music player itself functions superbly. Of course there is album art support and an equaliser with some presets and space for manual adjustment. I’d expect nothing less from a Sony Ericsson Walkman phone. An FM radio boosts the audio capability too.
The provided headphones are quite good to listen through, though having previously rubbished the headset connector I should now report that there is a 3.5mm jack just past the microphone section so you can use your own earphones if you prefer them.
More interestingly on the multimedia front, Sony Ericsson includes the BBC iPlayer so you can watch live TV as well as catch up and listen to live radio. This worked well for me over Wi-Fi though the screen, despite being OK for surfing, was a little too small for comfortable extended viewing. That said, coupled with the on-board YouTube client the W705 is quite a hot little phone for visual multimedia.
There is 120MB of on-board memory and you get a 4GB Memory Stick Micro card to bulk this out. The slot is on the left side of the phone under the backplate but you don’t have to remove the battery to get to it.