First Looks: Sony Ericsson W580i

An Ultimate Companion of Youthfulness

An Ultimate Companion of Youthfulness

Sony Ericsson recently rolled out another model in their Walkman phone series that is full of entertainment and health functions built for the younger crowd. The strengths and fashion sense of youths seem to be the main target of this mobile and Sony Ericsson actually did some homework to come up with the W580i. We have to say that the few new features that accompanied the phone was a rather smart move on Sony Ericsson's part.

Designed for Style

Wrapped in Urban Grey, the W580i reminds one of a busy city where entertainment and work all come together as one, but grey isn't all that is available. Alternative color schemes such as Metro Pink and Style White are also able to bring about the distinct characteristics of this mobile. With a casing dimension that measures 99x47x14mm, the W580i not only looks stylish, but is indeed a sleek and slim phone. It fits right into the hand and thankfully, does not have the plasticky feel of the previous S500i.

There are some things in the design of the W580i that we'd have liked changed though. We know this boils down to individual preference, but we aren't too hot about the bent lower side of the phone as it makes the W580i appear bulkier than it really is. The battery compartment cover would also have been more user-friendly if it was easier to open without the need to resort to brute force prying and hoping nothing snaps in the process. The largest downside of the design is a flimsy keypad that feels like it could break and fall apart anytime. Each key seems to only be connected at the middle, making keys prone to cracking if more force is used, even for the usual single-hand thumb operations like messaging and dialing.

Young at Heart

Back to its design, the W580i has its similarities to the S500i, but without the interactive theme changing. Users are still able to customize the theme of the mobile to portray their mood with a variety of options and their accompanying light effects. Illuminating side lights are back and the W580i offers up to 16 different color options for any mood and occasion.

As a Walkman phone, the W580i serves up the usual entertainment angle, with music and video playback capabilities and TrackID feature that can recognize and download track details from just a few seconds off a song. The W580i has an extra feature tagging along as well, which is a shake control function. While holding down the Walkman key, flicking your wrist or shaking the phone will randomly choose the next song in your playlist. This is great for music shuffling when you just want to listen to another song without bothering about what's on your playlist. When the W580i recognizes the movement command, it gives a gentle vibration to acknowledge. Sadly, the memory capabilities may not satisfy everyone. With 12MB onboard memory, the W580i supports expansion through M2 memory stick. However, only up to 2GB cards are supported.

Going after fitness enthusiasts as well, the W580i incorporates a range of fitness applications to monitor exercise and physical movements of the user. Within the Fitness option in the main menu, you can find a pedometer, calorie counter as well as a track and field manager. At the end of the day, users can view progress graphs and even receive 'medals' for further encouragement.

As usual, any mobile phone will come with its pre-installed set of games to while away the time when you have absolutely nothing better to do. But, in keeping with its upbeat, youthful nature, the W580i comes with two of the more popular game titles in the market: Sims 2 and Lumines Block Challenge.

Concluding Note

The inbuilt camera is of decent quality, but a CyberShot model this is not, so there is no autofocus or flash capabilities. This is also a standard quad-band phone with EDGE, but no 3G capabilities as well. However, with a decent amount of talktime estimated at around nine hours, entertaining games, fitness applications, vibrant colors and shake control, the W580i is no doubt aimed at the younger fashion conscious crowd rather than a power user.


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