From the many line-ups of Sony Ericsson, a new Walkman phone arrives in the form of a sleek slider phone - the W910i. And the time that Sony Ericsson has chosen to announce this particular mobile hints strongly of the coming holiday season.
Usher in the Spirit
When our eyes first landed upon the Sony Ericsson W910i, its huge 262K color, 2.36-inch screen was first to greet us, an aspect of the phone we were very happy about. As a slider, the sliding mechanism of the W910i was smooth and natural as well. No complaints there. When opened, the phone revealed an ultra-flat keypad with a matching color scheme. However, when put to use, the keypad felt plasticky and didn't offer very good tactile feedback. We also think that the keypad should have been positioned a little lower as the top row of buttons are a little difficult to press due to minor obstruction from the bottom of the slider. The fact that the whole keypad is flushed didn't help the situation either.
Nitpicking aside, the W910i exudes entertainment and fashion in every angle. Taking into consideration the size and weight of the mobile, at 12.5mm and 86g, it sat in our palms comfortably, was amazingly lightweight and also went into our pockets unobtrusively. It has a solid feel to it given the fact that the exterior is made of metal and is also said to be scratch resistant.
One of the design features that we liked about the W910i was the battery cover. Sony Ericsson's move to add a physical lock latch was genius, making the W910i one of the easiest phones to access the battery compartment. However, one might still encounter some resistance in extracting the SIM card as Sony Ericsson did not see it fit to utilize a spring mechanism here.
Shake Your Weariness Away
Since the W910i is slated as part of the Walkman line, you'd probably be looking for the usual Walkman button which launches the Walkman application, which also doubles up as the Shake Control button. With the button depressed, shaking the W910i sideways will move you on to the next or previous track respectively. Shaking it back and forth shuffles your whole playlist.
That being said, the Walkman button is located at the top right hand corner of the mobile, making it a little awkward to access, especially if you have the slider opened. The best location, in our opinion, would be the sides of the mobile where it would fit into the contours of your hand perfectly.
Another interesting feature to take note of in the Sony Ericsson W910i is the SensMe functionality. a first for Sony Ericsson mobiles. Testing it out, SensMe offers a whole new way of categorizing and browsing your music tracks - through your mood. This innovative way of sorting music by mood instead of the usual artist/album sort not only permits users to fully explore their 'mood music'. However, as interesting as SensMe is on paper, real world application is rather niche. And unless you upload a decent sized collection of music (the phone has a 35MB memory and allows a maximum 4GB expansion through M2 memory sticks), you won't find it necessary to use SensMe.
The embedded speakers work brilliantly with excellent audio clarity. In addition, the onboard MegaBass function gives some thump to your music, making listening to your favorite tracks a joy many times over. It is with little wonder that Sony Ericsson prides its Walkman lineup as being a true portable musical gadget.
Beside the audio features, the Walkman interface on all recent Walkman phones has taken a radical change as well. With five different themes pre-installed, and based on what a user has chosen, you will find it being very much similar to the Sony PS3 or PSP interface.
We've talked about the Shake Control feature, which means that there is a gyroscope or accelerometer in there somewhere. Sure enough, the W910i claims more than one usage for this feature. Not only can you tilt the phone to switch to portrait or landscape modes, you can also use it to control certain game movements much like Sony's Sixaxis controller for the PS3. To fully get into this feature and experience it, we highly recommend trying out the 'Marble Madness 3D' game.
To sum it all up, the Sony Ericsson W910i is a great mobile phone for entertainment and music on the go with the HSDPA connectivity as a plus. Available in Hearty Red and Noble black, the W910i is a great phone this holiday season, both to be spotted with one and also as a gift to others.