Product Type: Sony Ericsson mobile phones
Newest Review: ... the phone. However, this is not a great phone mostly due to the fact that it crashed so many times only a few months after I started using... more
My year long affiair wih the W910i
Sony Ericsson W910i
Member Name: obscuredbykep
Sony Ericsson W910i
Advantages: Good price, good for music, great range of features
Disadvantages: No Flash means limited use of camera
I thought it was fitting to finally get around to reviewing my mobile phone now. With something like this, I think you need to have spent a while using it, before you can review it properly. I got the phone on September 12th 2008, as an upgrade to my previous Sony Ericsson W850i. I managed to lose it in August last year, and have now moved onto a new Sony Ericsson (W595)
When it comes to picking a phone, I always have a certain criteria, which vary depending on what I need at the time. Back then, my main priority was music. It was before I got my iPod, and I didn't have anything else as an mp3 player. I had been so impressed with my W850i's music capabilities, that I knew I wanted another Sony Ericsson. The next priority, was of course that it needed a camera, and following that were the general requirements I desire, such as slide-phone, new, decent functions etc.
So, did I make the right choice?
The Music Player
Sony Ericsson walkman phones, ie all those in the 'W' series, all have a rather decent mp3 player. Getting my phone through Orange, meant that I got a free 1Gb memory card with it, which was great for holding music. It takes a tiny little card, a Memory Stick Micro memory card. With my phone, it came with a USB adaptor, which means that loading the card is simple.
Using the music player is very easy, the press of a button on the side loads it up, and the menus are very simple to navigate. You can find your music by Artist, Title and Album, and it also gives the possibility of creating playlists. What I did find as a drawback however, was that creating a playlist is a real pain. It involved manually going through to a song, selecting it, then putting, "add to playlist". Fine for a small playlist, but if you wanted a playlist of a hundred or so songs, then it got annoying.
The phone comes with it's own headphones, which are nice in ear ones, with 3 sizes of silicon fittings. The cable on these is short, since it is designed to fit into the hands free kit piece, which connects via the charging port on the side of the mobile. The headphones are great, and really comfortable, but, I had a habit of breaking them, and I think I had to buy new ones a couple of times with my old W850i (same headphones), which cost around £7 from eBay. Not a fortune, but annoying. I ended up breaking the headphones for the last time only a week or two after I bought the phone, by walking out of a pub with a pint, and the door catching them.
The phone comes with a 2.0 mpx camera. I had expected there to be a flash unit with it, since I had one with its predecessor, however there wasn't. The quality of the photographs was good, but only if the conditions were bright, since when it got dark, a flash really was needed. Taking photos in dark clubs in Newquay with it was an epic fail.
With the W850i, the camera lens was recessed which meant it got dust trapped in it, on this phone however, it was flat to the phone - which meant that the lens kept dust free. It also never scratched, which from the number of times I drop my phone was rather impressive.
The camera has a few different features, most of them I never used, the only thing that annoys me, is that in the basic mode, you cannot zoom, you need to be in something like "burst" mode, where it takes a few shots in succession. I do not know why they disable zooming normally. It only has a digital zoom, which means that there is a decline in quality the more you zoom.
The camera also has a video camera, which is good for parties and gigs, the quality isn't amazing, but is certainly decent enough for YouTube, and other such video sharing sites, and isn't so poor that it is horribly distorted when you are viewing it on the computer.
These are some videos I made with the phone. They show the quality of both the audio and video, in a few different conditions. I certainly think that the camera is better for light detection when in movie mode, since had I tried to take a photo in the dark conditions of the last video, it would have been a bit rubbish.
(Frank Turner - Live Fast Die Old, made at a gig, zoomed in slightly.)
(Two friends arm wrestling, in a pub)
(best friend rolling in the snow, smacking into a lamppost)
Using the Actual Phone
Oh yeah, first and foremost, it is a mobile telephone isn't it? Well, that is the main purpose for which I got it anyway.
I really like Sony Ericssons, I have had two myself, and my Mum has one, and my friends have had a few different ones. I think they are really simple to use for all the basic stuff, making a call is easy - just enter the number, hit the green button. Or press down (the shortcut key is as standard programmed to phone book) and you can find the number in your contacts. Really simple.
Texting, again, a new message can be programmed as a shortcut key, as it is when you get the phone, hit that button and enter the blank text message. Typing on this phone is easy, the buttons are solid, and I never found myself hitting another instead, since they are perfectly sized. I always use predictive text now, and find that the predictive text on Sony Ericssons is the best I have used. Adding a word to the dictionary is easy, and changing the predicted work just a matter of hitting the down button.
Receiving a call can be done in two ways. Firstly, you can slide the phone open, or alternatively just hit the green call button. Simple. Ending a call is done by using the red end call button, or you can programme the phone to hang up by sliding it down again.
The menus are really easy to navigate, and arranged in a sensible, logical order. There are quite a few functions on the phone, and they can all be easily reached in just a matter of a few buttons.
The Organiser is useful for storing things on, and I often used it for putting in the times I had to go somewhere, and selecting a reminder an appropriate amount of time before (ie 15 minutes if it was just up the road). This is really simple to do, and made remembering things a lot easier.
The phone has 5 programmable alarms, which are very flexible. Since I did away with an alarm clock, this was really practical. You can programme the alarm to go off at any time (obviously), but can select whether it is just a one off, or repeated alarm. If you want it repeated, it can be done daily, or you can select certain days of the week, which meant I could have one alarm for normal days, and another for the weekends if I was working, leaving some spare for any other alarm requirements.
The phone comes with a number of ringtones as standard, but if you have mp3's on the phone, then any of those can be used as the ringtone or message tone. They can also be used as an alarm tone too. The phone, as most do, has a vibrating alert, which is of good strength. The volume of the ringtones is adjustable, and can be made very loud. I could hear it going off all over the house.
There is of course a host of other functions on there, such as the calculator, and things like that, useful but not used all the time. They were as expected on a phone, nothing special, but not rubbish. There is an internet browser, but I didn't ever use it much, since it cost more, though, it was good for Facebook.
Phone to Computer
Obviously, you need a way of getting photos and video off the phone, and getting music on it. Well lucky for you that has been thought of. The phone comes with a USB cable, which connects to the charge point. Connect it, and you can basically use it like a USB stick, and copy files to and from both the internal memory, and the memory card. If it comes with a USB stick for the memory card like mine did, then that is a good as you can use it for memory card data transfer.
Pictures of Sony Ericsson W910i Walkman
OK Quality in the Dark Kay in Newquay
Ok, now there were only two major problems I had with the phone, the first was the slider. In the duration of having this phone, I owned two of them, after getting the first one replaced after the slide capability packed up. One day, just randomly, when getting the phone out my pocket in the pub, it didn't slide open properly. It was like there was grit in there. I put up with it for a day or so before getting a replacement under my insurance. The next one ended up with the same problem eventually, although, not as bad. It fixed itself when I threw it on the floor once, but developed it again a few months later.
Secondly, there seemed to be dust or something gathering under the screen. I tried cleaning it off with no avail. Dunno what was happening there.
Other than that, I never had any technical problems, but there was a software issue. It would randomly turn off, and turn back on again - which I never understood why. It wasn't a huge problem, just would notice it sometimes.
I was happy with my phone for nearly the entirely of my ownership, despite the two problems. It carried out all the basic functions a phone requires, and the volume of calls was perfect. The camera was good, although in the end, the lack of flash was really getting to me, as it took such poor photos when in Newquay. The music player became redundant when I got my iPod, though I still stored music on there for my alarms, and the quality of playback through speakers was good, although, not the worlds most amazing. The accelerometer in the phone, meant that like in an iPod Nano, when you tilt it to it's side, the screen changes to suit, this is used when viewing Video and Photo, not for anything else, and was useful to get a better view of the pictures when recorded landscape.
The thing I was really annoyed about though, was the games. Not a huge thing, but I did like having a couple of decent games in my pocket, which could help out in direly boring situations. On my previous Sony Ericsson, it came with 3 complete games, two of which were pretty decent, and I played time and time again. This however, came with 3 demos. So, you played the one basic level - and demo over. Not entertaining at all. If you wanted more, you needed to buy them, which I did with Lemmings, but I expect a couple of decent free games as standard.
The graphics on the phone are great, and the screen is clear and sharp, which is always a good thing. It is also a quick phone, and didn't seem to freeze up as much as some other phones I have used. Charging wise, it doesn't take too long to charge up to full, a couple of hours at the most. Battery life is average, and I ended up finding that I would need to charge my phone most nights if I had been using it properly in the day. Towards the end of my time with the phone, I couldn't make calls or send texts, so it became a means of just getting hold of me, which meant I saw the battery lasting a week at a time!
One final complaint is that when listening to music, if you get a text or call, then it pauses the music, and either vibrates (if on silent) or vibrates, and through the headphones plays your ringtone / text tone. OK, that is needed for a call, but it was really annoying when having a text conversation with someone, whilst listening to music, since it would keep being paused. Would have been better to have an easy way, or anyway, of turning that feature off.
If you are looking for a good basic phone, with a now sensible price tag, then you are on the right track, with it costing just £85.00 in Argos. It is a strong, and robust phone, and survived my use in rather good nick - considering that involved it being thrown around, dropped, slept on, being fallen on when in my pocket and the like.
Just to let you know how I ended up losing it. After having spent the day, trying to convince a friend of mine, that pockets were far superior to carrying a bag around all the time, we were in HMV when I suddenly realised I didn't have it anymore. It had somehow fallen out of my pocket, either on a bus, or in the internet café. She did laugh at that...
Summary: Good price, good for music, great range of features
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