Sony Ericsson W910 review part 2

12.5 millimetres of pure sexiness

W910 is a slider phone with a mid section depth of only 12.5 millimetres. The design is rather curvy and it curves at the end of the phone, which gives you a good grip of the phone and makes it easier to slide it open. The materials being used in W910 are quite good as well – it looks like it’s some sort of metal and it does feel like it as well, but unfortunately I think it’s only plastic. The surface is shiny and it simply looks sexy – especially the red one, in my opinion!

The soft keys and the alphanumeric keypad are really great to use and of good size! The tactile feedback is excellent, but sometimes it does leave a feeling of “did I press or not?”. The buttons on the alphanumeric keypad are relatively close to each other, so people with large hands could have a slight problem with using them. I’ve got pretty large hands myself, but haven’t encountered any problems with that.


W910 front – sexy design and a good keypad

Sony Ericsson W910 is Sony Ericsson’s thinnest slider and measures a mere 12.5 millimetres as said earlier on. Complete dimensions are 99 x 50 x 12.5 millimetres. It weighs 86 grams and feels pretty light.

W910’s back is designed with a lock for the battery cover at the bottom – near the speaker (which is located at the bottom, too!). The camera is located at the top of the phone. I’m a little concerned about this as the camera lens isn’t at level with the rest of the rear making it vulnerable to scratches.


W910 back – loud speaker at the bottom, camera at the top and a silver Walkman logo

The slider mechanism of W910 feels quite sturdy although it’s a tiny bit wobbly when opened. Far from nothing serious, though. The spring is excellent and works like a charm. It has the ‘click’ sound when sliding up and down – just how it’s supposed to be!


The slider mechanism is quite sturdy and the spring is excellent

As said earlier on, W910 is really thin when considered it’s a slider. This is why the keys on the sides are quite small. Anyhow, the left side of the phone doesn’t feature anything but a FastPort connector used for transferring files, listening to music, etc. The right side is the ‘crowded’ side with the camera shutter key, memory card (M2) slot and volume / zoom controls.


W910 sides – connector on the left side, camera shutter key, memory slot and volume keys on the right

The curved bottom of the phone has nothing but a Walkman logo and text to it, but in my opinion this is quite nice and makes it look great. The top of the phone has a small on/off button and a Walkman button for fast access to the Walkman player.


Walkman logo at the bottom of the phone, Walkman button on the top along with the on/off button

The W910 has a battery cover lock, which you have to unlock before being able to remove the battery cover. It’s quite nice and works very well. Once unlocked you can easily remove the cover and have access to the battery, SIM card and various phone informations like the IMEI number and production week. The SIM card is a bit hard to get out once inserted – I think it would be an advantage to have smaller hands and fingers here. The battery is a BST-39 and official standby battery life is 400 hours, while you can talk up to 9 hours on a fully charged battery. I haven’t tested the talk time (would be impossible for a guy – and probably pretty pricey as well!), but the overall battery life is quite impressive; about three days of power usage before depleted on a ~90% charge.


Battery cover lock, battery & SIM card

Show-off user interface

I have always been a fan of Sony Ericsson’s user interface and menus. The user interface is really easy to get started with, normally quite fast to browse through and there are lots of nice effects and extras like Flash (Lite) menus and wallpapers.


Standby screen • normal menu • Flash menu

The W910 is no different. The Flash implementation in W910 is by far the best I have ever seen on any Sony Ericsson phone. Not only are the three themes (five themes in total) with Flash menu and Flash wallpaper really nice to look at, they also move correspondently to the phone’s movements (thanks to the built-in accelerometer). This means that if you tip the W910 left when using the ‘Soundscape’ theme, the wallpaper and menu animations will go left. Tip it right and they’ll go right. When navigating back and forth with the Flash themes, the phone will also vibrate if this setting is turned on. Hardly useful for anything, but a fun detail.
The menu is usually a 3 x 4 icon grid but some of the themes with Flash menus change this making it either horizontal or like a circle.


Activity menu • Settings

W910 is running the A200 software platform, which is the new version of Sony Ericsson’s most used operating system (used for feature phones only). The new software platform means that there’s no longer any dedicated back-button on the phone – instead you’ll have to use the right soft key now. The Choose-button is located at the centre soft key and the Settings-button is now at the left soft key instead of the right side in former versions. Another thing that has changed is the addition of dedicated call and end-buttons, so you’ll no longer have to use the soft keys to accept incoming calls or hang up. Furthermore the W910 has the regular Activity menu-button, which will bring up the Activity menu at any point in time, where you have direct access to running applications, games, new events, short cuts and Internet bookmarks. All in all the new software platform is working quite well, although it’s a bit more heavy on the processor of the phone resulting in a slightly worse performance than older phones running the A100 software platform. I am sure this will be fixed in a firmware update, though.

Built-in applications, organizer and more

The phone comes with two pre installed Java applications – Audible and Music Mate 4. ‘Audible’ is an application that allows you to download magazines, books, news papers and podcasts to your phone making you capable of listening to it whenever you want. I must admit that I have not tried out this application fully, because I’m simply not that interested in doing any of the above things. ‘Music Mate 4’ on the other hand is a really funny application. With it you can create your own music and beats. The idea alone is really cool, but how about adding motion sensor support to it and assign directions to an instrument? This is exactly what Sony Ericsson has done and this makes the application really cool – shake it and produce music! Here’s a video to show how it works.

 

The ‘Organizer’ can be found in the menu. It holds several important things such as the file manager, alarms, calendar, notes, timer, stop watch and calculator. The file manager is without doubt the best file manager on any feature phone out there – I’d even say it beats some smart phone file managers. It’s possible to set up to 5 different alarms and you can choose which days for them to ring on, when and if it’s a returning alarm or not. I’m very pleased with the alarm and find it at good use every day for getting out of bed! 🙂
The calendar is quite good and gives a good overview of the highlighted month or week. There are quite a few settings and stuff to fill out when making a new post and I personally don’t feel like I’m missing anything. The notes application can be used for creating notes that can then be shown on the wallpaper. The calculator is rather simple and can be used for dividing, multiplying, subtracting, adding and percent calculations. The length of calculations is limited to 9 digits. The last noticeable thing is the password protector application where you have to set up a password and then you can store your secret informations, passwords and alike in there in case you should forget about a password.


File manager • pictures in file manager • alarms


Calculator • calendar • standby note

If you go to the ‘Entertainment’ spot in the menu you’ll see three “DJ”-applications; VideoDJ, PhotoDJ & MusicDJ. Each can be used for creating and optimizing the chosen media – i.e. you can edit and create videos with text, colours and effects with VideoDJ, while PhotoDJ can be used for fixing and editing photos and at last you can create your own polyphonic tunes with MusicDJ. TrackID is a service that can recognize music, but more about that later. There is also a Bluetooth remote control application for managing i.e. your computer or a presentation via Bluetooth. It’s also possible to record sound with W910 – this application is also found in ‘Entertainment’.


Entertainment menu • MusicDJ • PhotoDJ


TrackID • VideoDJ

The last and probably also the best application on W910 is the Media application, which’ user interface reminds you of the user interface of PSP. It’s slick and it looks good. You can use the D-pad for navigating through this menu. The menu interface rotates accordingly to the phone, so if you’re holding the phone in landscape while using this application, the user interface will also be in landscape mode.
The photo and music part of this application is rocking, but there is a problem with playback of video files on W910. Some video files can be quite laggy and the audio is out of sync by several seconds. This isn’t exactly nice and is an annoying firmware bug, that should be fixed as soon as possible!


Media menu in portrait and landscape mode


Browsing the music and photo part of the Media menu

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