Smart phone book
W960 has got room for up to 2000 contacts, all with full details and several telephone numbers, fax number, email and so on. Like with most other Sony Ericsson (smart) phones, you can store loads of informations about each contact. I’m not going to spend time listing all these, but trust me – there are lots of things to fill out! 😉
The search capabilities of W960 seem a bit old compared to the two ‘dumb’ phone, K850 and W910, that have both got SmartSearch making it much easier to find contacts. Overall, the search feature is OK, but not great.
The handset supports MMS and SMS messaging. There’s a limit of 100 kilobytes when creating MMS messages, and a limit of about 10 SMS text’s length when creating SMS messages. It’s very unlikely that some will use more characters than this when writing these small messages.
W960 handles the messages quite well and I have yet not found any limits on how many messages it can store.
Text messages can be created with smilies, animations, mono coloured bitmaps, sound effects and different kinds of formatting. This is by far the best EMS implementation ever on a smart phone (this goes for all UIQ 3.0 devices). Texting can be done either by using the alpha-numeric keypad, the on-screen keyboard or by using handwriting recognition. However, W960 is a bit weird on this front. If you’ve enabled T9, which is the intelligent word speller, then there’s no option to use handwriting recognition. This is only available when having set the phone to multi-tap mode. Furthermore I found the T9 word book lacking lots of every day words and general use of the T9 is a bit strange as you must use the jog dial on the side to change the word. This means that you’ll have to use both the keypad, the jog dial and in some cases also the stylus on the screen to write a message.
Phone part is great
There are two ways to make calls on W960 – regular, old school 2G-calls, that most people use, and then there is 3G video calls, that just about nobody uses.
The first day I got my W960 was also the day of the first call. Cool, I thought, because then I could already start testing the sound quality. It then appeared that the person calling, was no less than the Administrative PR Team leader at Sony Ericsson. Anyhow, the sound quality seemed very good and it was loud and clear. A couple of guys were watching a film in the back of the room at full blast, but I could still hear what Elona said and it seemed as though she had no problems hearing what I said.
I have yet to try out the video calls, but I’m sure they’ll work as well on W960 as they do on other Sony Ericsson phones.
You can manage your calls on the phone and set the various call settings like speed dialling. The call list can hold the last 30 in and outgoing calls (in total).
Sony Ericsson W960 feels like one of the best products ever from Sony Ericsson. The operating system and user interface is strong and performs well. Multitasking is good because of the excessive amount of free RAM memory.
Calls are good and the speaker is loud, so there’s no chance of missing a call, unless it’s on silent profile. The vibrator is good and you’ll feel it most of the time.
Battery wise, the phone isn’t a top player, but it’s not bad either. On a full charge it lasts about 2 days of normal use (in my case, that’s about 2 hours of WLAN use every day, camera usage, texting, a few calls, gaming, music and so on).
The price of the phone is in my eyes acceptable. It’s cheaper than its predecessor, W950, and judged by how the price of W950 has been drastically falling, I think this will happen to W960 as well. In a few months time, the price will be excellent, I’m sure. Another thing we must remember is that the pricing varies from country to country – some places, it only costs about 500 USD, while other places it’s 700 USD. The average price seems to be about 650 USD.
Overall, this is an excellent smart phone with lots of features and an acceptable price. If you need a QWERTY keyboard, then I’d suggest you’d look at P1, which is W960’s work oriented brother.
[Review based on firmware revision R6F41]