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Sony Ericsson W960 review part 4

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! 😉

Contacts • Viewing a contact

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.

Messaging monster

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.

Messaging Animations Test 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.

Phone • Calling • Video calls

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]



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32 Responses

  1. nice review michell…keep up the good work 🙂

  2. Thanks, Steve 🙂

    Merry Christmas to you!

  3. Hey thats pretty cool review michell, i really loved the phone specially the walkman player which is more than impressive and i am gonna get this phone for sure, i am not happy with my n95 8gig.

  4. Great review!!
    Honestly this phone wasn’t one of my favorites, but now with your info and review, I rlly got some interest in there.. never change..
    Merry Christmas Mike!!! :D:D

  5. thanks michell and wish you the same:)

  6. michell xD, read wrong srryz !!

  7. Brilliant review. I currently own a W950 and what better phone than the 960 to upgrade. Unfortunately, my work place does not allow camera phones so…Surprisingly 950 shares a lot of elements that you rave about in 960.

    P.S. Edit?
    Videos can be recorded in QVGA resolution (320 x 240 pixels) with 15 frames per second. The format is 3GP, and the result is pretty god (should read as good).

  8. @Kaiba
    Thanks 🙂 Yes, indeed, the Walkman player is extremely impressive!

    Thanks again 😉

    I hope it’s one of your favourites now, mate! You should check it out some time 🙂

    @Vishal Pipraiya
    Thank you 🙂 Sorry, to hear about the no camera phones policy. Hope the W950 will do, though. Fixed the typo 🙂 If you spot any more, please let me know. English is not my native language, so… 🙂

    Oh, and I hope you all had a nice Christmas Eve with your family and friends!

  9. It’s very cool that you’ve been so honestly opinionated on your review of the phone. A lot of reviews I’ve read so far either criticized or elevated this very beautiful phone but you have presented it in a very open-minded manner that you leave the decision to the reader on buying the phone or not after stating the facts. I have appreciated the phone better than before. It’ll be released Q1 on our country and i can’t wait to fall in line on the counter to get this one! Kudos To YOU!!!

  10. Of course. I am always trying to be objective 🙂

    Thank you, and I’m glad that you liked it. I hope you’ll love the phone, when you get it! 🙂

  11. Remember me from ipmart? 😀

    Anyway, this is a great review and makes me want to get the W960 more to replace my dead P1i.

    Thanks for the review and a happy new year 🙂

  12. I think so 🙂

    Thank you and may you have a happy New Year as well!

  13. Hello, I have one question. I’ve read that is not possible to record a call. Do anybody know if does exist some symb uiq application for it?
    Thank you

  14. No, that is not possible. There is one application that claims to do the trick, but I’ve tried and it didn’t work.

  15. Out of all the reviews i have seen about this phone, yours has hit all the right buttons. You have created a review where you will talk about the bad points as well as the good, that is what a review is all about. Most people will be completely one sided, but you did really well. I just got this phone 5 hours ago, and it is just as good as people think. It is a great phone.

    Thanks Michell

  16. Thanks, Chris 🙂

    That means a lot to me. I’m glad you like the phone!

  17. Nice review

    I have one question
    how good is this phone in USA?
    My carrier is T-Mobile
    can you help me with this decision
    Can you tell me what’s going to be working good and bad inside of USA?

  18. Thanks 🙂

    Well, it’s not a quad-band GSM phone and it doesn’t have EDGE, so it’s not certain that you can use it in the USA.

  19. ok thanks
    well my service provider is using 900 and 1800 frecuency.
    Where can I read reviews from people in USA?

  20. It will work then 🙂

    I’m not sure where you can find a review from someone in USA, but it will work with your provider.

  21. Does the W960 have a virtual QWERTY keyboard ?

  22. Indeed it does!

  23. I enjoyed your review very much. It was honest, concise and very informative. I am, as of yesterday, a W960i user and enjoy it as much as you seem to! One small detail, you made an mistake: In T9 mode, you CAN toggle to the hand-written mode (which is kinda useless because the handwritten mode is kinda sketchy), you simply hold * and it will toggle between T9 and handwriting.

    Nice review!

    Johnny Tep

  24. Hi,
    Can the phone be used without having to use the stylus , i.e can i navigate the phones various features without having to use the touch screen and solely use only the keyapd?

  25. Thank you JohnnyTep!
    Well, that really isn’t a mistake. It is not possible to use hand-writing in T9 mode – you have to turn off T9 and enable the multi-tap mode to get hand-writing enabled.

    Yes, it is possible to use e.g. your finger to navigate.

  26. Sorry, perhaps I wasn’t clear – or perhaps I misunderstood the reply. When you say use the finger to navigate do you mean use the finger on the touch screen? or use the phones buttons/keypad?
    I wanted to know whether most of the phone can be accessed using only the keypad and not the touch screen? Or what features of the phone have to be accessed via the touchscreen?

  27. Hi
    first of all great review. Currently have the w850I and really like it. upgrade due on 14th feb Hand on heart what phone should i go for next? really like the look of this W960 but have been put off a little by the reviews. Basically want a decent phone/music player? like the fact you can burn Cds with the software? (can you with a N95?) i really dont know what to go for?


  28. @naqi
    You can access about 80-90 % of the phone features using the touch screen and about 60-70 % of the features using hardware keys only.

    Thanks 🙂 W960 is the phone for you. The phone features are excellent and the music part is superior to all other phones out there.

  29. thanx Michell you really helped in choosing the W960… i was confused at first and didnt know which to get the iphone or the W960 but in the end i got the W960!! thanx agian cuz i really think u have the best review out there!! :D:D

  30. I’m glad this helped you, and thanks for your kinds words! 🙂

  31. Thank you for the excelent review.

    Just one question, that I have always had with SE phones;

    Is the speaker on the back of the W960 phone strong enough to hear music / clips with out using the headphone.?

    My P990 speaker is worthless. and always get jealous when listings to people using thier Nokia speakers.


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