The Walkman 3.0 player interface, launched, if you can't guess, by the big W button that has centre stage on the keypad, is familiar enough, though unlike the visually similar Media Centre on the K850i it only allows access to music files. Video and stills images have to be accessed separately using the File Manager, which seems something of a step backwards.
For a device whose main raison d'etre is music, the lack of a 3.5mm headphone socket could be something of a disaster but thankfully the W960i comes with a suitable adaptor so that you to use any set of phones and still keep hands-free functionality.
The lack of a 3.5mm headphones jack could be something of a disaster
We searched in vain for details of the audio power output, but it managed to drive our trusty Beyerdynamic DT250 closed cans with no problem at all so it must have a fair bit of oomph. The supplied ear-buds were of a decent quality, but as with the 'buds supplied with the Samsung F700 - reviewed here, they are just a bit too small for our ears. Extra, larger buds would be a boon - just how expensive can a couple of small bits of rubber be?
This week we have mostly been listening to Melissa Etheridge, Richard Thompson (live from the excellent 4 CD set RT), a 1956 mono recording of Bizet's The Pearl Fishers and the soundtrack to Michael Mann's film The Last of the Mohicans.
We're happy to report that the sound the W960i makes is fine. Playing identical tracks on the W960i and on a K850i, and swapping back and forth, we were hard pushed to spot the difference. What the W960i is not is a whole new world of sound; what it is is a very competent music player that like most of the Sony Ericsson stable produces a sound quite the equal of any mass-market MP3 player.
Business Card Scanner
"Something we haven't come across before was the Business Card Scanner."
Isn't this a standard feature on HTC/O2 Smartphones these days?! You really should have come across it...!
Can we get Symbian to the K-series?
I've been very impressed with the Java Platform on my K790a, even though I have found a few bugs here and there. I'm hoping that JP8 on the K850i is even better, but man, Symbian on the K-series would be very cool.
Paris, on my K-series, please.
Track ID is indeed present on the 960i, as it is on the 850i.
K850i + 8GB M2 = W960i? Ehh, what are you smokin'..:)
I don't know what are you smoking but I want some - K850i is well behind this phone, I think (sans HSDPA over UMTS, of course.)
I have this phone for a while and:
- I use it *without* the stylus (until few days ago I don't even know where did I put my stylus) and
- with *one hand*
- yet I can access *everything* including *submenus as well*
- this latest Symbian OS - same as in P1 - is waaaaay ahead of the K850i's proprietary SE OS
- touchscreen + roll-wheel + shortcuts give you *multiple* ways to click, start, access etc
- 8GB+160MB might sound limited for some people but in reality out of my 100GB+ collection I have over 1000 high-quality (e.g. 320k MP3) songs on it, along with few videos (including the ones I shot during last Fall's The Cult concert :))
- paired with SE's stereo BT headsets it's an excellent urban traveler's music+web setup.
Am I right when I think this article forgot to mention that W960i it comes with TrackID? If so it must be mentioned, even if it's standard on most SE phones because trackID *IS* the *best-ever* application for *any* music lover - it works literally everywhere for me, even in noisy pubs!
I must admit it took a few weeks until I figured out the best ways to use it, espcially with one hand - no, I'm not disabled but it's NYC here, the other one holds the coffee mug :) - but once you discover all the tricks you really develop an appreciation for the very thoughtful engineering that went into this phone.
Perhaps it's time to learn how to use it properly, Alun? ;) :P
FYI: it takes a bit more than few days but ever since I got this phone - few months ago - I have not touched my perfectly working WM6-running HTC TyTn...
This phone has a great potential but SE dropped the ball when they did not introduced here, in the US. I've showed it to 4-5 of my colleagues so far and at least 2 people immediately dropped the idea of buying an iPhone, they want W960i instead - too bad SE priced it stupidly high, they should go down at least $100 below Apple's price (8GB) and start promoting it heavily on these markets (the US, that is.)
...doesn't sound good enough phone for me to relinquish my brushed ally W880i...