Sony Ericsson Walkman W380i budget music phone
Less iPhone killer, more Shuffle worrier
Review Having revamped its high-end Walkman line-up with the W890i and the W960i, now it’s budget music mobile buyers' turn to get a fresh deal, with the W380i clamshell. But are its smart design and novel features enough to give it pocket pulling power?
On the scale of music phones, the W380i may be less ‘iPhone killer’ more ‘Shuffle worrier’. Aimed at a younger, more cash-crunched audience than some recent Walkman phones, the W380i isn’t a do-it-all handset by any stretch. Its imaging capabilities play second fiddle to the phone’s tune-playing resources, for instance, with a 1.3-megapixel camera unusually devoid of video capture capability.
Sony Ericsson W380i: design freshness
But on top of the core Walkman appeal, Sony Ericsson has added a little gimmickry, gadgetry and design appeal that may just make a difference for some members of its target audience.
One of Sony Ericsson’s newly-developed headline gimmicks is Gesture Control, which allows users to silence incoming calls or switch a clock alarm to snooze with a sweep of the hand inches above the camera. ‘So what?’ you may ask, but think of all those few seconds you’ll save over the course of a year or two by not opening the flip...
More eye-catching, and useful, are the integrated music controls on the front of the clamshell and a concealed OLED external display. The control buttons consist of Braille-effect raised dots on the moulded surface of the plastic shell. They’re a pretty inconspicuous part of the design until the music player kicks into action. Then, the OLED strip glows into life, with details of tracks scrolling across the display, which appears to come out of nowhere from behind the plastic casing.
Most, if not all, recent Sony Ericsson Walkman phones do utilise standard 3.5mm headphone jacks, via the handsfree kit. Ok, you can't plug a 3.5mm jack straight into the phone, but you can still use one.
*hits his buzzer*
I saw the 'buzz-phrase' of the moment - "iphone killer"....despite used in the context that this phone is NOT really an iphone killer, it still amazes me that people choose to refer to every new phone that appears with some sort of reference to the phrase.
Honestly, is it just that someone gets royalities every time the phrase is used?
Looks like my previous handset, the W300i. Except that one had video capability, which I find my BB8300 lacking. Besides that, nothing really new, though it might be able to support larger capacity M2 sticks.
Had I not been bought over by the Blackberry's unlimited data plan, I might have replaced my PAYG W300i with ... a contract W300i. Really, it has all I want for a handset, and stands in as an excellent MP3 player, having the added plus that it doesn't look too shiny and thus not a target for muggers.