Whether you’re after a pocketable version of your in-car satnav kit or just occasionally need a bit of ‘where am I?’ location finding, GPS technology in your mobile - a device you always carry with you - is a genuinely useful piece of gadgetry.
The Walkman button on the side is also used for the 'shake control'
The precise accuracy of A-GPS means you can track your movements, and get turn-by-turn instructions in real time. Google Maps is obviously enhanced by A-GPS, allowing you to plans routes, navigate to locations and search for local services more effectively. You can also do national searches across a wide range of categories.
Wayfinder Navigator satnav software provided voice instructions as well as the usual 2D and 3D-style satellite navigation views. Like Google Maps, mapping and search information is downloaded over the air, so will incur data costs if you’re not on an inclusive data deal. Maps aren’t presented as quickly or smoothly as they are on a standalone satnav unit, or on a GPS smartphone set up with maps already pre-loaded.
We found that the GPS receiver inside wasn’t as responsive and quick to lock onto satellites as we’ve seen on recent Nokia phones, like the 6220 Classic. We had to wait a couple of minutes to be ready for action. And it seemed to need a clearer view of the sky to get locked on satisfactorily.
On the road, the system proved accurate enough and did what was required in getting us from A to B. The Wayfinder system is OK, but not the most user-friendly mobile satnav package around. It may not be time to chuck out your in-car kit satnav, but it’s a useful and effective application from a regular phone.
SE's Versatile A2 Platform
Why not talk about it?
SE is known as a supporter of UIQ, but it's also a heavy Java supporter. SE's A2 hardware platform which spans the low to mid-high end phones is using SE's JAVA8 OS platform. Many of the phones in this range have similar features and functions just as this reviewed phone.
My daughter has a Z750a phone. Unbranded in the US it has GPS functions (a older Google/NavTec GPS enabled map application), and works fine with AmAze navigation tool. GPS is a requirement for the US E911, and SE a number of the newer phones have had the chip installed but disabled by the carrier. With headsets it has 'Walkman' mega bass and the same media player as most of the SE phones be they so-called designer or Cybershot or Walkman. The non-US Z750i version has two cameras and can make video calls. Burdened with only a BST-33 battery it just doesn't have enough juice to last more than a day in heavy use, but that could be an incentive to connect it to your PC (to charge) and sync your contacts, calendar and podcasts.
I'm surprised that the SE RSS Desktop has never gotten more attention. Frankly it is just as functional as you could want, with your favorite news feeds immediately available on the screen, scrolling by and ready to be selected for reading. Configurable to update hourly (or up to weekly) your phone can keep you current with whatever interests you. When browsing if the web page supports RSS, the icon popus up over one of the softkeys, enabling you to easily add the feed.
The A2/Java8 platform is also compatible (via the SE Media Center software) with podcasts - audio and visual, and audiobooks. For a small upgrade fee you can let it convert any media file format to the phone's native.
There is available XM satellite subscription software as well as TV streaming applications though currently limited to AT&T branded phones (the software exists).
Everyone made such a fuss over push email on the iPhone. SE A2/Java8 platform phones have push email too, and are certified compatible with Exchange and iLife. What they are lacking are Java applications to read MS Office attachments that are easily available.
SE phones all have contact information with multiple addresses and phone numbers per contact. Each phone number can have an independent voice command.
All newer SE phones have an easy MMS photo blogging widget to Blogspot.com.
Though SE has been slow on the UIQ front with updates, the A2 platform has had numerous updates and the while all phones are not getting all the Java8 updates, SE is in the 4th revision. Many firmware updates are available for many SE phones.
I guess since it doesn't have WIFI and a touch screen, and with M2 micro cards only going up to 8G (most A2 phones will handled 8G cards, but some apps may not report the space accurately), it's just not as important as a phone that you can't change the memory, battery or have copy/paste functions, voice commands, tethering....
Not a bad phone...
Been using one of these for a few weeks, and it's not a bad phone at all...
Important to me was its ability to sync with iSync on my Mac, which was easy once I'd installed a plugin from feisar.com
These phones are rubbish. I got one on contract a few weeks ago. The menu takes 1/2 second to respond to any button presses. The call quality is terrible, the battery lasts a day, 2 at the most with no use and it will drop signal connection randomly.
It freezes, requires battery removal to reset and won't keep
synced with a bluetooth headset.
O2 are no help. They will replace the phone with the same "refurbished" model, which means i will get someone elses crap. Their other suggestion is to update the software which I cannot do because i don't have a windoze pc.
I have been a fan of walkman phones for years, they usually have outstanding battery life and software is usually responsive. Ear phones are good quality and the walkman, FM radio functions are second to none.
This ball of crap however is definitely the worst phone I have owned in a long time and soured my taste for Sony Ericsson in general.