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Sony Ericsson Walkman W980 music phone

Too few non-music features

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The main display is a reasonable 2.2in, 240 x 320, 262,000-colour screen, displaying bright and clear graphics. The W980 has a motion sensor inside which can automatically flip the screen between landscape and portrait mode for media apps, including the photo gallery, and the video and music players, but not regular menus or the browser – or, indeed, the camera.

The camera is the unremarkable kind of 3.2-megapixel shooter employed on the W890i and W760i Walkman, with no higher-end features like autofocus or flash.

Sony Ericsson W980

There’s no memory card slot

Oddly, too, the camera positioning on this clamshell isn't well thought out for snapping. There’s no side-mounted button for landscape shooting, so snaps are taken holding the phone in portrait mode with the clamshell open, pressing the navpad to take images. But the camera position - on the back of the phone at the top side - means that when you hold it in a comfortable, balanced position to line up shots, your index finger naturally strays over the lens. Of course, you can move your grip to a slightly more unbalanced one, but it still seems a design oversight.

The poor positioning of the camera aside, the 3.2-megapixel camera on the W980 can produce reasonably good images for mid and longer range shots. Images are colourful and vibrant in good lighting conditions, and have a decent level of detail for this quality of camera. Without autofocus and flash, though, the overall capability of this cameraphone is limited, and its fixed-focus lens isn’t set up for close up shooting. Inside shots in good ambient light can be OK, but when illumination deteriorates, so quickly does picture quality.

There are the usual Sony Ericsson settings, effects adjustments, and in-phone editing options, plus the standard straight-to-Blogger blog upload option, but this camera is a relatively straightforward shooter rather than anything out of the ordinary. Similarly, video capture quality is averagely uninspiring mobile phone quality, shooting at 320 x 240 resolution at 15f/s.

In the usual Walkman phone manner, the W980’s low-key imaging capabilities play supporting act for the headline music player. The 8GB of user storage inside gives sizable out-of-the-box track space for a mobile phone – putting it up there with the 8GB capacity of the iPhone and Nokia N95. Unlike other Walkman phones, though, there’s no memory card slot which is a shame when multi-gigabyte memory cards are a convenient and affordable way of upping a phone's capacity.

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