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Sony Ericsson Walkman W595 music phone

Versatile slider that hits the right notes

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The W595 looks and feels good. It has an appealing W910-style curved edge design, and with tactile rubber-feel and metal materials used on the casing, its 104g weight feels reassuringly substantial in-hand. Whether the slider’s up or down, handling is nicely balanced, and its modest 100 x 47 x 14mm body slip comfortably into pocket space. The slider is smoothly sprung, but solid, while the numberpad is interestingly patterned but nonetheless functionally well-aligned - the number buttons are prominent and large enough for no-hassle texting.

Sony Ericsson W595

In addition to 40MB of memory, a 2GB Memory Stick Micro card is supplied

The display is a decent 2.2in, 240 x 320, 262,000-colour screen that’s bright and clear for imaging and browsing. Under this are the main control keys, with a round navpad the centrepiece. The soft-menu keys and call and end buttons flank this in a horseshoe arrangement on either side. Despite their proximity to each other, the keys are defined just about well enough for error-free fingering.

The menu system is typical Sony Ericsson mid-tier. The main menu is set up as a grid of icons, while sub-menus can be scrolled and tabbed through. The navpad and control buttons add shortcut options – the top of the navpad pulls up the camera, for instance – while Sony Ericsson’s handy Activity Menu key fast-tracks users into a list of oft-used functions and applications.

Notice of this phone’s musical aspirations is given by a pair of thin speaker grilles running along the width of the curved top and bottom of the phone. Lying on its back or in-hand, this phone can play LOUD.

A key dedicated to the Walkman player sits on the side of the phone. When the music’s playing, this doubles up as the Shake Control button – press and hold, and with a bit of appropriate wrist action you can change tracks or adjust the volume. It’s a gimmick - in reality it’s less practical and precise than using the regular music controls marked on the navpad.

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