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Sony Ericsson Walkman W902 mobile phone

Image-conscious Walkman phone gets a snappier snapper

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On the music front, again Sony Ericsson has opted to do without a standard 3.5mm headphone socket on the bodywork. Instead it continues with its familiar stumpy multi-connector charger/USB/earphones socket on the side of the phone. As usual, the two-part in-box headset has a 3.5mm adapter, but we would really like to see Sony Ericsson getting this socketry right on the phone itself. Plus, that side positioning just makes headphones more snaggable in your pocket.

The menu set-up doesn’t veer from the usual Sony Ericsson template, with a user-friendly main menu grid of icons, and further tabbed menu lists as you delve deeper into the system. It’s easy to follow and get to grips with.

Sony Ericsson W902 Walkman mobile phone

The controls are more tightly arranged, but adequately defined to avoid mis-pressing

Features The W902’s camera is the best specified so far on any Walkman handset, and it’s not just the 5-megapixel image sensor that raises its game. The phone incorporates many of the imaging features employed on other decent Sony Ericsson shooters like the C902. Its camera interface is similar to the C902’s (albeit without touch-control shortcut buttons around the screen). A flash is built into the back panel, though it’s an LED type rather than the xenon one you get on some higher-end cameraphones.

Autofocus is present, enabling you to get more precise, sharply focused shots than on other point-and-shoot Walkman phone. A macro mode enables some quality close up shooting too. Image quality is very respectable all round, although it’s not quite up there with the best 5-megapixel cameraphones around. You can get detailed sharp shots, while macro images look crisp and refined.

Colour rendition is normally fine, though occasionally noticed some tones appearing slightly artificial. The auto metering system is able to handle varying lighting conditions pretty well; in overcast conditions contrast and exposure is good. Indoors shots, however, tend to have less punch, and the flash is only partially effective in low light, not being powerful over a couple of metres and washing out close-ups.

Unlike the C902 there’s no face detection gadgetry, but Sony Ericsson has included its excellent BestPic software. Switched on, this clever gadgetry allows you capture a sequence of nine shots within fractions of a second before, during and after you press the camera button, from which you can select the perfect shot. It’s been a regular for the Cyber-shot range and is a nifty extra to have here.

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