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Sony Ericsson W995 Walkman phone

Sony Ericsson Walkman W995

Sonic sophistication with a photo finish

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Review If you're a music mad, photo enthusiast, then Sony Ericsson has you in its sights with the W995 – its most advanced convergence of camera and music phone features to date. Featuring a Walkman media player and an 8.1Mp camera, the W995 also has HSDPA 3G, Wi-Fi, A-GPS and a new media sync system for Macs and Windows PCs.

Sony Ericsson W995 Walkman phone

Sony Ericsson's W995 Walkman phone

At first glance, this is a chunky little slider at 97x49x15mm and 113g but, considering what's stuffed into the W995, it's a fairly solid and compact package. The casing is pretty busy, with the central D-pad on the front surrounded by six buttons: call start and stop, cancel, shortcuts and two soft keys.

On the sides are music player controls, which proved to be easy to operate with the W995 tucked away in a pocket. There’s also a dedicated camera shutter button, a zoom rocker, a Walkman button, Sony Ericsson's standard two-pin Fast Port power connection and a 3.5mm jack plug, which is nice, but somewhat superfluous since an adaptor for the power plug also features a 3.5mm headphone socket and is included with the supplied earbuds.

Around the back is the lens for the 8.1Mp camera, LED flash and a small flip-up stand, so you can rest the phone on a table top while you're watching video. It's a little bit unstable, and only balanced well when the slider was open. The 2.6in, 240x320-pixel screen boasts 262,000 colours and is as clean and crisp as you could expect from an LCD this size.

There's really not a lot to choose between this camera and Sony Ericsson's latest C905 8Mp Cybershot number. We missed the Xenon flash, but it has auto focus and an image stabiliser, plus smile detection, BestPic, and a powerful 16x digital zoom. There’s no optical zoom, which is a shame, though not unexpected at this price, and to include one might have meant bulking out the camera further.

Sony Ericsson W995 Walkman phone

Not so hot in low light, but otherwise a good camera

The Panorama option let us down a little though – we found it a bit difficult to match up the three pictures – so the sample image looks like there's a bend in the road, but there isn't. Overall, the picture quality is very good. However, it struggled a little in lower light conditions, but only really suffered under close examination – the edges began to look a little fuzzy with occasional purple fringes. While it's quite up there with the very best of the 8Mp brigade, it's still a very good camera for a phone that focuses on music.

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