Sony Ericsson Walkman W995
Sonic sophistication with a photo finish
New with the W995 is Media Go, Sony Ericsson's new file transfer software for PC and Mac. It's easily better than Sony's Media Manager or what's available on the Sony Ericsson PC Suite, though it still lags behind iTunes for intuitiveness.
Free video downloads are available from the PlayNow Arena site
Sony Ericsson is also throwing in free movie downloads from its PlayNow Arena service –15 titles available, with five new ones every month – and while the PlayNow Movies site has a less than stellar line-up of films (Kung Phooey? Bolly Double?), it's a quick and easy way to get free, new-ish, full-length movies onto your mobile. Films download to your computer, which you transfer to the W995 and then unlock.
The Access Netfront browser is okay, though not as flashy as what you'll find on many touchscreen phones. The onboard accelerometer will automatically flip the screen into landscape mode when you turn it on its side, plus there are options to zoom at 10 per cent increments (up to 200 per cent), word search, copy and paste, save pictures and view pages as text only.
There's 118MB of memory on board but it also comes with an 8GB Memory Stick Micro. Incidentally, the W995 may be one of the last batch of Sony Ericsson phones to use the M2 type, after the company's announcement earlier this month that it plans to migrate to the more standard microSD format. It's well connected too, with quad-band GSM, HSDPA 3G (up to 7.2Mbps), Wi-Fi and Bluetooth with stereo A2DP. There's A-GPS too, backed by Google Maps, plus a Wayfinder Navigator satnav trial.
Sony Ericsson estimates up to nine hours talk time and 370 hours standby, which for us translated into a little over two days of power, but then we were doing some extended web browsing and downloading via Wi-Fi – not a bad result, but if you take advantage of all the juicy media functions available, it's likely you'll drain it in less time than that.
The latest Walkman is packed with good music things, including a decent set of bundled ear buds and portable speakers. But it also has an 8.1 megapixel camera which, while it may not be at the very front of the line when compared with similarly specified camphones, is still capable of some impressive results.
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