Sony Ericsson W705a mobile phone

The TelstraOne Experience interface adds a new dimension to this stylish Walkman phone

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Sony Ericsson W705a
  • Sony Ericsson W705a
  • Sony Ericsson W705a
  • Sony Ericsson W705a

Pros

  • TelstraOne Experience interface, design, well-implemented controls and keypad, smooth slider, HSDPA-capable, Wi-Fi, 4GB M2 card included

Cons

  • Slider does wiggle slightly when pressed, incoming audio could be louder, no GPS

Bottom Line

The Telstra-exclusive Sony Ericsson W705a doesn’t offer any groundbreaking features, but the TelstraOne Experience interface is intuitive and user-friendly.

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Sony Ericsson's W705a is a Telstra-exclusive version of the W705. It offers the same design and features as the original model, but the TelstraOne Experience interface offers a new dimension to this phone's usability.

The W705a Walkman phone is a slider handset that boasts a stylish design. It features a black brushed steel finish, chrome edging and a matte black rear case — a sleeker look than the original's brown and gold colour combination. The Sony Ericsson W705a feels reasonably well built, though the top half of the slider does wiggle from side to side. The battery cover is held down by a small yet effective plastic lock slider, located at the bottom of the phone. As it’s a Telstra exclusive, the W705a has Telstra branding below the controls.

The Sony Ericsson W705a's controls are straightforward. The five-way navigational pad doubles as music playback controls, and the phone also has two selection buttons, answer and end call keys and a number of shortcut buttons. On the right of the handset are volume controls and a camera button. There is a dedicated Walkman button on the top, and it is a little too small for our liking. The Sony Ericsson W705a's keypad looks flat, but the keys are well separated and are slightly raised, making text messages easy to type at fast speeds.

Aside from access to the Next G network, the real benefit of the Sony Ericsson W705a being exclusive to Telstra is the TelstraOne Experience user interface. This is a home screen overlay that offers quick access to a range of commonly accessed applications, including contacts, messages, BigPond services and a search function.

The My Place portal is also intuitive: a 3x4 grid of icons can be arranged any way you like in this menu and shortcuts include a range of widgets, applications, Telstra BigPond links and Web links. Telstra's mobile Foxtel, Yellow Pages and Trading Post services are good examples, and you can also add quick links to a range of social networking clients such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. Conveniently, the TelstraOne Experience menu reduces the frequency of users having to enter the main menu. The transitions between screens are fairly smooth and the customisation offered is a big plus.

The Sony Ericsson W705a includes the latest Walkman music software and the included headphones produce a crisp and warm sound with decent bass. There is no 3.5mm headphone jack, but Sony Ericsson includes an adapter that allows a standard pair of headphones to be used. You can tailor your audio using the five band equaliser or a range of presets.

Sony Ericsson's TrackID feature allows you to record a few seconds of any song and send the snippet to a music database. If the song is recognised, the title, album and artist name are sent back to you. A2DP Bluetooth and an FM radio are also available, while Shake It! and SensME technologies are both included. Shake It! allows you to skip tracks by simply shaking the phone, while SensME allows you to create a playlist based on mood and tempo.

The Sony Ericsson W705a is HSDPA-capable and is also the first Walkman phone to include Wi-Fi. Being a Telstra exclusive, it runs on the 850MHz 3G spectrum that the telco's Next G network uses. The W705a comes with 120MB of internal memory, and a 4GB Memory Stick Micro (M2) is included.

Other features of the W705a Walkman phone include a 3.2-megapixel camera with LED flash, a video player and some of Sony Ericsson's proprietary applications such as VideoDJ, PhotoDJ and Music DJ. There's also remote control and sound recording functions, and USB 2.0 connectivity — unfortunately through a proprietary USB port. The W705a Walkman also has a host of organiser features including calendar, tasks, notes, alarms, calculator, synchronisation, timer and stopwatch.

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