Sony Ericsson W980i
Touch-sensitive clamshell with 8GB memory
- Design, external display and music controls, 8GB internal memory, HSDPA-capable, excellent headphones
- No memory card slot, mediocre camera
The W980i is Sony Ericsson’s most stylish clamshell yet. A great combination of style and features, 8GB of memory and excellent headphones make this one of the best music handsets currently on the market.
Price$ 999.00 (AUD)
A stylish flip handset featuring external touch-sensitive music controls, Sony Ericsson’s latest Walkman handset definitely looks good. The W980i is a great example of what can be achieved with a balance of style and features. It boasts 8GB of internal memory, HSDPA capabilities and a 3.2-megapixel camera.
Sony Ericsson is best known for candybar handsets, but the W980i proves it is just as capable of producing fine clamshells. The front features a glossy, black mirror-style finish with a clear plastic bezel at the bottom. The rear consists of a rubber-style, matte black surface that provides a nice contrast to the rest of the handset. The W980i is light to hold but still manages to feel reasonably well built and the flip mechanism also feels strong.
Flipped open, the interior of the W980i reveals a keypad and controls that are well spaced, in addition to an excellent display. The latter is outstanding and boasts an excellent viewing angle. It's crisp and clear for both basic text and multimedia content; it particularly shines when watching video content.
The W980i’s keypad and controls are flat, but their reasonably large size and intelligent spacing contribute to a positive user experience. One annoyance is the lack of a dedicated back button (the end call key does this job instead). A five-way navigational pad handles the grunt of the work, aided by two selection buttons and dedicated Walkman, shortcut, clear and power keys. We were extremely impressed with the interface: although it’s the same layout and design as previous Sony Ericsson models, speed is impressive, especially when scrolling through long lists.
Besides the phone's attractive design, the touch-sensitive music buttons are the standout feature of the handset. In addition to being convenient, these controls also allow full use of the phone as a music player without having to open it. The controls include a five-way navigational pad that morphs into playback buttons when needed, in addition to previous and next keys that only light up when appropriate. The controls are easy to press and vibrate slightly when used to provide a sense of tactility. The entire Walkman interface that would normally be displayed on the inside of the handset is replicated on the external screen.
Like most phones in the Walkman series, the W960i is an excellent music player. The Walkman software is intuitive to use and audio quality is reasonable. Surprisingly, the included HPM-77 ear buds are of good quality. There is no 3.5mm headphone jack, but an adapter allows any standard 3.5mm headphones to be used.
For music listening, you can tailor your audio using the five-band equaliser or presets consisting of heavy, pop, jazz, normal, unique, soul, easy and bass. The W980i also features A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile) which enables you to wirelessly stream your music to a compatible pair of Bluetooth headphones. A built-in FM transmitter is ideal for use in a car, as this allows you to wirelessly stream sound from the W980i to an FM radio. There is no Memory Stick slot for extra storage, but most users should be happy with the 8GB of internal memory (the same as the base model iPhone 3G).
In addition to the standard Walkman software, the W980i includes 'Shake it!' technology which allows you to skip tracks with the flick of your wrist and TrackID, where you can record a few seconds of any song and be sent title album and artist information.
The W890i is HSDPA capable and call quality is loud and clear. The hands-free speakerphone also works effectively for both phone calls and music playback. An FM radio rounds out the entertainment options, while the 3.2-megapixel camera on the rear takes reasonable photos. Unfortunately, the camera lacks autofocus and a flash; the latter’s exclusion makes night-time photography near impossible.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 2 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 3 Parrot Mambo Drone review
- 4 Evapolar USB air conditioner review
- 5 Hisense Series 7 ULED 4K UHD TV review
Latest News Articles
- Google Keep adds app shortcuts, pinned messages in update
- New Windows 10 preview adds an iPhone Live Photos rival, Windows Ink improvements
- Google Phone app 5.1 adds in new gestures and interface tweaks
- Some reports of faulty Note7s invalidated
- Samsung hikes recall incentives to retain Note7 customers
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: The new best Android phone
- TV buying guide: What to look for when buying a TV in 2016
- Best iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus plans: Optus vs Telstra vs Vodafone vs Virgin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCHead of Digital (Technology Manager - Digital Transformations)NSW
- CCContract IT Assistant (PC LAN Support) 161114/ITA/411Asia
- CCSenior Siebel Business AnalystACT
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (JAVA/Web) 161011/AP/145Asia
- CCPerformance AnalystNSW
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (J2EE/Oracle/SQL) 161018/AP/812Asia
- FTSenior Commercial and Bid ManagerVIC
- CCContract Junior Programmer (J2EE/SQL) 161019/JP/552Asia
- FTWeb DeveloperNSW
- CCData ScientistVIC
- CCContract Systems Analyst (Oracle/Unix/WebLogic) 161020/SA/693Asia
- CCICT Project Reporting Planning CoordinatorNSW
- CCSenior Java Analyst Programmer - Front Office TradingNSW
- FTSoftware Developers - .Net 4.6NSW
- CCSenior Developer - C++/Perl/PythonNSW
- CCBusiness Process Specialist/AnalystNSW
- CCCloud Security Services SpecialistVIC
- FTUX Design LeadNSW
- CCDigital Solutions ManagerNSW
- CCContract Junior Programmer (Internet/ Intranet) 161025/JP/vhaAsia
- CCDevOps/Automation EngineerNSW
- CCQlikview DeveloperNSW
- FTScrum MasterNSW
- FTProduct ManagerVIC