Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
Sony Ericsson W760i
A Walkman phone on the Next G network
- Design, build quality, controls, user interface, access to Next G services, HSDPA-capable, built-in GPS
- GPS isn’t completely free, camera is mediocre and lacks flash and autofocus
The W760i is the first Walkman handset to be available on the Next G network. Although it doesn’t offer any outstanding features, the combination of a smooth design, excellent build quality and Sony Ericsson’s Walkman software makes this an excellent handset overall.
Price$ 799.00 (AUD)
The first Walkman handset to be offered on Telstra's Next G network in Australia, the Sony Ericsson W760i continues the fine tradition of quality Walkman mobile phones. Although it doesn't offer any absolutely outstanding features, the combination of HSDPA capabilities, built in-GPS, good multimedia abilities and a great interface make the W760i an excellent all-rounder.
The silver and grey finish gives the handset a more professional than fashion-orientated look. Importantly, the phone's build quality is superb — the spring-operated slider feels smooth and sturdy.
The W760i is extremely easy to use, largely thanks to its slick interface and good controls. In particular, the keypad is excellent — each key is large, well spaced and has good tactile response, so sending messages or even e-mails shouldn't be an issue. The navigational pad, selection buttons and answer/end call keys are also perfectly positioned and comfortable to use.
A large part of the W760i's appeal is access to Telstra's range of services, including Mobile FOXTEL. Other BigPond services include Sensis Search, Yellow Pages, Trading Post and BigPond Photos. We were impressed by with the speed of these services on this handset, especially streaming mobile TV; the W760i didn't suffer from any noticeable lag when browsing.
The W760i comes equipped with a built-in GPS receiver. Included in the main menu is an icon for 'location services', which allows you to download the WhereIs Navigator software. This offers full turn-by-turn navigation with text-to-speech, but it isn't a free product — the software can be used free (inclusive of all data) for seven days, but then users have to pay $15 per month.
The Tracker application is also included on the W760i. Tracker is a fitness program that allows you to keep track of your speed, distance travelled, route taken and energy consumption during a workout session. It's a nifty option to have in your pocket if you regularly train.
The W760i includes the latest Walkman software, and this is integrated closely with all the handset's multimedia options, including video, games and Web feeds. Audio quality is reasonable — the included earphones produce relatively good sound and an adapter allows standard headphones to be used. Surprisingly, sound through the dual external speakers, located beneath the end and answer call keys, is quite reasonable. You can tailor your audio using the five-band equaliser or the four presets, including Sony's proprietary Mega Bass. The W760i also features A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile) which enables you to wirelessly stream your music to a compatible pair of Bluetooth headphones.
In addition to the standard Walkman software, the W760i includes SensME technology, which lets you create a playlist based on mood and tempo; 'Shake it!', 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.
Being a Next G phone, the W760i has dual cameras — a 3.2-megapixel camera on the rear for photographs and a VGA camera on the front for video calling over the Telstra network. Disappointingly, the main camera doesn't include autofocus or a flash, so it's really of little use. It should be fine for the odd happy snap.
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