Sony Ericsson W880i 3G Phone Review

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Slim Slim Candybar...

The Sony Ericsson W880i was officially launched in February, 2007 and follows in the jet stream of top sellers like the W810.

At this point its worth confirming that Sony Ericsson have sold over 20 million Walkmans to date and my guess is this will continue for sometime yet.

The review phone was on "Orange" and it performed well.

The W880i certainly has its fair share of the "wow" factor. This is attributable to the fact that it is a genuine bantamweight which oozes charisma from the outset. Of particular note, is its brushed stainless steel finish and the stand-out colour variants - either Steel Silver or Flame Black.

Looking at the figures, the W880i weighs in at just 71 grams and is a mere 9.4mm thick. This makes it the thinnest Sony Ericsson Walkman yet.

Click for larger photo
Click for larger photo

An important topic for a Walkman is obviously the music capabilities and this one does not disappoint. Hit the dedicated music button and it takes you straight to the Walkman music player.

OK you need to store a lot of downloaded tracks. How does 235 MP3s sound ? That's what the supplied 1GB Memory Stick Micro gives you. You need to be able to get these onto your mobile phone in the first place so there's Walkman Player 2.0 and Disc2Phone. Of course, this also allows you to search through your play list easily.

You can’t argue with the sound quality either. Even the supplied in-ear phones issue a decent sound. And the 3.5mm remote jack means you can plug in your better quality cans ( you use the supplied 3.5mm headphone adapter ). We hooked up our Sennheiser PX200 headphones, lined up the Gnarls Barkley LP, St Elsewhere (sampled at 192Kbps) and experienced a masterful performance, with a great rounded fidelity and punchy bass.

With Bluetooth Audio Streaming, all your music can be enjoyed wirelessly using a Stereo Bluetooth Headset or you could stream music directly to a home or car stereo with a Music Bluetooth Receiver. An easy way to download polyphonic ringtones or MP3s is to use PlayNow.

I hear alarm bells ringing. Music phone with lots of guzzling applications working away. Yes battery life ? Don't worry - all has been introduced without having to compromise on battery life. Sony Ericsson says the W880i can deliver up to 18 hours music listening time. We had no problem lasting 2 days of general use before a recharge was needed.

OK it has pleased our ears but what about our eyes ? The camera is 2-megapixel with a 1.8-inch, 262,000-color, QVGA screen and 2.5x digital zoom. Of course it lacks auto-focus. flash and an LED photo light. Its simply a general purpose cameraphone with lower resolution than the autofocus models. One of its strengths is that it has a bright, crisp display screen.

Let's switch to what's in the box. The list of goodies is : handset, battery, М2 memory card (1 Gb), USB data cable, CD with software, wired stereo-headset HPM-75, charger, and the user guide . The only thing missing is a pair of attachable fingers smaller than your own with sticky type finger tips. OK, let me explain below.

Click for larger photo
Click for larger photo

Finger fiddly bad

Look out here's the sidewinder. It's the keypad that I have dubbed "finger fiddly bad". The sixteen number and symbol keys are strange. They protrude a bit and are very thin making it extremely awkward to hit the right key and the right key only. How infuriating.

The four-way navigational key is much easier to use. Its edges have been raised for the top and bottom functions which aid the navigation experience. I suspect gamers will need to spend sometime perfecting their technique from pressing the keypads with thumbnails ( if you aint bitten em off ) rather than their fingertips.

A quick roundup of some useful things : Picture blogging; PictBridge; Face warp application; flight mode; IM, full HTML browser with RSS, USB mass storage and PC synchronization and some missing goodies : no FM radio, no Infrared and no support for EDGE.

The Sony Ericsson user interface is slick with a number of animated themes. Whilst flicking through the menu options you will notice a vibration feature to aid navigation. Menu options, as with all Walkmans, are colourful and animated.

There's a one-button access to Google's blogger service which is fast becoming very popular. The SIM-card socket and battery is located under the back cover. The battery needs to be removed to swap the Sim card.

The W880i is a real heartbreaker. First it wows you but then that keypad infuriates you. Yes, after a few days I have mastered it but still not totally happy.

I may be biased. but I have always liked Sony Ericsson phones and especially Walkmans. If you love someone or something you can tolerate a few misgivings - such as lack of some camera functions, no FM radio and of course the " finger fiddly bad " keypad.

The bottom line is that the Sony Ericsson W880i should be classed as a "Bantamweight Walkman" and gets a "thumbs-up" from 3G.co.uk.

Check out this handset at 3G's own store
Review date
6th March, 2007 by 3G.co.uk editorial staff
Best features
Light bantamweight walkman
Bright and clear screen.
 
Top-notch music player

1GB memory stick micro

 

Two-megapixel camera

Specification
 Details
Size
103 x 46.5 x 9.4 mm
Weight
71 grams
Display
QVGA 262k TFT display
Display resolution
240x320 pixel
Camera
2-megapixel - Digital zoom 2.5x
Video recording / playback
Yes/ Yes
Audio playback
Music tones MP3, AAC
Connectivity
Bluetooth2 , USB ( but no Infrared )
Internal memory
16MB
Memory card slot
1GB Memory Stick Micro (M2) in box
Java
Yes
Games
3D game Quadrapop
Messaging

SMS, MMS

Email client

POP3, SMTP

Ringtones
Polyphonic MP3, AAC
Internet browser
NetFront Web Browser
GPRS
Yes
Frequency
Triband plus 3G UMTS 2100
Talktime
6.5 hours
Standby
17 days standby
Pros

A touch of the wow factor packaged in a light slim walkman.

Cons
Camera lacks autofocus, No FM radio and the keypad is strange and awkward.
Verdict
Sony Ericsson reach bantanweight class with the W880i and receive a big thumbs-up from 3G.co.uk.
3G Total Score
89%
Check out this handset at 3G's own store
 

This review covers the above mobile phone only and does not address the performance of any 3G Network. The score is based on a 3G mobile phone checklist.

Copyright : You are advised that this material is the copyright of www.3G.co.uk and is our own personal view only. (C) All rights reserved 2007. Whist every care has been taken in the preparation of this review, the author nor 3G.co.uk cannot be held responsible for the accuracy or authenticity of the information it contains, or consequence arising from it.