Device Advice: Sony Ericsson W995, best of both worlds?

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The W995 is based on the 8-megapixel C905 Cyber-shot, which is not a good start to this review because although the C905 is an excellent phone, it continues to suffer problems with its earpiece and speaker. But before you get too worried that this is another dud Sony Ericsson handset, you’re way off the mark.

When Cyber-shot and Walkman were two distinctly different brands, Sony Ericsson purposely crippled a certain level of functionality on each phone to give them their enhanced music or camera credentials.

A turnaround has seen the manufacturer combine the two elements into the new range of ‘Entertainment Unlimited’ devices. Sony Ericsson has made a last attempt to produce a highend Walkman device and instead of throwing in a 3-megapixel camera, the W995 has the same 8.1-megapixel sensor as the C905.

Where this becomes recognised as a Walkman phone is when it’s seen from either side – the dedicated Walkman button comes into view on the left, with three keys to pause/play, forward and rewind on the right. Beneath that are two small volume keys, but they’ve been raised enough to make it possible to press them without too much precision.

However, the Walkman is far too easily pressed by accident when the phone is held but be sure to point out that it won’t just start playing music should you press it. The internal speakers are loud too, but the W995 comes bundled with a desktop stand that has even louder speakers.

Video
The W995 can play a range of video formats and users can simply drag and drop files from their PC or Mac over the supplied USB cable, or use the Media Go software to compress and encode smaller videos for playback on the 2.7-inch screen. The back of the phone also reveals a pop-out metal stand.

Full review in Mobile News issue 447 (September 7, 2009).

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