Holiday gift guide 2007: Our Christmas carol
Headphones in your ears
Traditionally, Sony Ericsson Walkman phones are ruling the music-oriented mobile phones market. This year we saw the advent of the new generation of Walkman phones - we saw the Shake Control feature introduced for the first time and we saw an 8GB Walkman phone.
The Sony Ericsson W910 is a really neat mobile phone - slim, well designed, stylish and it comes bundled with some exciting technology - the Shake Control. It allows you to control your music player with only a shake of your hand. Besides, the top-of-the line music player, the Sony Ericsson W910 also offers lightning fast response in all scenarios plus a great display.
The Sony Ericsson W960 is the flagship of the Walkman series with a large touchscreen display, Symbian OS, and probably the most enhanced Walkman music player currently. Oh, and did we mention the 8GB of storage space available to the user? Anyways, while we did a relatively unfavorable review on the Sony Ericsson W960 mainly because of its disappointing looks, that bloke is still a viable option when choosing a mobile phone/music player this year.
Having 8GB of storage space onboard is surely exciting for music fans, so a couple of other manufacturers threw in some of that magic into their handsets, too.
The Apple iPhone 8GB features plenty of storage for your tracks and videos. The unique touchscreen interface and the wonderful 3.5-inch 16M color TFT display make it a great music and video player without any doubt. It also sports Wi-Fi support and the greatest web browser on a mobile device to-date. The only downside we find with its usability is the iTunes synchronization program. It's the only way to upload content to the iPhone and this piece of software offers probably the worst user-friendliness levels we've seen lately. But let's not spoil the first impression of the Apple iPhone, it's a wonderful music player and a good mobile phone, too.
The Nokia N81 is the next 8GB mobile phone that just might do the trick for you. While the previously mentioned cell phones are better at music reproduction quality, at least as far as our audio quality tests go, you won't find a recent Nokia mobile that sounds better than this baby. The Nokia N81 8GB offers a host of other multimedia features that would make listening to music and watching videos on the relatively big 2.4" 16M color display more enjoyable.
You should also consider…
It's worth pointing out that all Samsung phones are great at music reproduction quality. It seems that the South Korean company is embedding the same high quality sound hardware in all of its mobiles - even the cheaper ones such as Samsung E200 or Samsung E250. So if you pick a Samsung offering for your next music mobile, you won't be making a mistake. Just make sure you listen to your music at the loudest volume level - it seems to be producing the best result with Samsung amplifiers.
Sony Ericsson also has a mid-tier offering that not only sound good, but also looks good, too. The Sony Ericsson W580 is a Walkman slider with a little something for the sports-minded user too. It features a slim profile, a nice display, and a pedometer, which will help you in your sports endeavors. It also has a calorie counter for storing all those calories burnt on the track.
Samsung E200 (EUR 125) • Samsung E250 (115) • Sony Ericsson W580 (EUR 200) | review
Last year's tops were…
Last year's music phone offerings probably won't offer today's cutting edge technology, but they are just as good in terms of audio quality plus they would probably cost a good deal less, so they deserve a look as well.
All prices are strictly indicative. They are taken from various online resources and they do not include taxes or carrier subsidies. Your local street prices will probably differ.