Sony Ericsson W595 review: Music on the slide

GSMArena team, 26 February 2009.
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Unboxing the Sony Ericsson W595

Sony Ericsson W595 has all you may possibly need in its retail package. A battery charger, USB data cable and a headset is stuff you take for granted. The stereo headphones are bass-reflex type, but look a bit modest.

It's a two-piece headset with a large Stereo Share adapter in the middle, which has two 3.5 mm plugs, so you can use two set of earphones of your choice and share your music with a friend.

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A well stocked box

On top of the standard equipment, the W595 ships with a 2 gig M2 card, which most users find enough for storing their favorite songs. Finally a bunch of leaflets fill the rest of the retail box.

Sony Ericsson W595 360-degree spin

Design and construction

Expected to succeed the W580, the W595 has the same slider form factor and superior looks. The metallic accents and rubbery surface on the back and sides of the W595 really boost the handling and aesthetics of the device. The symmetrical slanting top and bottom remind us of the good old W580 and the elderly, but still cool Sony Ericsson W910 and are much to our liking.

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Sony Ericsson W595

Measuring 100 x 47 x 14 mm and weighing 104g, the W595 is quite pocketable. The 2.2" 262K-color QVGA display takes up most of the front panel and is a real point in favor of the Sony Ericsson W595. It sports a really sharp and lively image with great contrast and brightness levels, reminding us of the W902 we recently reviewed.

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A 2.2" 262K-color QVGA display is mounted on the W595

The keys below the display are just the same as the Sony Ericsson W902 in terms of functionality but this time they are much larger and thus more comfortable to use.

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The keys below the display are large and easy to use

The keypad is revealed by sliding the Sony Ericsson W595 open. We generally found it comfortable to use although it is somewhat lacking in terms of tactile feedback. The keys are large with sufficient spacing between each, making it easy to type without looking at the keypad. The keys also seem durable, so the W580's notorious cracking keypad issues seem unlikely with the W595.

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The keypad deserves a good general mark

The Walkman key on the Sony Ericsson W595 is on the right side and grants access to the same features as on the W902 - accessing the Walkman player and using the Shake control. The key is however a bit smaller than we would have liked it to be. It's rather hard to press but you would probably get used to it.

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The Walkman key takes some time to get used to the left and right side

The Sony Ericsson W595 is equipped with large and loud stereo speakers, each placed at the sloping top and bottom. This layout is rather useful if you listen to music with the phone laid on a flat surface. Thankfully, the Sony Ericsson logo on the back of the W595 is embedded, so resting the phone on a table will cause no wobbles.

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The stereo speakers are on either end of the device

The three megapixel camera lens is located at the back. Unlike the W902, the W595 lacks a flash to help with night-time shooting. Now, add that to the fixed focus and you get the idea that photography wasn't high on the company's list of priorities with this phone. As you might suspect, there's no protective lens cover either.

But don't let all that put you off, the W595 is stall capable of producing some really nice shots, which you'll see in the dedicated chapter of this review.

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The 3 megapixel camera is at the back - no flash and no cover

The battery cover fits tightly to the back of the body. The only problem is with removing the cover as it's the pry-to-open type seen on a lot of the recent phones by SE.

To open it up you have to pull really hard on the top right corner, which bends the back panel pretty hard before it gets released. The plastic is pretty thin and after frequent bending it may crack - just as it did on our unit. Let's hope you don't need to exchange your SIM or memory card too often.

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The cracked battery cover

Once you get the hang of the battery cover of the W595, underneath you will find the 950 mAh BST-33 Li-Po battery. It is quoted at 9 hours of talk time and 385 hours of stand-by time, which is basically the same as the Sony Ericsson W902.

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The BST-33 Li-Po battery delivers very good performance

The other thing of interest under the Sony Ericsson's W595 back panel is the M2 card slot, which is used for expanding the 40 MB of built-in memory. The 2 GB card that ships with the handset will probably be enough for most users but the rest can opt for higher capacity cards.

The general build quality of the Sony Ericsson W595 is great. The handset feels solid in the hand and the rubberized surface also provides one of the best grips we have seen on a mobile phone - the W595 just sticks to your hand.

Finally, the rounded shape on both the upper and bottom sides makes the W595 very pocket friendly. Combine that with the thin size and you get an almost perfectly constructed phone.

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The Sony Ericsson W595 literally sticks to your hand

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