Sony Ericsson W660 review: A gentle music soul

Kuruc Jiř, 14 August 2007. Read the original review at MobilMania.cz
Pages: 123

A dazzling handset with a music talent: Sony Ericsson W660 will not only charm the ladies with its delicate beauty, it will connect them to the world and entertain them, too.

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Key features

  • Elegant and nicely sized
  • UMTS with video calls
  • 2 megapixel camera
  • Comes with a high-quality headset
  • Comes with a 512MB memory card
  • Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP stereo support
  • Nice legible display
  • Very good music player
  • FM radio with RDS

Main disadvantages

  • Camera lacks autofocus and LED
  • No EDGE
  • Average display resolution
  • Mass Storage for the memory card only
  • Records video in QCIF (176 x 144 pixels) resolution only
  • A bit overpriced

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The new Sony Ericsson W660 in red and black

A dandy with an ear for music

Outspokenly tech and sporty, Sony Ericsson's Walkman Series have so far seemed intended to attract men. A Walkman handset could hardly be seen in a lady's hand, let alone that of a fashion sensitive female user. Yet, the appeal of portable music devices has never seemed to depend on gender. And Sony Ericsson figured it out: W660. With W660, Sony Ericsson follows the trail blazed by Nokia, trying to fill all the niches on the market.

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These advertising images leave no doubt that Sony Ericsson W660 targets women

Finished in red and gold, Sony Ericsson W660 is the latest and most delicate addition to the Walkman Series. Red is the dominant color with highlights of gold on a few details like the stripe along the sides of the device, the navigation keys, and the Walkman logo. The rear panel is especially attractive - half of it is made of smooth plastic covering the battery, while the other half is encrusted with fine flower ornaments, with the camera lens and speaker amidst. In the black version of SE W660 the flower-like ornaments are replaced by fine concentric circles. The handset is truly a piece to brag about.

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Smooth plastic surface coexists with flower-like engravings surrounding the camera lens

A wrist strap eyelet is placed at the bottom of the battery cover. UMTS-enabled, Sony Ericsson W660 has another camera lens on the front, above the display. The earpiece is marked by three horizontally placed dots. Circles are a repetitive decoration element; most of the controls in these handsets are of a round shape. Beneath the display there are 6 selection keys and a 5-way navigation key. All controls are of quite small size and therefore inconvenient for users with larger fingers. Sorry, gentlemen. Ladies, on the contrary, are likely to find them truly enjoyable.

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Circles are everywhere: from the lens of the video-call camera and the speaker grill, to the control keys

The bottom of the phone only features a Fast-port connector and a microphone grill. On the left side you will see the Memory Stick Micro card slot. The slot is protected by a plastic cap, which is fixed to the body of the device and thus hard-to-lose. A little higher on the same side is the play/stop button, which will only work if the keypad is unlocked. On the other side of the phone is the camera button. It's only got a capture function, as the camera lacks autofocus. At the very top edge of the right side you will find the volume rocker, which works even when the keypad is locked. The on/off button, which also changes ringing profiles, is the only control on the top side of the Sony Ericsson W660.

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This golden stripe wrapping all four sides of the device holds a few important keys

Reliable keypad

The display takes almost half of the front panel. In technical terms, it's an average-quality active 262K color TFT display with a resolution of 176 x 220 pixels. While the number of colors displayed is not that important, resolution is usually crucial and we find it insufficient in the case of SE W660. In fact, QVGA has long been considered standard in handsets of this class. On the other hand, the display of Sony Ericsson W660 is perfectly legible under direct sunlight, which is almost as important as resolution. We recommend you use color schemes of maximum contrast in bright summer days, preferably those with black font on white background. Visibility under direct sunlight usually suffers with darker schemes.

Navigation and selection keys operate a standard menu, which needs little presentation. Typical for all Walkman phones, the dedicated Walkman Player shortcut is also present here. The navigation key is enhanced with Walkman Player controls.

The phone features a standard numeric keypad, though kind of crammed down to the bottom of the handset. The keys are made of rather soft plastic material and are therefore a bit unstable. Nevertheless, in contrast to the control keys, they are big and tactile enough to minimize typing errors. The backlighting of the keypad is white and uneven.

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Walkman to the core: music player controls are so important that the keypad was practically pushed to the bottom

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