Sony Ericsson W760 review: Walkman meets GPS
Flashy user interface
The user interface in W760 has the well-known Sony Ericsson feature phone styling, spiced up with a few new features.
The first thing to mention is the changes in the main menu layout. Except the traditional 4 x 3 grid, the main menu can now be diversified with a couple of alternative views: rotating and single icon. Of course if a Flash lite theme supports another layout, you can enjoy that as well.
The next obvious change is icon animation - the difference is most appreciated when a standard Sony Ericsson theme is applied. When you select an icon it smoothly pops up on the display for a moment before you see the next screen. Besides, there are a number of animated transition effects throughout the interface plus some eye-candy reflections.
The well-known Activity menu offers quick access to selected functions. The Running Apps tab takes care of multi-tasking. A feature we first saw in K850 allows minimizing the dialog window when you receive files via Bluetooth and opening the window on demand through the Running Apps tab. Strangely, this is not the case when you are sending content via Bluetooth.
The Activity menu also offers quick access to recent events, the web menu and the My Shortcuts tab, which is a user-configurable list of favorite features.
As most previous models, the W760 comes with a dedicated Flight mode. When turning on the phone, you may opt to start it directly into Flight mode. The Sony Ericsson W760 cannot work in Flight mode unless a SIM card is inserted, unlike competing Nokia S40 models. Still, the Sony Ericsson UI definitely stands up to the Nokia UI in all other aspects except for the proprietary Nokia Active Standby screen.
Phonebook is generously sized
The phonebook can store up to 1000 entries with a total of 7000 phone numbers available. As usual, you can choose whether the SIM contacts or the phone contacts should be default for the phonebook. Displaying both lists simultaneously is impossible. On a different note, a nice option allows you to auto save to SIM any new contacts that you're saving in the phone memory.
Contacts can be ordered by First or Last name. They are searched by gradual typing of the desired name. When adding a new contact, the first tab of fields offers 7 phone number fields. The second tab is for email and web addresses. The third is for assigning a picture, a custom ringtone, a custom message tone (now that's a new one) and a voice command. The fourth goes for postal details. The last, fifth tab, is for making an additional note and adding a birth date.
When you add the birth date, the phone prompts adding it to the calendar and setting a reminder, which we found to be a handy feature.
When it comes to making calls, a nice feature is the Smart Search, which lists all available contacts in the phonebook starting with the digits typed in the standby screen. The search engine looks up both letter combinations in names and phone numbers that start with the digits entered.
The Calls log is divided into four different tabs. They are: All, Answered (Received), Dialed and Missed. When there are several calls made to a single contact, only the last call gets displayed.
Here is how the Sony Ericsson W760 stacks up against some of the other handsets we've measured in our speakerphone loudness test. The integrated stereo speakers sounded nowhere near the Sony Ericsson best - the W760 turned out average in this loudness test.
|Speakerphone test||Voice, dB||Ringing ||Overall score|
|Sony Ericsson W910||77.5||70.7||82.7|
|Sony Ericsson W960||72.3||73.5||76.7||Very Good|
|Sony Ericsson W760||67.8||65.3||73.5|
You can find more info about our loudspeaker test, as well as the results of other tested devices here.
Messaging pretty sharp
Along with the standard messaging functionality, Sony Ericsson W760 offers the latest Sony Ericsson Manage Messages and Manage Email features, plenty of settings for accounts, and the option to assign categories to messages.
The Manage Messages application allows messages to be moved to memory card or phone memory, arranged by categories, date, size, and contact as well as other functions for improved message handling.
All messages, except emails, use one Inbox. No matter what kind of message has been received, it goes to the shared Inbox. Only emails have their own dedicated Inbox.
When composing a message, the character counter will alert you when you're 20 symbols short of the 160-character limit. The T9 dictionary goes without saying.
With the GSMArena RSS feed we tested the W760 reader located in the messaging menu. When new content is available, a pop-up indication appears on the home screen, prompting to read the news.
The email client in W760 supports dozens of settings and all types of encodings, inherent to more advanced messaging devices. Sony Ericsson W760 can save attachments, no matter if they are supported or unknown file formats. Email messages can be sorted by size, date and time.
|"...The integrated stereo speakers sounded nowhere near the Sony Ericsson best - the W760 turned out Average in our proprietary loudness test..."|
Office documents as Word, Excel and PDF cannot be opened, of course. It's about time that Sony Ericsson add support for those to their feature phones. The document viewer makes wonders for other brands such as Samsung and LG.
Viewing a message in fullscreen mode and changing the font size (small, medium, large) are handy options. There is a separate Manage email application, with the same structure and features as the one for SMS.