Sony Ericsson W8 review: Robot dance
No pause and rewind. Fast forward instead and rebrand. The Sony Ericsson W8 is an Xperia X8 in Walkman guise. There's not even a hint of surprise about it. The Sony Ericsson W8 has no new tricks up its sleeve. Itís a year old droid with an ear for music. And this droid has a smile on its face, knowing it has no tough battles to fight or anything to prove. Safe in the knowledge that it may as well kick the snot out of most mp3 players out there.
Walkman has been lying low, the Sony Ericsson Yendo the closest they've been lately to a headline-grabber. Compared to the Yendo dumbphone, the W8 is a Swiss army knife. Itís a smartphone and will see to it that you're connected, be it your precious social network or the entire web. It has access to the Android Market and a good simple music player with storage for thousands of songs.
- Quad-band GSM/EDGE, HSDPA 900/2100 / HSDPA 850/1900/2100
- 3.0" capacitive TFT touchscreen of HVGA resolution, 16M colors
- Scratch-resistant screen coating
- Android OS v2.1 Eclair with custom Sony Ericsson UI, featuring Timescape
- Qualcomm MSM7227 600 MHz processor, 168 MB RAM
- 128 MB onboard storage, microSD card slot (up to 16GB), 2GB card included
- 3 megapixel fixed-focus camera with geotagging, VGA video @ 30fps
- Wi-Fi connectivity
- Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP
- Built-in GPS receiver, digital compass
- microUSB port, charging enabled
- Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
- Excellent audio quality
- FM radio with RDS
- Accelerometer for UI auto-rotate
- Social networking integration
- Limited storage for installing third-party apps
- Outdated Android version
- No multi-touch support
- Camera has no autofocus
- No DivX video support out of the box
- microSD slot under the battery cover
- No secondary video-call camera
- Fingerprint-prone glossy finish
There are some compromises, but they're inherited. The W8 owes them to its Xperia sibling. The lack of multi-touch and the outdated Android version immediately come to mind. In the camera department, the deal-breakers are the lack of autofocus and flash. There are almost no settings available either. The list goes on but no phone is perfect.
Or, shall we say, no cheap phone is perfect? With the right price tag, the Sony Ericsson W8 could be the entry-level smartphone of choice for those with fond memories of Walkman. The music credentials will be a serious boost to an already half decent package. No doubt, the Xperia X8 needed an update - along with the rest of the Xperia lineup. There couldn't have been a better (easier?) way to freshen it up than the Walkman branding. Itís fun, fresh and no frills. On top of that Ė itís Android.
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