Sony Ericsson W800 review: Walkman, camera, phone

Michal Sedlák, 12 August 2005. Read the original review at MobilMania.cz
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Let's Rock'n'Roll

Listening to music through the earphones does not exclude simultaneous usage of other applications. Even if you run more than one functions at the same time, the speed of the menu remains exceptional. The other stunning moment comes when you put the earphones into your ears. The longer you leave them there, the more contented you will be.

The earphones need to be plugged into the Fast Port connector. If you let you hand slide down the supplying wire, it will run into a tiny clip, which allows the cable to be fixed onto user's clothes. The clip can be moved all along the cable or removed fully. Right behind it you will find a classic 3.5 mm jack connector. Due to it you have the chance to use your own earphones as well. If you do so, you need to be very careful with the supplying cable for the distance between the phone and the slot of the connector is not short at all. Moreover, make sure you have also counted the length of the supplying cable of your earphones.

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Earphones • have special extension • a standard jack

The original "plugs" are equipped with long wires so that one can place them around their neck. As usually, Sony Ericsson is very particular about details - on the cable you will find a mouldable sleeve with the manufacturer's logo.

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Plugging into Fast Port • one can use their own earphones as well

The earphones are equipped with soft rubber extensions, which you can insert deep into your ears. Similar to Koss The Plug, for example, they pad the sound supply and then use it as a sound media. The resulting reproduction is first-rate. Bass elements are perfect. In terms of quality they are comparable to Koss Sporta Pro. A bit worse (yet still quite good) is the band of the medium and the high frequency, where standard open earphones do better.

Let's make the city hush

Sony Ericsson's earphones remind me of 2+1 speaker sets for PC. I mean the better quality ones, like Logitech Z-3 or Hercules XPS 2.100, whose bass elements are perfect and soft, higher medium ones are somewhat unstable and to enjoy the sound of the guitars, for example, you need to buy another, better speaker set. All this is present in the performance of W800's earphones. Anyway, these are the best earphones you can get attached to a MP3 player in a delivery box, not to mention the fact that here they are basically delivered together with a mobile phone. They are not the type of earphones you would immediately replace. Just on the contrary.

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There are rubber extensions of three different sizes in the box

Thanks to the sealing you will be able to comfortably listen to your favourite music both at home and in a crowded street. Walking the city streets with earphones plugged in your ears you will probably feel as if the whole world has activated its "mute" mode. It is almost impossible to hear a passing-by car. The plus is that the noise that surrounds you cannot affect the MP3 sound. On the other hand, it brings along huge risks for without your ears your main defensive reactions are basically reduced to zero. And this is dangerous indeed.

Radio and RDS

If you go tired of your own music, you can turn on the radio. To start it, just plug in the earphones. Then you can play it through the loud speaker as well. The radio is stereophonic; the sound is very stable. Of course, it depends on the position of the supplying wire that serves as an antennae and leads to the earphones. But generally, stations are very easy to find.

The radio uses RDS. It displays the name of the current station or even additional information, provided it is being broadcasted - like performers' names or songs' titles. The radio offers 20 saving positions for stations in the frequency scale of 87.5 up to 108.0 MHz. You can either search yourself, or leave the automatic mode to do so. The latter works perfectly. It finds the station with the strongest broadcast almost immediately and saves it into the memory at your will. Within the memory however, you need to manually enter the names of the saved stations. The phone does not assign them automatically.


Radio • station titles have to be assigned additionally

In the Sony Ericsson K750 we were complaining about strange clunky sounds coming out every second or so while the radio broadcasts. In W800 they have been eliminated. Its radio tunes automatically when you travel and you pass different broadcasting frequencies. Sound is more or less satisfactory, thanks to the quality of the earphones, mainly.

Making calls

Sony Ericsson W800 offers a traditionally high-rate call sound, even though a little bit wider volume scale could have come in handy too. The sound becomes even better if you plug in the earphones - something you will need to do almost all the time, anyway. Do not forget that W800 is a real walkman. The connector situated in the middle pat of the cable serves as a base for the microphone of the handsfree set. The button situated on the connector is to be used when you need to accept or deny an incoming call. Sound is brilliant.

As a ringing sound the phone offers files in MID, AMR or MP3 format. Surprisingly, files' sound is much better when they are played in the player than when they are used as ringing sounds for incoming calls. In the latter case they are much too high and thus quite unpleasant. Sony Ericsson W800 rings very loudly. In no case shall you miss an incoming call, no matter where the phone is hidden.

Ringing is easy to hear while the phone is playing music as well. The mobile handsfree profile gets activated automatically once the earphones have been connected. Incoming calls stop the music player. In the earphones you will hear the ringing sound that has been installed. To accept a call, press the button mounted in the middle of the cable. The message system works on the same principal. You will easily recognize new messages by their specific melody or tone. Once the ringing has stopped or the message tone has been muted, the player continues its function from the moment where it stopped.

Phonebook is very good

For some users a phone book of 500 names capacity is insufficient. I would like to believe though that for most of you they will be enough. Anyhow, W800's phonebook is better than the ones of its forerunners. When you search through the contacts, the only detail that gets displayed is the outcoming number. To search for more tags, use the right and left arrows. Email addresses appear almost immediately.


Searching numbers

Every name can be assigned 5 types of phone numbers, each of which can appear only once. In addition, each number type can be assigned a specific voice dialling. The other tags are: user's ID for Instant Messaging, web address, picture, one's own ringing, title, company's name, street, city, region, post code, country, note, and birthday. When you enter birthday details, the phone asks you, whether you would like it to save them into the calendar too.


Number of tags available within each contact is abundant indeed

When you decide to synchronize, you are given two options to choose between: whether the phonebook should display as first person's first name or their last name. All names can be sorted into groups. The phonebook, however, does not allow that each group is given a specific picture or ringing tone, these settings are assigned on per contact basis. Calls are filtered on a group base.

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