Sony Ericsson W880 review: No catch, plain thin

GSMArena team, 06 February 2007.
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Web browsing can be fun

Besides 3G and GPRS for fast data transfers, video calls and streaming content support, the handset offers the usual connectivity capabilities such as the USB support and Bluetooth. The handset supports OMA DRM 2.0, which makes it compatible with almost all online music shops.

As we tested, the integrated HTML Access NetFront Internet browser is at a good level and it does its job more than all right. It has a lot of options - you can view the pages fullscreen with no menus showing and you can even browse your Web pages in landscape mode. It has WAP and picture modes. It supports content created for HTML 4.01, xHTML 1.0, CSS and Java script, WAP 2.0. The supported security protocols are SSL/TLS.

Generally, the Smart-fit function of the browser manages well with fitting the web content into the screen. Scrolling is fast once the page has loaded completely. Our impression is that the Smart-fit function has got an upgrade and does its job better than on previous Sony Ericsson models.

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Browsing GSMArena.com with Smart-Fit • Portrait mode • Landscape mode

Now let's try browsing the same way without the Smart-Fit function switched off.

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Browsing GSMArena.com with Smart-Fit off

An added nice feature is that the browser supports zooming in and out of the Web pages of up to 200%.

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Zooming out on 50% • Zooming in on 200%

The handset supports Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP profile, which means that you could use a stereo Bluetooth headset with it and that is something you don't see in every phone nowadays. Another notable thing about the excellent Bluetooth support is the Human Interface Device (HID) profile which allows the phone to be used as a remote control for PC and other Bluetooth-enabled devices. Further on, the phone could be used as a Bluetooth modem for Internet access on a PC or a mobile computer.

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The integrated "Remote" application

The phone has support for local and remote synchronization of contacts and calendar events. The local one is with Outlook and a PC while the remote synchronization is with remote servers. The USB connectivity of the phone has two modes - one for file transfers and one for USB Internet - to put it simply, the second one is for using the phone as a modem. A great feature that we see in every new Sony Ericsson phone nowadays is the capability to update the firmware version of the phone over-the-air, meaning you can download the new version through the phone itself.

And it doesn't end there

This phone offers many time organizing features. There is an Organizer icon in the main menu and it contains several applications: Calendar, Tasks, Notes, Alarms, Calculator, Synchronization, Timer, Stopwatch, Applications and Code memo. The Calendar offers monthly and weekly view. As we have mentioned above, when you add a birth date in the phonebook, the phone asks you if you wish to add it in the calendar too.

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Organizer menu • Calendar monthly view • Calendar weekly view

Tasks can be two types: simple Tasks and Phone calls. Reminders can be put as Subjects. Notes are written as messages; there even is the T9 to assist writing. There are five alarms available. Each one offers a lot of options - you can choose to repeat it on chosen days of the week or everyday. Furthermore, you can add text and a picture to the alarm as well as set its behavior in case the time that the alarm is due to go off comes while the phone is in silent mode.

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Alarms menu

The Voice recorder doesn't have any limit in the duration of the recordings since all the free memory is available for the purposes of the application. The Calculator is the regular Sony Ericsson one, which you have probably already seen. It offers the basic functions with no bells and whistles.

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Voice recorder • Calculator

As far as the additional applications are concerned, the only one available is the World Time. It is Java based and has a nice 3D graphics for finding the needed time zone on a rotating world globe.

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World Time

Some other applications include the MusicDJ, VideoDJ and the Music Mate. VideoDJ is for making video clips from scratch or for editing existing recording using special transition effects and by adding background music. It can be a very amusing application. MusicDJ is a very simple application for creating custom polyphonic melodies.

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VideoDJ application: adding text and music • MusicDJ application

Gaming is on the safe side

Our test W880 had only one game preinstalled - the well-known QuadraPop. It is a Tetris-like game, which can be rather amusing if you are in the right mood.

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QuadraPop

Final words

The Sony Ericsson W880 is a great addition to the Sony Ericsson lineup. Furthermore it is a really intriguing addition to the group of the slimmest champion mobile phones in the market. Since most of those doesn't feature 3G support, the W880 will most surely find its market niche and would gain strong popularity.

We are impressed with the usability of the device, the nice technical specifications, the great music player and the decent battery life. All in all, a great move from Sony Ericsson that would win them a lot of fans. Well, as it seems, the Sony Ericsson W880 was surely worth the commotion and all that months of waiting.

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