Sony Ericsson W900 review: Walkman the Third

David Polesný, 03 January 2006. Read the original review at MobilMania.cz
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Pleasant both at look and touch

Sony Ericsson W900's display is one of the best on the current market. It occupies a lot of the space on phone's front cover. It has 240 × 320 pixels with 262K colors. Below the display there is a group of functional keys, dominated by a control button with confirming central element. The control button is chromium-plated. The functional keys gathered around it are elaborated in the same color like the plastic material that surrounds them. Here you will find a pair of context keys accompanied by the Back and the C buttons. The lower line constitutes of special functional keys, which provide access to Internet, establish a video call connection and open the Activity menu.

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Display is big • a camera for video conversations is located above the display • the quality of the display is outstanding

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The phone only needs to be open when you enter a number or text. The rest of the functions can be controlled with the device closed.

More buttons are to be found on the sides of Sony Ericsson W900. On its right side there is a traditional volume button, which controls both the volume and the zoom, and a camera release button. On its left side you will find a tiny chromium-plated button, which starts the music player, and a sliding key that locks the keypad. BTW, this type of locking system is usually quite practical. In this particular model, however, the rotating construction may puzzle you as to where the locking button should be looked for. When the phone is open, the locking key is on the right, when closed, it is on the left. No matter how simple it sounds, it is in fact quite confusing. Besides, the keypad lock suffers from another drawback, the most serious to my opinion: it gets automatically deactivated when the phone is opened, which happens at the slightest swing of the rotating part. When you close the phone again, the keypad lock does not resume anymore. Due to this I would often pull the phone out of my pocket only to see that its display is covered with gibberish.

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Volume button

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Music button, keypad lock and memory card slot on one side • volume key, camera release button and infrared port on the other

In terms of control however the entire keypad is worth a compliment. The navigating key is big enough; its protruding margin facilitates the control process, while its middle part creates a comfortable pillow for the thumb. All functional keys move quietly; their uplift is relatively minor. When you confirm selected options, a clear click can be heard.

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Keypad is brilliant; the only inconvenience here is its distribution into two levels

The numeric section of the keypad consists of separate large buttons, whose surface slightly differs from the surrounding plastic material. However the difference is however recognizable and facilitates orientation in the dark. Keys' touch is fluent and allows for fast SMS writing. Considering the abundance of space on W900's surface, its keypad is located a bit far from the display, which I find helpful, for it prevents this long device from bending over.

The backlighting of the keypad is very interesting. In the dark entire keys radiate in white with a slight green nuance. Due to poor light distribution, however, stray streaks on the keys are clearly visible. In result, the final effect is quite impressive, no matter how much intention was placed in it, if any.

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In this particular case the unevenness of the backlighting seems intentional

Durability

The most attractive element on the back side of the device is the assembly of the camera lens, the tiny mirror and the LED flash, all framed in orange. The camera is not protected by a removable cover as usual in other Sony Ericsson models, which is a pity. Next to the camera lens there is a grid covering the loud speaker and a blank connector for the external antenna.

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The camera lens is not protected with a cover, unfortunately • as usual, the grid hides the loud speaker

The battery and its removable cover dominate the rear cover of the phone. The accumulator is lithium-polymer with a capacity of 900 mAh. According to official sources SE W900 has a stand-by of 370 hours and can back up 500 minutes of phone calls. Of course, the truth usually is somewhere else. During three days I had Bluetooth constantly active, I would leave the phone on through the night, I listened to music for approximately an hour, I had a 10-minute video conversation and 20 minutes of phone calls, and I played an infinite number of games, sent plenty of messages and browsed the internet quite frequently. SE W900 managed it all. It ran out of energy on the fourth day. Charging is over within an hour and a half.

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Battery's bed

Among other things on the right side of the phone you will also find the infrared port, whose dark plate does not go with the surrounding design at all. The opposite side of the device features a tiny system LED and the memory card slot, which is protected by a rubber cover. The system connector located in the bottom side is also protected by a cap. When the phone is opened, however, it appears on the top, which makes it really difficult to access.

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System connector is protected by a cap, which is not easy to lose

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Memory cards can be replaced while the device is running

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Earphones plugged into the system connector

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