Sony Ericsson W900 review: Walkman the Third

David Polesný, 03 January 2006. Read the original review at
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Text, picture and sound

Sony Ericsson W900 manages SMS, MMS, and emails. In this aspect the phone is comparable to all Sony Ericsson's previous high-class models.

The SMS editor offers five lines of text capacity, which is not much, considering the size of the display, but it is not too bad either. Traditionally, Sony Ericsson does not permit changes in the font size. Writing is facilitated by the T9 dictionary. It offers the most frequently used words and seems quite practical. It learns new words as well.

Messages menu • writing a SMS • creating a MMS

The number of written characters appears at the very end of the created SMS. This however does not have a negative impact on the practical aspect of the entire application. In each message you can insert simple EMS pictures or MMS (to insert a MMS, just switch to the MMS editor).

The MMS editor has not been modified. It offers the same comfort as older models. A MMS can contain texts, pictures, sounds and videos, but should not exceed 300 KB. All functions are perfectly organized. In the section "Create a new message" you will also run across an option called "Voice message". This is a MMS, which consists of sound only. It is created even faster for you only need to run the voice recorder, pronounce your message and send it right on by a single press on the appropriate button.

Once you have written your message, you have to select the addressee. One of the smartest solutions in Sony Ericsson mobile phones is the possibility to search in the list of last used contacts, apart from the standard number or name searching options.

All delivered text and multimedia messages are gathered in a common folder. Each type is marked by a tiny icon and thus easy to recognize. Email messages are stored separately.

Email menu • creating a new email

The email client has not undergone almost any modifications, so let me describe it briefly. You can set up several different accounts, but the email client is able to manage only one of them at a time. Emails can be marked with a ringing melody that differs from the one used in SMS or MMS. The phone manages all types of sounds, no matter whether pre-installed or such of your own. However this function is very easy to pass over, especially in the audio setup menu (inside the audio setup menu for messages go to the last item and substitute it). Let's go back now to emails. You can download entire emails or their headers only. Incoming mail can be checked automatically in various intervals from several minutes up to 12 hours. The email client supports attachments of course. You can even send a full-resolution picture from the camera application. The phone opens incoming attachments without a problem. Unrecognized files are saved into the memory space.

High-class MP3 player

Quite understandably, the music player is one of Sony Ericsson W900's main functions. That explains why there are several start options available. You can use either the small button on phone's right side, or the upper way of the control button, or one of the items in the main menu.

Sony Ericsson W900 music player is identical to the one in W800. It plays both MP3 and AAC files. According to the information provided in the ID3 tag it is also able to sort music files by artist and by album. Of course, it plays files without filled ID3 tags too.

In first place in the main menu of the music player you will see a play reference, which starts the last selected list from the moment where it was interrupted. An item called Artists is second in order. Here you will find a list of all artists, whose music tracks are present in the phone's memory. When you select an artist, a second press on the confirm button gets you to the albums' list. A click on the particular album unfolds a list with the music tracks that compose it. To start listening, press play or the middle part of the control key. The player starts from the music file you selected and then proceeds with the next one.

Music player's main menu • creating a playlist

An item called "All" appears on the first place in both the albums' and the artists' list. In the first case it unfolds a list of all music tracks from the particular artist; in the second case it opens a list of all albums from all artists altogether. To search the lists with music files use the vertical arrows of the control key. Voice search is not applicable here.

W900' music player also provides you with the option to create special music lists to your own will. To compose such a list, search the memory and mark off the music files that interest you. Files are not sorted by ID3 tags as you search the phone's structure located in the memory.

Playing music • equalizer settings • displaying track info when the music application has been minimized

Along playing both the artist's name and the name of the album and the music file appear on the display. Here you will also find other useful details - for example, what part of the file has already been played or the position of the relevant song in the entire playing list. The graph indicating the playing process is located in the bottom of the display. A short press on one of the horizontal ways of the control button takes you to the previous or to the former file. A long press takes you further on in the same file. The vertical ways of the control button open the playing list.

The first option to be found in the context menu is Minimize. If you apply it, the music plays on, but you are free to use any other function of the phone. When the player switches to the next track, its name appears for a moment in the upper bar on the display. Besides, the menu offers a random and repeating option, and an equalizer setup option.

The music player plays videos as well. It reads both 3GP and MPEG4 formats. You can view picture in a full-screen mode and watch it horizontally.

Video playing

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