Sony Ericsson W995 review: Ready, set, play
So many games
The Sony Ericsson W995 packs seven preinstalled games, some of them using the motion sensor: Bowling, Bubble Town, Diamond Island, Guitar Rock Tour, NitroStreet Racing, Playman Extreme Running and Real Football 2008.
Bowling is a small but fantastic game using the motion sensor. Choose your position, direction and then swing with your hand and watch what happens. It's great fun and you can play in tournaments with your friends.
The next game is Bubble Town. It's a simple bubble breaking game that involves shooting colored balls and forming three or more identical bubble combinations.
Diamond Islands is the other motion game. You are in charge of a bunch of prehistoric men pushing a giant rectangular block. Your objective is to control them using the motion sensor and collect diamonds on the way to the final destination. In the beginning things are very easy, but in the levels that follow things can get pretty tricky.
If you are fan of the console series Guitar Hero and its siblings, then this one is perfect for you. It has the same logic - you need to press the right buttons at the right time to hit the correct notes and play the song as it should be played.
Nitro Street Racing, as you might guess, is a Need for Speed clone. The objective is simple - you must finish first in the race.
Today running is all the rage and this latest extreme sport already has a 3D game available on computers and consoles - Mirror's Edge. Extreme Running is a copycat of the free 2D version of Mirror's Edge and it's a kind of jump'n'run with some easy quests thrown in. You have to perform various acrobatic moves and spectacular jumps and spins to progress.
What can we say about the last one - it's a standard football game with intuitive controls.
Sony Ericsson W995 is the company's top-ranking Walkman and its spec sheet is clearly set to justify this label. The Flash-based user interface, which we've praised repeatedly, seems to be only getting better. There are no gaps in the connectivity set and the 3.5 mm audio jack is a long-awaited blessing.
Sony Ericsson W995 not only spares users the agonizing choice between Walkman and Cyber-shot. It has simply harvested all the high-end goodies and leaves nothing else to want. And all that skill is packed in a compact, solid and stylish body.
Now, it's not hard to believe it was all too easy for Sony Ericsson to get carried away. Amid the first ever and best ever hype they somehow overlooked video. Just like Sony Ericsson by the way, and it wouldn't have been a big deal if they didn't make a big deal of it themselves. Why bother put a kickstand when the commitment to great video was never taken seriously? No kickstand can make up for the lack of codec support, inadequate screen resolution and no widescreen aspect ratio.
And still, the poor video is the only major grudge with W995. We just hope it doesn't need to be reminded that the devil's in the details. In all fairness, video should not be make or break for the majority of users, especially when all the rest is up to scratch. It's just that Sony Ericsson W995 will be held to a higher standard. It can't help it, just like it can't help the heavy smartphone fire on the high end of premium all-in-ones.