Singing Christmas carols in the street is a nice past time but listening to something more modern while walking the dog, riding your bike or just taking a stroll in the park is far better. Then why not put your mobile phone to good use?
Our category of music phones includes propositions that usually have a well developed software music player, dedicated external music keys, a standard 3.5 mm stereo audio jack for plugging in your own Hi-Fi headphones and have lot of usually expandable memory space for storing your music tracks. The FM radio tuner is also a must. As you would find, in the realm of music phones, the camera is not always that important.
For those of you that are into portable music players Sony Ericsson offers a fine line of Walkman-branded phones (is that "Sony" part in the name again) and no matter what budget you have prepared for this year's gift-buying and gift-giving frenzy, you are sure to find an adequate solution. The Sony Ericsson W950 ($525*) must be the flagship of all with its 4GB of integrated memory, a touchscreen TFT display and a Symbian 9.1 OS with the latest UIQ 3.0 user interface. It doesn't have a camera but after all, we are talking music here, aren't we?
Sony Ericsson W950 | review
Searching for a music slider mobile phone would most definitely lead you to a choice between the Sony Ericsson W850 ($389*) and the Nokia 5300 ($239*). Both offer great customization features of their user interface and both have dedicated music keys and standard 3.5 mm audio jack adaptors for using your favorite headphones. The W850 though doesn't come cheap and cost a hefty $150 more than the 5300. But it has a good 2 megapixel camera and more stylish looks - at least according to us. Sound quality is not a point here since both mobiles offer almost the same listening pleasure. The Sony Ericsson W850 though promises up to 30 hours of playing time while the Nokia 5300 would keep you going for up to 9.
If you are on a strict budget there is one more solution that may save the day for you when buying a music phone - the Sony Ericsson W300 ($189*). With a VGA camera, a FM radio with RDS support and Memory Stick Micro (M2) memory card slot it makes a nice bargain and saves you from robbing a bank.
Also to consider
In the music category, there are also some interesting alternatives to consider since they score pretty well too. The Nokia 3250 ($339*) has an interesting swivel design of its lower half of the body. Rotating it replaces the usual alphanumeric keypad with dedicated music keys. This unique design alone makes it worth to consider when choosing a music phone. It also boasts a 2 megapixel camera, a standard 3.5 mm audio jack and FM radio.
The Sony Ericsson W810 ($449*) is a somewhat midrange priced offer. It is an updated quad-band EDGE version of the popular W800 plus it comes with a great 2 megapixel camera with autofocus and more moderate design than the flamboyant W800 which was not everybody's favorite.
Nokia N91 ($449*) is exclusive and expensive music smartphone with 4GB of integrated memory, dedicated music keys and a 3.5 mm audio jack. It has its flaws but who doesn't. If you fancy buying it, check out our detailed review beforehand.
Update: Motorola ROKR E2 is not included here not because it's not a good music phone, but because Motorola choose to release it in Europe and North America in Q1, 2007.
* All prices are taken from Plemix.com. Your local street prices might differ. All prices valid at the time of publishing.