The Sony Ericsson W580 keypad will give you no reason to grudge. Its both parts are good enough. The D-pad is all round buttons. The biggest circle is the navigation key with its confirming center. Underneath it, one is surprised to find the loudspeaker. Sound is coming off the space between the navigation key and its round nest. The two rings at the sides are home to the selection keys and the Back and Clear keys. The tiniest round keys on the D-pad are the Walkman® key and the Activity Menu key. All keys on the D-pad work fine and are a pleasure to use.
The alphanumeric keyboard is standard 12 keys in 4 rows. Given the slimness of the handset the keypad is almost dead flat, but that doesn't get in the way of typing. Tactility is adequate, the gentle clicking of the keys makes things even better. No reason to fear typos.
Keypad backlighting is ample and even. The navigation keys are backlit in orange, the alphanumeric buttons are white. Keypad locks automatically upon sliding the phone closed.
Sony Ericsson W580 has a 2" 262K color TFT display with a QVGA resolution (240 x 320 pixels). Its quality is more than adequate, with pleasing color saturation and brightness, which is further configurable through the menu. The fairly small size of the display makes separate pixels impossible to see, resulting in a very soft and delicate screen image. Legibility under direct sunlight is almost excellent.
The phone lacks any notification of missed events when it enters stand-by mode unless you have turned on the clock scrensaver. Otherwise, the phone enters standby mode, the screen shuts down completely and you need to activate the handset to check potential missed events.
The user interface here differs in no way from the rest of the Sony Ericsson's Walkman handsets. The menu is teeming with animations, which you can't turn off. The status icons and shortcuts on the display are the good old stuff. The different size options for the digital clock are the only interesting thing. Users will likely welcome the possibility to use animated wallpapers or third-party UI themes.
The main menu displays as a grid of 12 color icons, the way you view it can be altered with the preinstalled themes. Some of them offer monochrome 2D icons aligned to a grid. When vibration is activated, every movement through the main menu is marked by a short vibration. Deeper menu levels are text-only and uniform for all themes. A pleasing detail is the displaying of current time all across the menu levels.
Menu is accessed through the Confirming center of the navigation key, or the right soft key. The left selection key opens Recent calls. The directions of the navigation key can be assigned shortcuts to selected applications. The Up-key only is permanently fixed to start the camera since there is no other dedicated camera key.
Shortcuts to frequently used functions can be placed in the Activity Menu, which allows multitasking applications. The rest of the Activity Menu tabs are New Events, Running Apps and Internet.
Every time you turn on the Sony Ericsson W580, it will prompt switching to flight mode with all wireless transmissions disabled. The inconvenience here is that the offline mode too requires an inserted SIM. You can of course turn this system prompt off if needed.