The external STN display of the W710 is rather large with a diagonal of 1.5" and a resolution of 128 x 128 pixels. It's inverted monochrome one with an orange backlighting and is perfectly readable under direct sunlight. It has rich functions - from displaying the caller ID to the sports applications to detailed information from the music player or the FM radio.
The main display is a 262K colors TFT one, measuring 1.9 inch in diagonal and has a resolution of 175 x 220 pixels. It's on par with the one used in Sony Ericsson W800 for example. It's legibility under direct sunlight poses no problem at all.
Being a sports oriented model, the Sony Ericsson W710 comes equipped with a set of sports accessories such as a belt clip, an arm band and sports headset. The belt clip is made of white plastic which seems strong enough to keep the mobile in its place during your morning runs. It clips straight to the mobile and holds it in four spots. When the belt clip is on, the handset can be carried in a vertical or horizontal position - the clip provides for that. A great thing about it though is that it is not just a simple belt clip but also an armband clip and using both accessories you can carry the phone firmly fastened to you arm. During our test though it turned out that the armband itself is too short for a large men's arm.
The headset that comes with the W710 is not your usual Walkman handset. The exact model is Sony Ericsson HPM-65 stereo headset. The main difference with the usual HPM-82 model is the hooks that allow for a more firm fastening onto the ears. In terms of quality they seem just a little bit inferior to the HPM-82.
Generally, we are quite pleased with the ergonomics of the mobile. It's easy to get used to. The dedicated music keys seem rather intuitively placed and the clamshell mechanism seems stable and works fine. And as strange as it may sound, when held to your ear the Sony Ericsson W710 feels more comfortable than most of the clamshells that we have reviewed lately.
We already mentioned that we are quite pleased with the user-friendliness of the W710 design. Using it for what it's made for - making calls comes as easy as ever. The reception signal is of good quality in all recent mobiles, so we wouldn't expect any less than that from the W710.
It met all our other expectations too, since it played out its ringtones loud enough to be heard even in a noisy street, and the vibration is strong enough as well. The loudspeaker produces sound with no hissing or buzzing even at the loudest volume levels, but it must be noted that it lacks certain bass elements. But that's really ok for a mobile phone.
The user interface in W710 is a standard non-smartphone Sony Ericsson user interface. This is the reason why we would use some excerpts from our previous reviews of Sony Ericsson phones. Of course, we would use the screenshots from W710 for illustration and the text would take into account all the interface specifics of this model.
A nice thing is that the phone has a dedicated Flight mode, which can be turned on seamlessly without even turning the phone off. Even if you have to turn it off for some reason, there is an option that the phone asks you whether you want to start it directly into Flight mode. The phone cannot work in Flight mode unless there is a SIM card inserted.
In active stand-by mode the screen displays information about the network signal, battery strength, current date and time, plus the next alarm that's due to go off. You can choose to display the clock with large semi-transparent numbers, which take up half the screen but blend with the chosen wallpaper very well. A good thing is that you can set the clock to be seen in the upper right angle of the screen even while browsing through the menu. An interesting addition to the stand-by screen is the pedometer output which states how many step you have made today. The external display shows almost the same info.
Pressing the navigation pad in any of the four directions can start a given feature or application according to the user preference. In fact when you start using the phone for the first time, the phone reminds you of that option.
The main menu itself is made of a matrix grid with 4 x 3 animated icons. All sub-menus are in listed view with tiny icons on the left side. The phone reacts and performs fast in every submenu and application.
There are several themes that come preinstalled in the phone. They change the color scheme, the wallpaper and the menu icons.
One of the things, that have been developed a lot, is the Activity menu which has a dedicated shortcut key on the keypad. The Now running tab of the menu offers real multi-tasking. In W800 you could only run simultaneously one regular application and one Java application, for example. Now you can run three Java applications in the same time, which allows for a lot more freedom and flexibility in everyday usage. For example, you can open the browser, open an instant messenger client, listen to the radio and play a game, all at the same time. That's a great functionality that is not seen in other non-OS phones of other manufacturers. The rest of the functionality of the Activity menu has remained the same - it offers quick access to recent events, the web menu with integrated Google search and the My Shortcuts menu which contains a list of frequently used features and can be modified to the user preference.