The phonebook interface is simple and easy to use. As always, it asks you whether you would like to copy your contacts from the SIM card to the phone's memory. However you can choose either the SIM contacts or the phone contacts should be the default for the phonebook. Both lists cannot be displayed simultaneously. Otherwise, a nice option is that you can make the phone to autosave to the SIM card any new contacts that you save in the phone's memory. You can also have the phone back up your phone numbers on the inserted memory card.
The maximum capacity of the phonebook is 1000 contacts but you can save up to 2500 phone numbers. Contacts can be ordered by First or Last name. Contacts are searched by gradual typing of the desired name.
When adding a new contact, there are five possibilities for the phone number: Mobile, Home, Work, Fax and Other. This is the first tab of fields for the new contacts. The second one is for email and web addresses. The third is for assigning a picture and a custom ringtone. The fourth goes for Title, Company, Street, City, State, ZIP, Country information. The last, fifth tab, is for additional information and birth date. When you add the birth date, the phone asks you whether you would like to add it to the calendar and put a reminder for it. That's a good feature and we like that we see it available more and more often in current phones. When you are browsing your phonebook list, switching between different phone numbers and emails for a given contact is possible via pushing the side ways of the D-pad.
The Calls log is divided in four different tabs. They are: All, Answered (Received), Dialed and Missed. The tabs altogether contain up to 30 call records, which are shared between the separate tabs.
All messages, except emails, use one Inbox. No matter what kind of message has been received, it goes to the common Inbox. Only email messages have their own separate Inbox. There is a My Friends feature, which works like an instant messaging application and can be used if your network operator supports it. The phone also offers a RSS feeds reader that in fact uses the NetFront web browser.
When you start typing a message, first you must choose from the four variants: Text message, Picture message, Voice message or Email. There is no point in that as you can easily transform a SMS into a MMS along the way by simply attaching multimedia objects to the message. There is a character counter, which activates when you reach 20 characters before the 160 limit. When you pass the limit a "2 SMS" warning sign comes up for a second to alert you that the message will be divided in two parts. Of course, there is the T9 dictionary to assist the typing.
The email client supports POP3 and IMAP protocols. It can also manage several accounts simultaneously. You can choose from downloading only headers or headers and text. The phone can automatically check for new emails at a preset interval. Sony Ericsson W710 also has support for Push email.
Sony Ericsson W710 supports MP3, AAC, AAC+, E-AAC+, WAV, WMA, M4A and MIDI file formats. The Walkman media player is version 1.0 and doesn't boast the improved interface 2.0 which at the time this review was written was only available in W850.
The player has several equalizer presets including the proprietary Mega Bass. It can be set to run in background so you can do other things with the phone while listening to music. When in background mode, there is an indication of the name of the song and artist of the track currently playing in the top part of the main display as well as on the external display. The control of the player is intuitive and really easy to use.
This version of the player is the same as the one used on previous models so users should be already quite used to it. The sound is nice, too.
The video player of W710 is really too basic and offers almost no special options. It cannot even play videos in landscape mode. There isn't even a noticeable difference when playing videos in fullscreen and windowed mode.
The FM radio has a memory for 20 preset stations and supports RDS. The current selected station shows on the external display too.
The FM radio also features the TrackID option which records several seconds from the song you are listening to at the moment, connects to the Gracenote servers and should hopefully identify it for you. So if you happen to hear a great song on the radio you can always get the name and artist. Unfortunately, the TrackID more often didn't work successfully when we tried it.