You'd be better off not hoping to be surprised by the Sony Ericsson W8. And that's not necessarily a bad thing. This phone is supposed to have sentimental value. This may sound tacky but entry level phones usually fail to have a compelling enough story to tell. That's where Walkman comes in. And it's not like Sony Ericsson had to try too hard either.
So, it's a low-end smartphone through and through. The screen is small and the OS version is outdated. It's a middling feature set at best but the connectivity is solid and stuff like the FM radio and social network support make sense.
Itís not a bad phone if youíre looking for a smartphone on the cheap. Itís got the basics covered and doesnít promise anything it canít deliver.
We guess it was time the Xperia X8 got updated too, just like its Xperia siblings. It's only that it never got anywhere near the major updates.
The Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini could still be an option to consider while the Xperia X8 hardly deserves a nod. The original mini has a lower resolution display but brings a better 5 megapixel autofocus camera and a very competitive price tag of about 120 euro. The X8 has hardly anything to offer over the W8.
This yearís Xperia mini edition easily puts the W8 to shame with a better screen, faster 1GHz processor, 512MB of RAM and the latest Android 2.3 OS. No doubt though, it will cost more than the Walkman droid.
The Galaxy S5570 is another mini to consider. It offers a slightly bigger multi-touch display and is a bit more up-to-date on the Android releases, but has a lower resolution display than the W8. The rest is pretty much on par - meaning complete connectivity, social networking, internet, Android apps and music. We guess the choice is up to which customization you prefer, TouchWiz or Sony Ericssonís UI with Timescape.
The HTC Wildfire S is a compact smartphone running the latest Android. Even the original Wildfire is a go - the QVGA screen is a disadvantage but the excellent build and finish make up for it. Both HTC phones have Sense UI 2.1, 5 megapixel autofocus cameras and multi-touch. HTC have a different definition of budget but you can't deny the premium build quality of their phones.
To recap, if youíre a newcomer to the smartphone game the W8 is a good place to start. It will be a good companion and one that can balance work and pleasure. It's a Walkman after all - and a droid. Some users will be delighted to hear it's a choice they don't have to make any more.