Refined exterior is what you would expect in a high-end device. Standing at the stunning 12.5 mm thickness and weighing 86 g, the new Walkman slider is thinner and lighter than its midrange relative W580. The greater width of the W910 is quite reasonable given the ample 2.4" display. The bodywork is dominated by straight lines and clean shapes, even the slanting bottom is a lot more subtle. The perfect hand fit and user-friendly keypad provide for great phone handling. The handset is offered in three colors: Hearty Red, Noble Black and the recently added Havana Bronze.
The large 2.4" TFT display dominates the front panel and scores high in both brightness and contrast, compared to the highly praised 2.2" TFT display of Sony Ericsson K850. The only one aspect where the W910 display lacks in comparison with K850 is reflection - W910 reflects the surrounding light to a greater extent, which leads to less dense black color reproduction. However, in general the W910 display is better than the ones of all other Sony Ericsson handsets we have reviewed - especially compared to the display of W960 flagship. Above it, a small secondary VGA camera is located, along with the earpiece. A controversial pair of keys encloses the secondary camera and earpiece. The manufacturer calls them gaming keys but they seem to have more of an imaging application. The right key starts the thumbnails, while the left one is used for opening the selected images. Alternatively, in camera mode one is used for starting Night mode and the other sets Shoot mode and Video size. Incorporating those Cyber-shot-inherent keys (we've seen such a pair in K800) in a Walkman phone with a basic 2 megapixel camera without autofocus and flash is a very odd decision, in our humble opinion. Walkman keys on the front would've been more appropriate, to launch the SensMe matrix or Shake Control for example, instead of trying to impress cameraphone aficionados.
In closed position, the handset has a neat rectangular shape. Sliding the phone open reveals the alphanumeric keys. The slide moves softly and evenly in its grooves to ensure a smooth flip open. When the handset is slid open, the top does appear slightly ajar, leading to a tactile and unpleasant wobble. We had this right from the beginning and we wonder how it will unfold with intense usage.
The Sony Ericsson W910 keypad will give you no reason to grudge. Its both parts are good enough. The highlight of the D-pad is the return of the dedicated Call and End keys, as seen in K850. Traditionally for Walkman phones, the Navigation Key also serves as player control when the Walkman is on allowing users to browse tracks, fast-forward, rewind, play and pause. The two dual buttons at the sides are home of the two soft keys, as well as the call and end key. The smaller round buttons are the Activity Menu and Clear keys. Next to the right soft key is the ambient light sensor, which controls the display backlighting. Although the light sensor looks too close to the right soft key, it's not likely to cover it with a finger while using the phone.
Sliding the phone up reveals the main alphanumeric keyboard, this time set in columns instead of rows as in the Sony Ericsson W580. The alphanumeric keyboard features the standard 12 keys. Given the slimness of the handset, the keypad is almost dead flat, but that doesn't get in the way of typing. Tactility is superb; the gentle clicking of the keys makes things even better. No reason to fear typos, despite the lack of space between the keys within a column.
Keypad backlighting is very subtle but even, and will go almost unnoticed, unless you use the phone in total darkness. The white backlighting of the navigation keys turns orange in player mode. Keypad locks automatically upon sliding the phone closed, a feature that cannot be turned off.
Sony Ericsson W910 is the slimmest and thinnest slide phone of the company, measuring the stunning 12.5 mm in thickness and weighing the mere 86 g, without reflecting its wideness. That's why it does not come as a surprise that the phone fits perfectly in a palm and provides a great user friendliness and experience. The recently introduced call and end keys, seen in K850, are here too so as not to bother you which button to press for accepting an incoming call.
The Sony Ericsson W910 left side features nothing but the regular Fast Port.
|A controversial pair of keys encloses the secondary camera and earpiece. The manufacturer calls them gaming keys but they seem to have more of an imaging application. The right key starts the thumbnails, while the left one is used for opening the selected images.|
The right side of the handset makes up for the almost bare left. Here are the slightly elevated volume rocker, which can also be used for zooming when taking or browsing pictures, the M2 memory card slot, the flat shutter key and the lanyard eyelet.
The top part of the slider holds the On/Off key, which can also be used for fast switching between the ringing profiles. The Walkman key is much more interesting, but for the wrong reason. For the first time in the Walkman lineup the dedicated player key is controversially placed at the top. Among other things, it activates the Shake Control, but more on that later in the review.
The Sony Ericsson W910 bottom part features no keys or slots. Neat and simple, all you see is the Walkman logo. A suggestion that the microphone is placed somewhere on the inner side of the slide makes sense, as we didn't spot it elsewhere.
Rearside we find the 2-megapixel camera lens, Sony Ericson and Walkman logos and the loudspeaker grill at the foot of the battery cover. The locking mechanism of the battery cover is really intriguing. Below the cover there's a slider that either locks or unlocks it depending on its position. Once unlocked, a light push is enough to remove the cover. Under it is the 930 mAh Li-Poly (BST-39) battery. It's officially quoted at 400 hours of stand-by time and 9 h of talk time. In reality, 3 days of moderate usage is pretty much an adequate estimation, while adding extra diversions like listening to music or watching clips is sure to further reduce battery life. The SIM card holder is right above the battery bed. Removing the SIM card without the quick release mechanism is a feat.