When we first saw the W960 on the Sony Ericsson product shots, we thought it was gorgeous. Truth is, it doesn't look that good in person - in fact, it looks cheaper than it really is. But hey, it's just us - don't let us ruin your pleasure.
The W960 measures pretty much the same as the W950 or the P1 smartphone - 109 x 55 x 16 mm and it weighs 119 g. That's not much really, considering the handset's rich functionality. The dominating solemn black color of the casing contrasts with a sporty white edging along all sides. The front panel design is rather minimalist. At the top, above the display, you can see the video-call camera and the earpiece. Below the screen, there is a row of hidden touch-sensitive keys, which light up once you start the Walkman music player. The keypad comes in conservative design and colors, unlike most other Walkman handsets, that tend to be flashier.
The left side of the device is the one that caught us quite off guard. Somehow, a key we are so used to, has gone missing. On all previous Sony Ericsson smartphones, a Back key has always been present right next to the traditional Jog Wheel. Now, the only place the users will find that key is on the front keypad. Next to the Jog wheel, you can easily see the neck/wrist strap eyelet, styled in silver. The stylus compartment is right next to this eyelet. The stylus itself has a rather innovative design - not telescopic this time and entirely made of plastic, it comes with a rather sporty design and... has a dreaded removable tip. Used to have, to be more precise. After taking these shots, the removable tip made us scour the office floor in a vain search - it had obviously fallen off and was nowhere to be found. Seems like a truly clumsy solution by Sony Ericsson.
The right side of the W960 features only two volume keys and the camera shutter key.
|The stylus itself has a rather innovative design - not telescopic this time and entirely made of plastic, it comes with a rather sporty design and... has a dreaded removable tip. Used to have, to be more precise.||
The top part of the handset hosts the On/Off key, which is also used for switching between Normal and Flight mode. The bottom side features the proprietary Fast port and the microphone pinhole. You probably won't be able to see it but just above the Fast port there is a lighter strip that is in fact a status LED. It blinks in red when the battery is empty, and it gets lit up in green when you charge the handset.
The back panel of the Sony Ericsson W960 is made of black matt plastic. A stylishly looking ring of brushed metal encircles the 3-megapixel camera lens. It also hosts the dual-LED flash. Right next to it is the loudspeaker grill (by the way, anyone got a spare W960 stylus?).
The standard Sony Ericsson BST-33 Li-Po battery is revealed once you remove the back cover. It has a capacity of 900 mAh and the manufacturer promises up to 370 h of standby time and up to 9 h of talk time. These times seem rather optimistic. In reality, the battery lasted around 4 full days hooked to a 3G network. We didn't do a thorough music playback battery test, but Sony Ericsson claim the W960 should provide up to 27 hours of music playback.