From my point of view, after buying the phone and having used it for about 2 weeks, I can say that it meets my expectations.
Firstly, I would like to inform those who are going to buy to phone / review the phone, that the W980 is NOT meant to be a camera phone. The W980 is a walkman phone, specializing in audio.
Lets start with my first impressions.
When I read the reviews and specs for this phone, I was pretty interested to see what it actually looks like and the "feel" of it, and so I bought one. Holding it the first time, I never imagined it to be so light. Even though the specs said 100g, I expected the 8GB wonder to be closer to 150g.
The design of the phone is stylish and unique. What captured me most was the exterior of the phone. Although dull-looking when turned off, it sparked to life when power was supplied to it. One thing about this phone is the button placement. It is quite different from most of Sony Ericsson's other models. The numbers are most spaced out and the navigation buttons are slightly cramped together (but you'll get used to it. It has nice feel.).
The Flip phone's 'flip' actually goes all the way, almost 180 degrees, unlike most other phones.
The W980 has two screens, one on the exterior of the flip, and one inside. The exterior screen is one of the clearest and 'coolest' exterior screens I've ever seen on a flip phone. A side button accompanies this exterior screen to switch between menus form the outside, from Walkman, to Time/date/operator and to radio.
Memory is quite stunning for a phone this lightweight and for the price of the phone. It boasts 8GB, which is about the size of 500, 2mb songs. The memory is shared so you will have to bear in mind the size of your OS, themes etc.
The phone has pretty much everything in terms of data transmission. GPRS, EDGE, 3G HSDPA, Bluetooth etc. It would've been even more awesome if the W980 had WLAN built-in to it. Two-way video calls are supported so you can always video-call home if you're abroad.
With the basic stuff said, let's move on to the more interesting stuff.
Being a walkman phone, the W980 has the Sony Walkman function all built in. It has shake control (the function which allows you to shake your phone to change your song/volume) which really makes it another cool device. The built in motion sensor allows your phone to detect whether your phone is on it's side, or upright and will adjust it's screen accordingly for Media viewing.
It has two built-in stereo speakers on it's side and is one of the best I've heard on a phone. No sub woofer though, so don't be expecting any heavy bass sounds to be coming from it.
The radio. You might be saying, "The Radio isn't special.. It's basic stuff." but I beg to differ.
The radio on the W980 is standard. The only thing that makes this one exclusive is the in-built FM Radio Transmitter. That's right. An in-built FM radio transmitter. I believe this is the first phone (as far as I know) to have an in-built FM radio transmitter. The transmitter is able to beam out the songs you are playing to your car's radio or any radio for that matter, in a certain radius of the phone. You just need to set the FM frequency and ta-da! You've taken over your local radio station.
Note also that when stuck in traffic jam, radio in the car next to you will also be over-ridden if the radio is set to the same frequency as yours.
The new Sony-Ericsson Sens-me feature was quite disappointing though. What it does is it analyzes the song, and then rates it in terms of 'happiness' and tempo and after that, you may let the phone automatically create a playlist on the mood. Not very accurate at all, but what can I say.. It's a machine. It knows no emotions.
Alright, now the camera. I know the camera on the W980 has been under heavy criticism and I would also add to that. But I would like to stress further that the W980 is NOT meant to be a camera phone and hence, the bad lens placement etc. But the 3.2 MP is quite good if you ever want to snap a picture. Digital zoom is only functional on VGA resolution.
Overall, the W980 is an excellent show-off phone and an excellent Walkman phone for the price it offers. Out of 10, I would rate the overall design an 8, where lacking in bad camera placement and far-apart buttons, the touch screen is awesome. I rate it's features a 9. Although from simply looking and reading about it it may seem dull, but once you get to know the W980 first-hand, it is well worth every penny.
Performance, I would rate an 8. The OS may get laggy when using it extremely fast but overall, the performance was always there.
So, buy or not to buy? I say a definite yes if you want music in style.
Dani, 19 Aug 2008Shayn, get real... Higher Volume doesnt mean 'Quality' its like Nokia put Stereo Speake... moreman, i just cant wait to get this phone. been at some mobile shops to feel this hot gadget. its really beautifully designed n light! the screen looks big enough for me. the buttons are v nice to press too. n its 8gb! twice the size of my music player! wow! how i wish it has wi-fi! then it will b e most perfect phone. i love its flipped design too. it rules!
Please compare this phone to N81 in terms of mp3 player & loudspeaker & anything else
when u playin a song in this phone....is the music gonna be loud n good to hear....
guys this phone really rocks u know how...1st the music n then the memory n then the video play bak n i agree as per 3.2 mp it doesnt look like it .. bt checck ths in printout take a snap n thn check i personally bought ths n the memory its cool it doesnt get hangs as per storing a few movies which is converted 2 mp4 format .. i like the style n looks quite delicate ... any more questions u can always mail me 2 email@example.com..i will ans all ur questions ...enjoy hope u do guys
Hello everyone, does anyone know if you can change the settings so that when you close the flip instead of it showing the walkman feature it shows that date time etc without having to press the quick navigation key on the side and then locking it? Other than that the phone is fantastic I luv it, glad I upgraded to this from the C902. I couldn't get used to that phone in the end.
Anonymous, 09 Sep 2008what a big liar. This is the best phone ever when it comes about music and camera is very good... moreit is a good phone but ive heard better sound quality. the dpad is abit messy to use and the keys are spaced too far apart for my liking. it has crashed a few times since i got it this morning but thats because im moving music onto it i think. its a great looking phone and the camera could be in a better location and without a flash it makes taking pictures at night next to impossible.
Its a great phone in my oppinion but there are better ones if you want to spend more money
Mine arrived today and I am very pleased with it! It is an excellent phone.
Anonymous, 09 Sep 2008i have this phone and the s500i and trust me that s500i sounds better, louder than the w980. w... morelol i got both phones man, and man you cracked me up. s500 is a mid-low end phone dude.
i have both, and ur a lier. maybe somthing wrong with ur phone? or maybe somthing wrng with ur ears?
ignore him ppl
Anonymous, 09 Sep 2008i have this phone and the s500i and trust me that s500i sounds better, louder than the w980. w... morewhat a big liar. This is the best phone ever when it comes about music and camera is very good too. It has all the things you need and believe me that you will love this phone just like me.
i have this phone and the s500i and trust me that s500i sounds better, louder than the w980. w980 only has a little bit of bass. when you put on the headset it all sounds about the same. this phone is a low end phone with freeze up, laggy os, bad camera and position as well. since your hands,face, everywhere on you body has oil you gonna be wiping this EVERY SECOND. navigation on the dpad is horrible. don't come up here and respond by O THE W980 SOUNDS BETTER THAN THIS AND THAT. im just comparing the sound quality wich is hard to believe but its true and i stand by it 100% bc i do have these phones to compare by.
Hi, does anyone know if there is a way to make the fm transmitter work.Always says cant use fm transmitter due to legal constrait.
shoka, 07 Sep 2008what about the camera one say good and one say bad , i want to know if the camera really good ... moreThe camera is very disapointing.
"The Sony Ericsson W980 is equipped with a 3 megapixel camera and is capable of capturing images at a maximum resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels. It has neither auto focus nor flash and that speaks enough. Add the awkward location of the camera lens (exactly where your index finger will rest when holding the phone) and the lack of a dedicated camera key and you get (or probably won't get) the picture.
The camera interface also smells low-end, with basic graphics and limited number of features. It is nowhere near what some other Walkmans like the W910 or W890 have to offer. Real pity, as we are more than sure a decent camera interface wouldn't have been that much of an effort." from gsmarena official review
Hope that helped.
BassFreak, 08 Sep 2008I read that this phone has no MegaBass... can anyone tell me why ?? Will the quality be worse??BassFreak, I heard different about the megabass. I'm positive it has it. After all, it's the best audio quality walkman yet, as the W902. :)
It's a little small for my taste, it's a flip phone, the lights effect doesn't impress me that much and the camera really disapoints me. As for the design, I don't know, sometimes seems interesting sometimes seems cheap (like a failed attempt to make it particulary different from all the other walkmans). And particular models get oldfashioned much more faster. Remember the Nokia 3220! Don't At the time it was really cool with the lights and stuff, but how about a year later? :) I would personally go with the W902, for the great camera and the great design, don't know about the price yet, but it will really be a kick in the but for W980 when it comes out. :)