Sony Ericsson W205 in-depth review -

Look and feel

A lightweight slider made of plastic, the W205 is nothing fancy, but then again, it's also only £25 on PAYG.

Ease of use

Sony Ericsson's familiar grid menus are easy to navigate, and the keypad is stylish and tactile for texting.

Features

There's a music player, but no bundled USB cable to transfer songs to the phone. TrackID lets you identify songs from the phone's radio though, and you can also save MP3s from radio or library as a ringtone. The camera is a dinky 1.3-megapixels, plus you get a couple Java games.

Performance

The audio quality lacks fullness, and bass doesn't come through very well. The 1.3-megapixel camera takes blurry snaps, and as you'd expect, internet is far too slow for real use on the phone.

Battery life

Thanks to a lack of 3G, this phone will keep on going.

 

 Sony Ericsson W205 Review -
3

Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:58:07 PM

4

out of 10

Performance

4

out of 5

Look and feel

8

out of 5

Ease of use

6

out of 5

Features

8

out of 5

Battery life

Pros:

Easy to use interface, music player ticks all the boxes, cheap

Cons:

No bundled USB cable to transfer songs, supports only up to 2GB of music

You can get the Sony Ericsson W205 for £25 on PAYG. And that, readers, is the main highlight of this purported member of Sony Ericsson's Walkman line. It's not so much a basic music phone, just a basic phone, though at least its familiar interface is as easy as ever to navigate.

 

So shallow
Made of matte plastic, the W205 feels just a little too lightweight for our taste, though the slider mechanism is pretty smooth. The tiny 1.8-inch screen is surrounded by a wide black bezel that'd we prefer much slimmer for the extra screen space, with media controls below - play/pause and back/forward buttons, plus a shortcut to the music player. Once you fire up the phone, the right hand key takes you to your contacts, while the left to the dinky 1.3-megapixel camera.

The keypad is a stylish silver with flat, slightly curved number keys that are a bit heavy but okay to type on. Texting on the phone is generally straightforward, though the T9 predictive texting won't correct for contractions like 'how's' (though the more common 'it's' is okay), so you'll have to manually spell them out the first time you use them.

You can save up to 1000 contacts in the phone, and there's a cool little feature where you can have up to four private phonebooks - a way to categorize your friends, or if you share the phone, to keep contacts separate - that you can also view as one universal list. The call quality is decent with clear enough audio on both ends.

 

Music lite
Onto the tunes - the internal memory is a paltry 5MB, which will barely be enough to hold your contacts, texts and messages, so obviously you'll need to make use of that M2 slot (Sony Ericsson's proprietary version of a microSD card). Unfortunately, it only supports cards of up to 2GB, which holds about 500 songs. Then again, this was never going to be the phone for the music aficionado, just for someone who might like to keep a few tunes at hand. So fair enough. Less so is the lack of a bundled USB cable. The phone supports USB file transfer via the usual chunky Sony E port, but you'll have to buy your own cable in order to transfer songs onto the phone. Or, you could connect your phone to your PC via Bluetooth and transfer files wirelessly that way - and we all know that doesn't take forever at all.
Once you've got your music on the phone, it starts acting a bit more like a music player. The up key on the D-pad takes you straight in, and the display shows the song, artist and album, as well the time elapsed. You can set up shuffle and repeat modes, save playlists, and filter your songs by track, artist or album. The bundled headphones use Sony E's proprietary port and have no adaptor so you're stuck with these non in-ear, very basic 'phones. Bass doesn't come through very well, and in general, audio quality lacked fullness. 
TrackID is on-board, though you can only identify songs you play on the phone's radio itself. You can also grab tunes from the radio or your MP3 collection to use as a ringtone, which is kind of cool.

 

Other stuff
As you'd expect, the camera takes pixellated snaps with plenty of noise even in daylight, and as it lacks a flash (or autofocus), night shots are out of the question. After you take a photo, you can send it as an MMS or via Bluetooth.
There's a browser on board, but considering the W205 only supports slow-as-molasses GPRS speeds, and the browser itself operates at a similar speed, internet really isn't a feature worth mentioning.
Games wise, you get two standard Java games including the ever popular Bubble Town and the option to download more from Sony Ericsson (not that we'd recommend it over the aforementioned internet connection).

The verdict
As a basic phone, this checks all the boxes, though its Walkman billing is extremely optimistic, especially as it doesn't even come with a USB cable. Of course, it's also only £25.