Sony Ericsson W395 in-depth review -

Look and feel

The W395 is well designed, with a nice glossy front and matt back finished off nicely with purple edging to the navigation button.

Ease of use

This budget handset doesn’t pack any complicated features, making it a breeze to get to grips with.

Features

Music is the focus of this handset, although it is missing the all important 3.5mm headset. The camera is a miserly two megapixels, but on a budget handset its hard to expect much more.

Performance

Despite lacking the ability to use your own headphones, the speakers performed admirably well.

Battery life

Battery life was good.

The verdict

As a low-end music phone the Sony Ericcson W395 definitely has strong youth appeal. It’s a nice little handset for an equally appealing price.

 Sony Ericsson W395 Review -
3

Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:56:03 PM

8

out of 10

Performance

6

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:

Great size, cute speakers.

Cons:

No 3.5mm headphone jack and no 3G.

The W, you’ll know, stands for Walkman. So it’s a music phone, obviously, and therefore we can ignore the fact that this budget-priced phone has a basic, two-megapixel camera with no flash or even a self-portrait mirror. It’s the music that matters, right?

So why doesn’t the phone have the one thing that’s essential for a music player – a 3.5mm headphone jack? Or even, come to that, an adaptor so you can plug in your favourite headphones? That said, it’s not quite unforgivable, as the W395 comes with Sony Ericsson’s in-ear ‘phones that are actually surprisingly good.


When you take into account that the handset is designed for music playback through the on-board speakers, and combine that with its affordable price tag, things really do start to look quite rosy. And to top it off, the loudspeaker sound quality really isn’t bad.

Sociable

The little speakers on the back of the phone may not look much, but they’re loud and reasonably bassy, and though the stereo widening feature isn’t hugely noticeable, the overall effect is decent and, well, fun.


This is not, then, an audiophile’s phone but for the youth market it’s squarely aimed at, there’s a logic to having something loud enough to share – it’s a sociable phone, though at top volume you may feel it’s rather unsociable, especially if you’re sitting next to it on the bus.


It’s a neatly sized and effectively designed handset, from the dark casing with gloss front and matt back to the picked out purple Walkman logo and edging to the circular direction pad. This pad has a button in the centre to confirm selections and it works well – it’s hard to mis-press or incorrectly direct your energy, unlike some navigation set-ups.


The slide mechanism is smooth and the phone feels good when the keypad is
hidden or on display, though the keys are not distinct enough for my liking, so dialling isn’t faultless.

Track ID

The shape works well for its speaker-focused credentials, so the phone balances happily on its side whether the chassis is slid open or closed. There’s an FM radio on board and although you need the headphones plugged in to act as the radio’s antenna, you can opt to switch the speaker on once you’ve done that.


It does also have Track ID, the Sony Ericsson song recogniser that is efficient, simple and pleasingly effective, and the final clever use of the microphone is for Memo recording, for saving snippets of sound of up to 30 seconds.


That’s not the end of the multimedia capabilities – along with video recording there’s a video player hidden under the Entertainment icon in the menu. The four video clips supplied are squarely aimed at the youth market, too.


That basic two-megapixel snapper at least springs into life very quickly – again, unlike some camera phones. Shutter lag was unexceptional for a camera phone – not great but not unbearable.

Conclusion

Overall, the Sony Ericsson W395 is a dinky handset that’s going to appeal to the youth market that the manufacturer has aimed it at.


Its lack of advanced features such as GPS, a whizz-bang camera or even 3G connectivity or speedy data transfer doesn’t matter because it’s cheap, cute and fun. But a proper headphone connector really  wouldn’t have gone amiss.