Sony Ericsson W580i in-depth review -

Look and feel

It feels quite solid but the battery cover is prone to the odd creak while the soft keys are overly spongy. On the upside, the slider action is reassuringly sturdy and it opens with a snap to reveal what looks to be a cramped keypad. But, don’t fret because the arrangement is surprisingly thumb-friendly.

 

Features

With the built-in pedometer, runners can track distance, average speed and time while the monitor is on default to automatically count your walking steps, and can even calculate the calories you burn. The Walkman Player supports album art, a five mode equaliser including Mega Bass and Stereo Bluetooth (A2DP). Other Walkman standards include Sony Ericsson’s TrackID music recognition service, RSS feed capabilities, and links to the newly expanded PlayNow full track download shop. Plus you get 3D gaming and a great web browser that smart-fits web pages for the small screen. One disappointment is EDGE instead of 3G download speeds. If you rely on your quality headphones, a 3.5mm adapter is also bundled. Also supplied is a 512MB Memory Stick Micro that holds about 125 average quality MP3 tunes, so you will obviously need to invest in a larger card to considerably boost capacity to Nano-size.

 

Performance

The W580i harbours a standard mid-range two-megapixel snapper, woefully deprived of autofocus, Macro focus for close-ups, and any type of flash. You can muck around with white balance, shoots modes and effects, but it won’t mask the average picture quality blighted by soft focus around the fringes. Similarly video capture shoots in a judder-tastic but YouTube fit 176x144 pixel resolution.

 

Ease of use

A very easy to use phone and the Walkman player is fun. The five-way navigation pad controls the player when in Walkman mode but the addition of motion sensors allows you to skip tracks with an abrupt flick of your wrist. Having to keep the front Walkman button pressed before shaking is a hassle, and we found it was just as quick to use the normal controls to change tunes.

 

Battery life

The Walkman W580i is another juice-tastic handset from Sony Ericsson.

 

 Sony Ericsson W580i Review -
3

Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:51:40 PM

8

out of 10

Performance

8

out of 5

Look and feel

8

out of 5

Ease of use

6

out of 5

Features

6

out of 5

Battery life

Pros:

The fitness apps and Walkman music player are incredibly useful if you?re embarking on an exercise programme.

Cons:

The music player shake controls work OK but don?t enhance usability.

Sony Ericsson’s Walkman music phone range is no stranger to soundtracking punters’ exercise regimes. Back in 2006 it launched the W710i, an active phone complete with a built-in pedometer to monitor fitness levels. The W580i is a follow-up of sorts but less sporty and more ‘street’ than its predecessor, rigged with those fitness applications and shake music player controls last seen on the W910i.


The mid-range W580i is only Sony Ericsson’s second Walkman slider. If you’re looking for a close comparison it’s essentially a tweaked S500i dressed up in Walkman togs. Generally it feels quite solid in the hand, but the battery cover is prone to the odd creak while the soft keys are overly spongy. On the upside, the slider action is reassuringly sturdy, and it opens with a snap to reveal what looks to be a cramped keypad. But don’t fret because the arrangement is surprisingly thumb-friendly.


If you’re a fitness fanatic, the built-in pedometer is a welcome feature. Runners can track distance, average speed and time while the monitor is on default to automatically count your walking steps. If you enter your vital stats like weight, height, D.O.B and gender it can even calculate the calories you burn. But don’t get too despondent when you find out a 30 minute jog doesn’t burn of that quarter pounder you had for lunch. Your fitness progress can then be compared using the weekly breakdown of results.


The W580i is fitted with a skilful and dynamic sounding second generation Walkman player. Graphically it looks swanky and slick, supporting album art, a five mode equaliser including Mega Bass and Stereo Bluetooth (A2DP) should you hanker for some wireless action. If you rely on your quality headphones, a 3.5mm adapter is also bundled. Also supplied is a 512MB Memory Stick Micro that holds about 125 average quality MP3 tunes, so you will obviously need to invest in a larger card to considerably boost capacity to Nano-size.


The five-way navigation pad controls the player when in Walkman mode, but the addition of motion sensors allows you to skip tracks with an abrupt flick of your wrist. Having to keep the front Walkman button pressed before shaking is a hassle, and we found it was just as quick to use the normal controls to change tunes. Be warned: the random twitching while out in public might also single you out as the local mentalist.


The W580i harbours a standard mid-range two-megapixel camera, woefully deprived of autofocus, Macro focus for close-ups and any type of flash. You can muck around with white balance, shoots modes and effects, but really it won’t mask the average picture quality blighted by soft focus around the fringes. Similarly video capture shoots in a judder-tastic but YouTube fit 176x144 pixel resolution.

As with most middle class Walkman phones, the W580i rocks up with a nice line in mobile mods including Sony Ericsson’s TrackID music recognition service, RSS feed capabilities, links to the newly expanded PlayNow full track download shop, 3D gaming capabilities and a great web browser that smart-fits web pages for the small screen. One disappointment is EDGE instead of 3G download speeds.


By adding fitness apps and motion sensor, the W580i has an edge over rival middle-class music phones, attracting a whole new P.E. crowd. But apart from these enhancements, it feels like just another Walkman handset and nothing we haven’t seen before.