Sony Ericsson W760i in-depth review -

Look and feel

Made predominantly from plastic, the W760i still maintains a solid and robust feel. The sliding mechanism is smooth and it is compact enough to feel good in the hand.

Ease of use

The keypad is roomy with well-spaced keys to help avoid unwanted key presses, while the main navigation pad is responsive. The user menu is colourful and vibrant and a cinch to master.

Features

HSDPA, A-GPS for personal navigation, a Walkman music player, motion sensor and 3.2-megapixel camera make up the feature set.

Performance

The Assisted-GPS makes great use of the onboard Google Maps application, while the music player is another reminder of the Walkman's ability. There's also a generous array of fun and addictive pre-loaded games.

Battery life

A marathon battery life of 540 minutes talktime and 400 hours standby time.

 Sony Ericsson W760i Review -
4

Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:53:13 PM

8

out of 10

Performance

6

out of 5

Look and feel

8

out of 5

Ease of use

8

out of 5

Features

10

out of 5

Battery life

Pros:

A great feature set and a simple user interface.

Cons:

It?s an unremarkable-looking slider phone.

Unlike the flagship Walkman handsets, the Sony Ericsson W760i has shuffled quietly on to the scene with a minimum of fuss and fanfare. Here at Mobile Choice, we think this may be down to its appearance. It's not slimline and it's not very shiny. In fact, it's a little ordinary looking.

 

However, the W760i's modest appearance belies the fact that there's a lot going on beneath the bonnet. It's a Walkman phone, so obviously music is its key strength, and it offers dedicated music keys, HSDPA music download speeds, as well as all the useful music applications and gimmicks you'd expect from a Walkman handset.

 

There's also a 3.2-megapixel camera on board, a video editing application, a motion sensor, some great games, and a built-in A-GPS satellite for sat nav. It's an impressive spec, but then the W760i doesn't come cheap. SIM-free it can cost between £220 and £500, and it's about £180 on prepay. So, you pay for what you get.

Sony Ericsson W760i - Look and feel

It might look a little drab, but the W760i is nice to handle. Although primarily constructed of plastic, it feels pretty solid and robust. There's a nice, smooth slider mechanism and an excellent display and, although it's not an ultra-slim model, it's compact and tidy with a roomy keypad and well-spaced keys.

The central navigation key, which doubles up as the music control pad, looks a little tacky and you can barely make out the forward and rewind icons which sit either side of the central play/pause key. However, this doesn't detract from the handset's usability. The main navigation pad is responsive (especially compared with some touch-screen phones we've reviewed recently) and, as all the keys are well spaced, there's little chance of pressing the wrong one in a hurry.

 

It's worth highlighting the W760i's icon-based menu. In menu mode, the display follows the Sony Ericsson blueprint of bright, colourful icons that add to the appeal of the user interface and highlights the screen's quality.

Sony Ericsson W760i - Built-in A-GPS

Although music may be the W760i's forte, the GPS function is very much the surprise package. The W760i features Assisted GPS (A-GPS) so it takes less time for the phone to pick up a satellite fix. All the GPS-related functionality sits neatly under the Location Services menu, which can be accessed with one upwards click on the central navigation key. Here, you'll find Google Maps, a trial version of the Wayfinder Navigation software for satellite-assisted navigation, and a sports tracker.

With GPS-enabled mobiles, there is a growing emphasis on location-based services and many of the top navigation phones now come pre-loaded with tens of thousands of points of interest for UK cities. The W760i enables this with the wonderful Google Maps application. Click on the Google Maps menu option and you'll see your current location depicted as a little blue dot on a map. As you're using the service to check out where new places are on the map, if at any point you want to pinpoint your own position, you just press the ‘0' key.

When searching for local points of interest, you enter your requirements into a Google-like search box. For example, we tried ‘Italian restaurant' and sure enough, having pinpointed our location with a satellite fix, we were presented with a list of pasta and pizza joints in the Soho area. Click on any of the listed options and you get the restaurant's details plus satellite-guided directions. It's worth pointing out that, to use the GPS, you'll need an online connection, so expect data charges.

 

If you're planning to use the W760i in the car and require navigation with voice guidance, the handset also features a three-month trial version of the Wayfinder Navigator, which is a simple-to-use navigation solution. Simply plan a route from A to B, enter your starting point in box A and the destination in box B and off you go.

 

In addition to the more conventional navigation features, the W760i also sports a Tracker application, which allows you to monitor your fitness training regime. It's not quite as advanced as the Samsung miCoach, but it's a nice feature nonetheless, and you can set your own routes and track them by time and by distance.

Sony Ericsson W760i - Music and games

Ordinarily, music would be our primary focus with any new Sony Ericsson Walkman phone. However, while all the great Walkman music features are all present and correct on the W760i, there's nothing new on offer. That said, it's still well worth running through the features. There's SensMe, which picks music tracks according to your mood. There's one-click access to PlayNow, the online Sony Ericsson music store, plus the TrackID music recognition service. And you have the latest version of the Walkman music player and Shake Control, which lets you play, pause, fast forward and rewind tracks with a flick of the wrist. There's no 3.5mm headphone connection on the W760i, but you do get an adapter which works with the supplied Sony Ericsson headphones.

 

Another real bonus with the W760i is the generous package of pre-loaded games - many of which have received top ratings in the Mobile Choice games review section. Our personal favourites are the retro Atari classics Asteroids and Super Breakout purely for nostaligia reasons. But, if you're looking for something a little more sophisticated and modern, there's Extreme Air Snowboarding, Guitar Rock Tour, Need For Speed and Rollercoaster Rush.

Sony Ericsson W760i - The verdict

Thanks to a generous feature set and an easy user interface, the Sony Ericsson W760i is a fine slider. Its unremarkable design does it no favours, but there are better looking phones out there that don't feel as good to hold or use.