Sony Ericsson has reverted back to the slider-style handset. The slide action, while smooth and responsive, could do with a tad more movement. Available in Noble Black or Hearty Red, the W910i is impressively light and it looks pretty smart too.
Boasting the latest Walkman 3.0 player, the W910i also has the innovative 'Shake Control', which lets you skip tracks with the flick of a wrist. This HSDPA enabled handset also has the SensMe application that allows you to
The 'back' key has been replaced by a soft key that works in much the same way. The navigation key when in walkman mode doubles up as media player's control pad. However, there are issues with positioning of the Walkman button that needs to held down to use the Shake Control.
As would be expected from the Walkman range, the media
The W910i has an amazing battery life with a mammoth 540 minutes of talktime.
Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:47:58 PM
Look and feel
Ease of use
The first Walkman handset to boast HSDPA, users will be able to make the most of downloading music
The two-megapixel camera is no more than adequate. Sony Ericsson seems set on either offering handsets with great music functions, or great camera ability, but never both
As many of our loyal readers will be aware, while Mobile Choice remains a big fan of Sony Ericsson's Walkman range, we can't help but it they could do with a bit of a revamp. Well, it would appear that the manufacturer takes our reviews on board as it has promptly brought out the new Sony Ericsson W910i, complete with HSDPA and a 'shake control' function. Design wise, Sony Ericsson has reverted back to the slider-style handset à la the W850i. While the slide action is smooth and responsive, it could do with a tad more movement, as the top half of the phone can interfere slightly when trying to gain access to keys one to three. We notice that Sony Ericsson has omitted the 'back' button that has been such a mainstay for the majority of its handsets. Instead, you now use the top right soft key to move back to the previous option, which is still perfectly straightforward. Available in Noble Black or Hearty Red, the W910i is impressively light at a mere 86g. When closed, the keys on display include a navigation key that doubles up as the media player's control pad. Also found are the call and end keys, the activity menu key, the clear key and two selection keys that are used to select a command. The last two keys on display on the front of the fascia are the two gaming keys, found on either side of the top of the screen. When in standby mode, the gaming key on the right acts as a shortcut to your camera files and the key on the left takes you to x-PICT Story, a fun application that allows you to show your pics in a slideshow format, complete with soundtrack, fade outs and rotating screens. There are enough features on the W910i to keep you entertained, including video filming capability, but the device isn't really designed for the more dedicated snapper; the W910i houses a standard two-megapixel camera that is adequate without being great. However, the W910i's main purpose in life (apart from the obvious communicating functions) is entertainment, and more to the point, playing music. And this, fans of the Walkman range will be pleased to hear, Sony Ericsson continues to do well.
Sony Ericsson has introduced a number of gimmicks to the W910i. The most interesting is the shake control. It may soon become commonplace to see people in the street shaking their fist in what might look like a fit of rage. The chances are, however, that they may simply be changing the track on their W910i. That is because the shake control function requires the user to flick their wrist to change track: flick it to the right and the Walkman will skip forward a track; flick it to the left and it will skip back a track. While a novel idea, this function isn't without a few shortcomings. Firstly, right-handed users may find it easier to flick back a track rather than forward. In fact, the action itself requires a degree of practice so you don't inadvertently cancel a command with a 'double action'. However, the real issue lies with the fact that to do the 'shake', you need to hold down the Walkman button found on the top of the device, which is not the easiest to access, especially when the slider is open. The reason behind this would appear to be to stop an accidental 'shake', say when the device is in your pocket, but we're sure that the Walkman button could have been better placed, perhaps on the side of the phone. Tracks can also be changed by the more conventional method of holding down the volume switch (to alter the volume, you need to press the button repeatedly until you reach your desired level).
SensMe is a great application that allows you to categorise your tracks into four moods: fast; happy; sad; and slow. Each track can be positioned to varying degrees so you could have your most tear-jerking break-up song at the desolate end of the sad spectrum, with the remainder of your 'sad' tracks gradually getting less mournful until you reach the happy element of your collection. Listed in a grid-like format, SensMe issues a circle that can be positioned around a selection of your tracks, thus giving you an eclectic playlist. Played through our Sennheiser headset, the music quality didn't disappoint, as one would expect. The new media manager automatically converts any music formats (and video content for that matter) into MP3s, although if you'd rather change the default setting, tracks can also remain in AAC format. The W910i comes with a 1GB memory stick, which is expandable up to 4GB (we hear that this will be 8GB in the not too distant future).
The W910i is fitted with motion sensors which, as well as playing a part in the shake control, also comes into play with the media player. Turn the handset on its side and the screen will automatically transform into a landscape view. The transformation is not immediate, however, presumably to avoid any accidental changes. The motion sensors can also be used to operate the W910i's list of games - Marble Madness 3D is strangely addictive, albeit rather tricky. There are a number of features and functions that separate the W910i from the rest of the Sony Ericsson Walkman range. The fact that it has HSDPA means it's far more powerful than its predecessors and makes web access and downloads (the W910i comes with Sony Ericsson's PlayNow built-in) fast and enjoyable. The shake control may prove to be an acquired taste, but the SensMe function is sure to feature on all future Walkman handsets. Overall, it's great to see Sony Ericsson looking to improve an already cracking range of phones. The W910i is not the complete article, but it certainly bodes well for the future of the Walkman range.