What happens when you marry Walkman with Cyber-shot? You get the Sony Ericsson W995. Read the review of this phone and take a look at its tech specs, features and price while you’re at it.

Mobile Phones: Sony Ericsson: Sony Ericsson W995


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Sony Ericsson W995

 » Sony Ericsson W995 Price in India » Sony Ericsson W995 Technical Specifications 

The marriage of Walkman and Cyber-shot could not have come at a better time than now. Since the entry of both lines of phones into the market, it has always been hard to decide which one to go for and the compromise between music and camera had been always inevitable, until now… With the release of the W995 users get the best of both worlds… well, almost, but it’s a good first attempt and there have been no compromises on the Walkman front.

Design and Looks
The design of the W995 follows traditional Sony Ericsson Walkman slider styling. And since this is the best phone the company has to offer, it comes as little surprise that Sony Ericsson have made no compromises in the design and construction of the phone- not to mention no efforts were spared in giving this feature handset good style.

Coming to the construction, the front and back of the phone's body sport brushed metallic exteriors which give the phone the sturdiness it deserves. Another thing that most users will notice is that the phone is fairly compact and light weight for the feature-set it packs in. The slider's front houses the ample 2.6” 256K TFT LCD screen that offers a resolution of 240x320 pixels. This is the biggest screen on an SE feature phone and produces sharp images that are legible even under direct sunlight.

Below the screen come the hardware keys which include the call/end, navigation and menu keys. Contrary to the impression they give, these keys are extremely comfortable to work with. Sadly, we cannot really say the same for the alphanumeric keypad. Although the alphanumeric keys are widely spaced they provide little feedback on account of the very short key strokes each key has to offer. Nevertheless, it's easy to type without even looking down at the keypad.

For the first time, a SE walkman handset features an alternate set of dedicated music keys at the right side of the form factor. These stand alone music keys are an excellent alternative to the nav-keys which normally double up as the dedicated music keys. The new set of keys also glow in the dark and can be used even when the phone is locked. No need to worry about accidental presses in this case because the new music keys are set in deep into the phone's body, yet they are very responsive to gentle finger presses.

Another welcome addition is a dedicated 3.5mm audio port that makes a first on a Walkman phone. What this means is that you can connect any standard stereo headset of your choice to the phone- just not the one that bundles with the phone. Finally, to round up the Walkman hardware is the dedicated Walkman key on the left side of the phone. It has the same tactility as the alphanumeric keys but is easy to locate and well placed at the centre of the phone. Pressing the Walkman key also puts the phone in Shake mode for Shake control- more on this later.

Speakers on the phone are placed logically at the top and bottom of the phone instead of the back where they are normally found. This prevents the phone from getting muffled when you place it on its back. A final design novelty that's worth noting is the kickstand at the back of the phone. Unhinging the kickstand props the phone into the upright position which enhances the video viewing experience. The kickstand does have some reliability issues because it does not lock into place when kept in the open position.

The phone's UI is quick and responsive and features smooth animations throughout the interface. Although lacking in a dedicated operating system, this Flash Lite themed UI can handle Java multitasking with ease. Coming to the phone's homescreen, the background can be customized to display the insides of select applications in place of the static-image wallpaper. For example the background can be set to display the Walking Mate application which is basically a pedometer that calculates the distance you have walked.

The built-in phonebook is elaborate and contains multiple fields for any single contact. Another important section of the UI that's worthy of description is the Activity Menu. It is commonly found on most Sony Ericsson sets and lets users access favourite applications, recently used applications, the web and lastly, running applications for better control over the phone' multitasking. The UI is not without its faults however. And number one in the complaints box is the flight mode that cannot be switched on without the SIM card inserted. Switching to flight mode also requires that you restart the phone.

The phone's media capabilities can be accessed through the Media Center which gives users access to photos, video, music, games and web content. Like many places in the phone's UI, the Media Center is touch enabled and hence a charm to operate. The Media Center also features DLNA support for certain media types so you can always sync the phone's media with a TV or computer with the compatible support. The phone's telephony is good and exhibits great voice clarity and earpiece/speakerphone performance. But the phone's loudspeaker is average in terms of sound intensity.

The phone's image gallery is typical Sony Ericsson which has the best image galleries in the handset market today. Images can be viewed in timeline mode and can also be viewed depending on their tags. Viewing of images does not come without transition effects, and in this case photos slide in and out of the screen. Watching a slide show prompts users to pick a mood which then plays the appropriate background music depending on the chosen mood. Finally, the kickstand and the large bright screen add to the already enhanced picture viewing experience.

The music component of the software is provided by the Walkman 4.0 music player which features all the functionality of a portable media player. Apart from being able to play files in a variety of audio formats it offers users with an exhaustive number of equalizer presets, custom skins, option to view album art during playback and provide Shake control to lets users skip tracks and shuffle playlists by shaking the phone in specific motions.
A final interesting feature that is common on most other Walkman phones is the SensMe music player that asks you to pick a mood first and then proceed to play the appropriate song to match that mood. This is done using a two-coordinate system to define your mood and also requires that the songs on your phone be tagged by the Media Manager with SensMe option enabled.

The hardware audio quality is the best on any SE Walkman till date. Noise levels are low, the frequency response is just right and cross talk is well within acceptable limits. The end result is you hear the songs the way they were recorded which is a lot to say about a music device, especially one that is also a phone!

Needless to say, the other music application onboard is the FM Radio. It isn't anything exceptional- it offers RDS support and users can save upto 20 channels. In fact the interface of the radio is dull as opposed to the lively interface of the UI or the Walkman media player.

The phone also boasts of advanced video playing abilities. But such tall claims do not lend credence to the phone's actual capabilities. While the phone's large screen and kick stand at the back may look like Sony Ericsson put in a lot of effort to make this into a little movie monster. The software part of it has little to show for thanks to low codec support (users cannot play even common DivX and XviD videos) and the lack of DLNA support. To add insult to injury, the player does not offer support for wide screen aspect ratio. Clearly the phone fails to meet its own claims.

The phone's snapper is an 8MP unit that offers autofocus and face detection. This is the highest on any SE Walkman phone but still fails to impress us in terms of results. While there are extensive camera settings and imaging options like face detection, geotagging and exposure metering, the pictures themselves are noisy or over-sharpened and in some cases. Video capturing capabilities do not exploit the camera's large sensor resolution as videos are recorded at a lousy 30 frames-per-second over QVGA resolution. On the upside, the phone sports the Cyber-shot interface which is one of the best interfaces that can be found in a camera phone today.

Being a higher end model, it goes without saying that the W995 packs in all available connectivity formats with the sole exception of Infrared which is an antiquated feature anyway. Not least among the connectivity options is WiFi. The phone's WiFi is interesting because when there is a presence of a wireless internet, the phone automatically routes all data transfer through the wireless network.

A final application that complements the Media Center is the MediaGO application which is a media sync application that helps transfer, rip CDs, and convert music formats on the go. It also lets users access an apps store where they can buy music online.

The phone's browser is the Access NetFront version 3.4. It is advanced on so many levels and features a custom homescreen, a virtual mouse pointer and a find-on-page feature which can easily rival OperaMini, the leading mobile browser in the world.

Finally, no SE feature phone is complete without a host of wide and varied applications. The list includes, Music DJ, Video DJ, Cam plus, Comeks Strip, Music Mate 5, Music Quiz, Rock Bobblehead, Sound Sensor, Voices FX, Walk Mate, Google Maps and finally a YouTube client. The titles of many applications are self-explanatory and if users are familiar with SE phones, they'll be able to understand which application is capable of doing what.

OK, now for the conclusion; but if you've already read the review you'll know that this phone is a pretty nifty music player. Only the camera and video viewing experience could have been better. But since this phone has the Walkman branding, Sony Ericsson may have intentionally fabricated the phone to perform below average as a camera unit so it does not conflict with the sales of Sony Ericsson's dedicated camera phone lineup, the Cyber-shot series. The verdict is out- you decide.

Features
  • Solid design with brushed metal exteriors
  • Impressive 2.6” 256K TFT display with QVGA resolution
  • 8.1MP camera with AF, LED flash, face detection and geo-tagging
  • 3G, GPS and Wi-Fi connectivity with DLNA support
  • Standard 3.5mm audio jack
  • Stereo speakers
  • Alternate dedicated music keys
  • Flash-Lite themed user-interface with multi-tasking support
  • Kickstand for enhanced video viewing
  • Walkman 4.0 music player with Shake control and SensMe

Accessories
  • VH700 Clip on Bluetooth Headset
  • MW600 Bluetooth Headset
  • MBW-150 Executive Edition Bluetooth Watch
  • MH907 SenseMe Earplugs
  • VH310 Bluetooth Headset
  • MH700 Headset
  • MH907 Headset
  • MS410 Portable Speakers
  • HPM-88 Noise Cancelling headphones

Sony Ericsson W995 Walkman Phone Sony Ericsson W995 Mobile Phone
Sony Ericsson W995 Walkman Music Handset Sony Ericsson W995 Cell Phone

Sony Ericsson W995 Price India
Price:Rs. 21,300
Warranty (years): 1
Color Options:Progressive Black, Cosmic Silver, Energetic Red


Technical Specifications of Sony Ericsson W995
Overview Body Type Slider
Battery Life/Talk time 9.0 Hours
Standby Talktime 370 Hours
Dimensions Width 49 mm
Depth 15 mm
Length 97 mm
Weight 113 g
Camera Camera Yes
Secondary Camera Yes
Camera Resolution 8.1 MP
Camera Flash LED
Auto Focus Yes
Display Display Size 2.6 inches
Display Resolution 240 x 320 pixels
Dispaly Type TFT LCD
Colours 256K
Memory Internal Memory 118MB
Card Slot Yes
Complimentary Card 8GB
Expandable Memory 8 GB
Multimedia Features FM Radio Yes
MMS Yes
MP3 Player Yes
Connectivity Options Wi-Fi Yes
Bluetooth Yes
Infrared NO
USB Connector Yes
GPRS Yes
EDGE Yes
HSCSD Yes
WAP Yes
Technology Cellular Network GSM
3G Yes
SIM Type Single SIM
Operating System Operating System Java based UI
Features Input Type Alphanumeric Keypad
Handsfree Speaker Yes
Flight Mode Yes
Inbulit Dictaphone Yes
GPS Yes
Flashlight Yes
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