Monday September 26, 2005 8:52 pm
Sony Ericsson Walkman W800i First Impressions
We got a new toy in the mail today, which will be reviewed in full soon enough here on Gear Live. First impressions are incredibly positive. The packaging is quite impressive, and there is what feels like a ton of stuff packed into the attractive “bubble”. The headset cord comes in two pieces, with the microphone portion containing a standard 3.5mm headphone jack so that you can use any cans you want. The installed headphones are a variation on their popular in-ear headphones (of which I already own a pair), and the sound quality is excellent. Read on for more thoughts.
The phone has what SonyEricsson calls “Dual Faces”, meaning that from the back, the phone looks like a digital camera. Pictures taken with the digital camera portion of the phone are very good quality (2.0 megapixel), and there is even a LED light used for assisting the auto-focus (yeah, it’s got auto-focus!) and as a somewhat mediocre flash.
The phone comes with a 512MB Memory Stick Duo, the same kind used in the Sony PSP and some of Sony’s smaller digital cameras. It’s difficult to remove the memory card, but once you do, you can use it in any of those devices, and it’s that aspect of the phone (it’s usefulness with other Sony products) that I’m going to explore for GearLive. Being able to take photos with the phone and then share those photos with friends on the PSP is an interesting idea.
The phone has some pretty cool animated themes that are eye-catching, and you can use either MIDI (also known as polyphonic) ringtones, or MP3 files. MP3 files on the memory card are seen in the ringtone browser, and sound great through the built-in speaker on the phone, as well as through the headphones. The 512MB card is a bit small, but was enough to hold a few of my favorite albums. The phone can take up to a 2GB card, though it’s a very expensive upgrade.
So far, I’ve only found one real downside, and that’s the retail price. $500 is a lot to choke down; the phone is intended to be sold without a contract in retail electronics stores. You get a lot in the package for the money, but it’s still a tough pill to swallow. Perhaps if some of the cellular carriers start offering the phone, it’ll be possible to get a decent subsidy on the price.
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