One of the nicest surprises coming from Sony Ericsson last summer was its top-of-the-line Walkman-series handset – W902. Even though the Walkman series focuses on multimedia features, the W902 includes some Cyber-shot traits such as 5 Megapixel camera with geo-tagging, autofocus, LED flash and image stabilization. Moreover, the quality of the module camera seems to be on par with high-end Cyber-shot-series handsets, which makes it the first mobile phone that can be tagged both as music device and a camera phone. Add to that the exceptional headset included in the package and the 8GB M2 memory card and you have one of the most promising handsets coming from the Swedish-Japanese company.
This is one of the main problems that the Swedish-Japanese joint venture had in the past with its handsets – boring and obsolete designs. Well, that hasn't stopped its fans from buying its product, which finally propelled the company on a meritorious third place before the economic crisis crash. Nevertheless, since then SE sales have gone down and something new and innovative had to be quickly found and exploited. Today, design is one of the most important features for a new phone. Unfortunately, Sony Ericsson seems to have started to care about that only lately and the W902 is one of the first to take advantage of this change in the company's views. Even though the phone still resembles its Walkman-series predecessors, it approaches a new form that is supposed to make it stand out from the crowd.
Medium sized (110 x 49 x 11.7 mm) and weighing a little bit under 100g (99.8g including battery), Sony Ericsson W902 distinguishes itself through its external music controls that can be found all over the right side of the device. To be sure that these can be used even with the phone kept in a pocket, Sony Ericsson preferred to add 1mm to the size and make the controls bulging from the main body of the handset. Starting from the top, you'll be able to easily find the dual volume keys, Forward, Play/Pause and Previous music keys and a dedicated camera key. The left side only features the universal proprietary Sony Ericsson port for charge and PC synchronization. On top of the handset you can notice another dedicated music button that opens the music player. It looks just like a power off/on that is usually found on Nokia devices, but this one features an inscribed Walkman icon.
On the bottom of the handset there's a small-sized gap where the mic has been placed. Above the 2.2-inch display there's a secondary videocall camera and a small light ambient sensor. The keypad layout doesn't come up with anything new, except for the fact that you can now click every key with ease. The only thing I found a little bit annoying were the controls around the small joystick. There are three available keys crowded on each side of the joystick: 2 soft keys, Accept and Reject calls keys, Shortcut key and C (Delete) key. Otherwise, the keys are a little bit hard to press, but you will get used to it pretty fast. On the back side of the phone Sony Ericsson included a 5 Megapixel camera, and the only protection against scratches seems to be the fact that it has been embedded a little bit lower into the body of the case. Above the camera there is a LED flash, while on the bottom left of the back hood there is a nice loudspeaker. Unfortunately, I think Sony Ericsson could do much better in terms of material used for manufacture, which is a thin plastic. A little bit of metallic material would've made it more desirable.
Still, Sony Ericsson W902 is a step forward in terms of design and ergonomics. While, the candybar hasn't been too solidly built, it feels pretty compact in hand, with the exception of the back cover, which seems rather flimsy.
Display and Camera
The only disappointment regarding the W902's display is its rather small size, at only 2.2 inches. Coated in mineral glass, which makes it more resistant to scratches, the screen supports 262K colors and a 240x320 pixel resolution. Contrast and brightness are exceptionally good, but the main attraction is the fact that it is perfectly visible in the sunlight. For more in-depth info regarding performance, check out the benchmarks below.
The 5 Megapixels camera of the candybar is definitely one of the best features of the phone.
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