To understand this phone, we need to go to almost the start of the portable music revolution. In the last decade, the Walkman fell by the wayside, and the iPod defined the way music was to be listened to in this era. So when portability was on a new high with mobile phones, Sony Ericsson had a brilliant series of Walkman phones that was hugely popular as well. Now in the smartphone era, Sony Ericsson makes another attempt to revive the Walkman through its W8. Sony Ericsson W8 is touted as the world's first Walkman smartphone, and rightly so too. Its blueprint somehow comes from the Sony’s popular Xperia X8, but it's way different than what Xperia had to offer.
The W8 from Sony looks like a small phone on steroids by the looks of it. At first I held it in my hand I was groping for a slider, disappointed that it didn’t have one. But there are just two words to describe the W8 - tiny and bulky. The W8 by the looks of it is not a phone for the fairer sex. Well don’t judge it by the orange back cover, you also get a black cover included in the box if garish colours are not your style. Upfront, the phone features a scratch-resistant 3-inch LCD TFT capacitive touchscreen display with 320X480 pixel resolution. At the back, it sports a curve which adds to its thickness. Looking at the phone you just cant resist drawing a comparison to a tiny fat mouse.
The W8 is made for music lovers, folks who want music on the go with some smartphone functions on it. The Sony Ericsson W8 runs on Android 2.1 éclair, and is powered by a 600 MHz Qualcomm S1 series MSM7227 chipset. It support both networks 2G (GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900) and 3G (HSDPA 900 / 2100). It gives you an option to upgrade to 16GB memory through a microSD card slot. So as I said, not a very high end smartphone when it comes to the specs. So no doubt it’s the first Walkman phone to run on Android OS. At the back the W8 comes with 3.15 megapixel camera capable of snapping 2048×1536 resolution pictures, and capturing VGA-quality video at @30fps. In terms of codec support, the Sony Ericsson W8 supports MP4/H.263/H.264/WMV video, and MP3/eAAC+/WMA/WAV audio.
Sony Ericsson W8 is a Walkman phone and for sure it is a performer when it comes music. The touchscreen is not that great, but bearable. What else can you really expect out of a Android 2.1 smartphone. The camera on the phone is quite a surprise, low light pictures come out fairly decent. At the moment the phone comes bundled with a Reliance 3G SIM and along the phone, you get 50 preloaded songs and 15 bollywood videos. The preloaded quality of media is nice but when you load your set of MP3s on the phone, the volume level slightly dips. The W8 box also comes with a set of Sony Ericsson MS 450 speakers which once paired through its 3.5mm audio jack make it a music player like no other. The speaker output is brilliant and has range. The bass and treble are perfectly balanced on the speakers and the design is futuristic as well. For people who listen to FM through their earphone, the phone box has a bundled Wireless FM Antenna, so you can listen to your favorite FM station on the phone's speakers. So all in all, a brilliant music player, but not so great a smartphone. When it comes to battery power, the W8 sports a Li-Po 1200 mAh battery that is capable of almost 24 hours of music play.
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