Sony Ericsson W880i

A Fun Music phone for those on the Run.. Way back before iPods, heck, way back before mobile phones even, when music files were just something used in video games and nerdy websites, there was the Walkman.

With one of those portable devices, you could take your music on the run, and your whole cassette collection as well. How things have changed.

Just last week we had a preview of the Sony Ericsson W880i and a peek at the full technical details of this new “Walkman” phone.

The Sony Ericsson W880i is an ultra-slim and exceptionally light 3G phone, as thick as a CD case (9.5mm) and weighing in at just an astonishing 72 grams, which is even more amazing in that the W880i is finished in stainless steel. With a display of 1.8″ in 262,000 colour, the W880i puts it to good use the 2-megapixel primary camera with a secondary camera for video calls (the slightly smaller screen means less weight and longer battery life).

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A petite 1GB Memory Stick Micro card (if they get any smaller, looking for lost contact lenses will be easier!) provides enough space for about 16 of your favourite CDs stored in high-quality format. Of course, it has stereo Bluetooth and an enhanced version of the Walkman player, which is really why you should buy this phone, if you’re not in the mood to wait around for Apple’s iPhone we reviewed in the last issue of Think.

In terms of looks, the W880i combines Sony Ericsson’s typical understated design with a distinctly stylish finish. Combined with the ultra-slim form factor, and this phone clearly has plenty of “wow” factor and comes in two colour schemes; “Steel Silver” and “Flame Black”. The keys are small, the phone is slim, and it looks set to challenge the LG Chocolate in the looks department.

As for connectivity, it’s not a quad band device; it’s a UMTS 2100 MHz 3G phone with tri-band 900/1800/1900 MHz GSM. Talk time on GSM is quoted as 6.5 hours with 17 days standby time and up to 20 hours of music playback. 3G use and Bluetooth will reduce the battery life, of course.

Other features that are very similar to other handsets in the Walkman phones line-up include the web browser, email client, RSS newsreader, speakerphone, video streaming and of course a comprehensive multimedia player. Unlike some of the other Walkman phones, the W880i doesn’t have an FM radio, but who listens to radio these days anyways?

Sony Ericsson has a few designer phones up their sleeves for the next year, and although the W880i is being pitched as a Walkman phone, it’s got the looks to be a designer phone in its own right. And that’s all right with us… www.sonyericsson.com – Joe Bodia