[Review] Sony Ericsson W800i


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Martyn

Well I have had my Sony Ericsson W800i for over a month, and I have been basically playing around with the phone for a while now, so I thought I would write a review for you lovely people here at Neowin! I hope this review will help a few of you out seeing as there are so many threads about this phone! By the way most of the photo’s in this thread I found on the net, because the camera I used to take the photo’s didn’t really bring me good results, and my W800i has not yet learned how to take photo’s of itself. This is my first ever Sony Ericsson phone (all my others have been Nokia’s), so it’s a nice change!

Well first off let have a look at the specifications of the phone:

Key Features:

• Music player

• 34MB internal memory + 512MB Memory Stick PRO Duo™ included

• FM radio

• 2 megapixel camera

Dimensions and weight:

• 100 x 46 x 20.5 mm

• 99g

Screen:

• 262,144-colour TFT

• 176 x 220 pixel

The main difference between this phone and the K750i is the aesthetics and the new Walkman branding of the phone. Some people think that the K750i looks a lot nicer, but while I agree that it looks more professional I still think that the W800i is more appealing. The walkman mode was a key feature in me buying the phone, mainly because I will be using this feature a lot when travelling to and from college, and the fact that I don’t have to carry an MP3 player and a phone, which makes it much more convenient.

Box contents

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When I first got my phone I was pleasantly surprised by the way it was packaged. All of my previous phones just come in a Nokia or Orange branded box!

W800i_03_high.png

The box contains:

• W800i,

• Memory card,

• Charger,

• USB cable,

• Headphones,

• Battery,

• PC Suite and drivers,

• Instructions,

Initial thoughts

When you first pick the phone up, you can feel how beautifully made it actually is. It feel’s solid in your hand, which I find quite reassuring, but nevertheless I expect it! The buttons on the phone are pretty good; the joystick is really nice to and easy to use. But to be perfectly honest I liked the keypad on my old phone better simply because it felt softer to use. The OS of the phone is miles better than anything I have ever used before, navigating is made easy and the layout is easy to understand and pick up, even if you haven’t used a Sony Ericsson before.

Outside appearance

Personally, I think the phone looks great. The walkman branding makes it look really unique. The orange and cr?me colour contrast really makes the phone look modern and attractive to me. The way the camera is integrated on the back of the phone also makes the phone look really nice. In short, this phone looks and feels brilliant in your hand when you hold it. It doesn’t feel cheap either, and you can be sure it is well built.

[bNavigation>[/b]>

The navigation of this phone is very different to all my old Nokia’s. It was difficult to get used to at first but now I am used to it I would say navigating using my W800i is even nicer and smoother than all it was on all my old Nokia’s.

There are twelve icons on the menu, and each one takes you to a different place (duh!). The icons are:

• Downloads,

• Orange world (network specific),

• Entertainment,

• Camera,

• Messaging,

• Walkman,

• File manager,

• Contacts,

• Radio,

• Calls,

• Organiser,

• Settings,

w800i-menu.jpg

[bCall Quality>[/b]>

A phone is primarily a phone. But with all the fancy features of phones these days, call quality is often overlooked. However, Sony Ericsson has definitely not overlooked call quality on the W800i! Talking to people on the phone sounds great, I think this may have something to do with the all round superb sound quality that Sony Ericsson have developed for this phone in general for the Walkman feature.

[bCamera>[/b]>

One of the main selling points of this phone is its superb camera. I find it really cool that the phone has been designed to act like a professional camera. As soon as you open the lens cover, the camera comes on in its full glory. From there you can adjust a number of settings in order to get your perfect photo. I have heard that the camera interface is similar to Sony’s Cybershot Camera, so Cybershot users should feel right at home. Some of the settings you can adjust are:

• Shoot mode,

• Picture size,

• Macro mode,

• Night mode,

• Light,

• Self timer,

• Effects,

• White balance,

• Picture quality,

• Time and date,

I have been experimenting with the camera since I have got it, and I have found the 2 mega pixel camera has produced good results, the auto focus feature really sharpens up some of the pictures. Some of the photo’s I took are below (I have resized them for the purpose of this thread):

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[bVideo’s>[/b]>

Whereas the quality of photo’s taken on the W800i is second to none, the same cannot be said for the video. Filming video’s gives you the same options to choose from as taking photo’s. However, it does not offer you the same resolution, which means when you come to play back the video’s they are very blocky, pixelated and basically suck. I still wanted to test the play back of other videos though, so I put a few .MP4 music video’s on the phone and played them back with the walkman feature. At first when it started playing the music video (Robbie Williams – Tripping, just for reference), it appeared quite small on the screen, but then I discovered an option for it to be displayed horizontally full screen! Well when I did this the video played back brilliantly and I was really impressed. If Sony Ericsson just improved the quality of the video recording then we really would have a very good video recording phone as well as a superb camera phone.

[bGames>[/b]>

I always like to have good games on my phone incase I get bored and have nothing to do when im on the bus or something. The default games which came on the phone are quite frankly crap. The only interesting game was “PuzzleSlider”, and that’s only interesting because you can select your own photo, have PuzzleSlider mix it up and then you have to put the pieces in the right order. I did however download some other games (free of course!) and I was quite impressed with them all, especially Super Real Tennis (I think this is a default game on the S700i) as the graphics was quite cool! Lemmings is also pretty fun!

[bWalkman>[/b]>

w800i.jpg

One of the best features on this phone is the Walkman. Personally I love the idea of Walkman branding on a phone, and I must say I was very impressed with the way it has been incorporated into the phone. The walkman mode brings up a refreshing looking screen with a clear layout. You can browse the artists, the songs or the playlists you have made on your phone.

You can play tracks in a variety of different ways, you can listen to them in any order you want or you can shuffle them all. You can also choose what equaliser settings you want, with “MegaBass™” being my favourite. It should also be noted that although the phone offers “playlist support”, it does not support .M3U playlists, just the phones own custom playlists. I find this doesn’t affect me as it is extremely easy to create your own playlists on the phone. Playlists are not really needed on this phone as the Walkman organises all your songs into groups anyway.

There are a few handy shortcuts to aid playing of music, you can use the “Play/Pause” button to immediately start or stop your music. You can use the + & - keys (also used for the zoom on the camera), to increase or decrese volume. You can also use the same keys but by holding them to change tracks.

However, I have encountered some problems using the Disc2Phone software. While the software itself is fairly easy to use and has some nice features (such as re-encoding the bit rate of tracks to reduce file size), it seems to have some incompatibilities with the current firmware.

The headphones that came with the phone were pretty poor, they are “in ear” headphones which stick right down your ear! Personally I don’t like that feeling, and they kept falling out which was really annoying and not very practical. But because this phone has a regular headphone jack I just plugged my tried and trusted Sony headphones in, and enjoyed the music!

sony-ericsson-W800i-f-fbe7.jpg

[bFirmware problems>[/b]>

There have been some issues with the current W800i firmware (R1N035). For example, if I add some tracks and then unplug they will just suddenly disappear and not be there when I come to play them. Occasionally, some tracks bleed into others which is kind of weird. I have also had all of my memory card become corrupted and I lost all my photo’s! Other users have reported these problems and after denying it at first Sony Ericsson seem to have an updated firmware lined up that should be released within a week or so. However, this problem is extremely frustrating and it should not happen at all.

[bOther features>[/b]>

One of the features I really like on this phone is the ability to use themes! Some of the inbuilt themes are pretty poor but I found a site on the net with lots of other nice ones, and I really like the ability to have themes.

89282597259690252kj.jpg

Texting on this phone is a lot different to how it was on my old Nokia’s. For example, the “space” key on Nokia’s is the “0” key by default, whereas the “space” key on my W800i is the “#” key. This is really annoying as I am so used to pressing the “0” key!! It has taken me a long time to get used to it. Also my texting speed has been seriously compromised, as I do text quite a lot I am quite a quick tester, but since I have got my W800i I have found the keys to be a bit more difficult to text with, however with time I will hopefully adapt.

Battery life on the phone seems to be very good. I am confident if I didn’t touch the phone and just left it idle the battery would last for well over a week (I leave it overnight and it only uses a couple of percent, but that might be due to the inaccuracy’s of the meter). I listen to music, text, play games and take photo’s all the time and I get about three or four days usage generally.

I was a bit nervous about moving from my tried and trusted Nokia phones to a completely new brand, but I was so sure that this phone was brilliant that I just had to get it! I am however totally happy that I made the right decision as my W800i totally eclipses my old Nokia 6230.

[bFinal verdict (points out of 10)>[/b]>

Design: 9

I think this phone is the sexiest phone I have ever had the pleasure to lay my hands on. Some people say that it isn’t very “professional”, but im not a business man, I like my gadgets and I find the orange and cr?me quite sexeh! The way the phone can also be used as a normal camera is also a unique and very practical idea from Sony Ericsson.

Features: 9.5

This phone has practically all the features available on the market today, top class camera, bluetooth, MP3 player (and it takes it to a whole new level through the Walkman branding and features), and lots of other features. The only feature the phone does not have is 3G, which does not bother me as I would never use it.

Performance: 9

The phone is a super quick phone, it performs better than any other phone I have ever had. The only problem is there is a bug with the current firmware which makes it difficult for some people to upload songs to their phone and get them to stay there! However, I am sure in the next firmware update this will be fixed.

Final score: 9.5

This phone is without doubt the best phone I have ever used, and I have used quite a few phones. The only thing that stops me giving this phone a ten is the fact that nothing can be perfect. So at the moment, I would say that this phone is one of the best, if not the best, out on the market. Go buy it!

By the way, the fat finger featured in one of the pictures is not min:rofl:l:

Edited by Martyn
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SnoopZ

Good review. I bought myself a SE k750i for christmas from o2 online on pay as you go with free bluetooth headset for ?200, however not used it yet. From the reviews i've read both phones are pretty much identical apart from the w800 has more memory fitted as standard.

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ford.red

thanks,was a great review. but seriously, it's a phone, if you want a good video recorder, you should buy a good video recorder.

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Martyn

thanks,was a great review. but seriously, it's a phone, if you want a good video recorder, you should buy a good video recorder.

That all depends on opinion and personal needs. Although I am not bothered about a video recorder on my phone, other people are, which is why I decided to highlight that in my review.

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Damo R.

thats a cool review...good work :)

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nou

Excellent Review, found stuff i didn't know about that phone. SE K750i FTW :)

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sundayx

nice review. now i just need to flash my 750 to 800 and get myself the hpm 70 headphones.

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Martyn

Good one dude!

I knew you would like it!

:laugh:

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Barnsey

Martyn licks Hicksy's ched :D

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bob_loblaw

I finally cracked and bought one through Amazon. Can't wait until it gets here!! :D :hump: :bounce: :drool:

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SaLiVa

Clean and complete review!

You should make your own website =)

How's the price vs. performance?

How much does it go for anyway?

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kurono

I really want that phone... But it's not available here in Canada, so none of the providers have any plans with it. The places I looked at that did have phone had it going for a really hefty price ($700CDN) :|.

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Wannes

Love the review, very nice written. I just got my K750i so I don't plan on changing soon, although I'd love to have that mediaplayer on my K750i.

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Forevame7189

I still have yet to find the phone in person in my local stores...they said they have to order it and its still over $300 or whatever with contract :angry:.

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jlmodell

very nice review; i was so torn about buying the k750i or the w800i, but i basically broke down and had to get the k750 cause i didn't want anyone at my firm looking at me weird haha.

i never got around to flashing it with the w800 firmware, maybe ill do that, it looks purty, lol.

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deuz

sweet review martyn :)

this is the phone im hopeing to get when i can get enough money!. :pinch: .....

btw marytyn u suk :angry: throughthat is unrelated to theis topic :p

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Martyn

Clean and complete review!

You should make your own website =)

How's the price vs. performance?

How much does it go for anyway?

Thanks :), I did make my own website but I got bored and ran out of time to keep it going, right now since my host moved servers all the links and images are broken. I might get round to fixing it when I have the time and motivation.

I would say the price for performance to me is very good, but I am simply comparing that to phones I have had in the past. I pay ?25 a month for 120 any network any time minutes, and 1000 texts a month (student offer), I am with Orange. Personally, I think this is a very good deal as I got the phone for ?30. I worked out that having the phone on contract would cost ?330 for a year, whereas buying the phone sim free would cost ?300. So I thought that ?30 extra for 1440 minutes and 12000 was not a bad :)al :)

Hope that helps.

sweet review mar:)n :)

this is the phone im hopeing to get when i can get enough money:pinch:inch: .....

btw marytyn u :angry:ngry: throughthat is unrelated to theis to:pc :p

Deuzy babe your just jealous because I dominate you in Fantasy Foot:Dll :D

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Martyn

A new firmware has been released for the W800i, fixing the problems I talked about in my main review.

To update the firmware (some people are having problems updating), I did this and it worked fine:

Downloaded and installed SEUS II:

http://www.sonyericsson.com/downloads/Upda...Inst_2.2.10.exe

Followed the instructions and then it worked fine :D

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Detroit

My friend has this phone and whenever I chill with him I seem to be playing with it always hehe

Very good phone to have with!

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bob_loblaw

Hey Martyn or any K750/W800 owners, do you happen to know how to hide the service provider on the main screen? I can't find the setting/option for it. I think I remember being able to do so on my T610.

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KeR

I was going to get the phone, but here in the US there is no guarantee that it would even work with Cingular in my area :( . Good review though.

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