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Review: Sony Ericsson's Fabulous W810i

Review by Michael Oryl on Wednesday April 19, 2006.

sony ericsson w810 · cell phone reviews · sony ericsson news · cell phone news · michael oryl

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When announced, Sony Ericsson's W800 was the first of the company's now blossoming line of Walkman branded music phones. Based on the K750 that it was launched with, the wild-looking orange and white W800 went on to receive rave reviews in the press. Now, a year later, Sony Ericsson has toned down the look a bit, added some new UI tweaks, and upgraded to quad-band GSM/EDGE support to come up with the W810, the subject of this review.

The W810 is certainly an incremental upgrade from the W800, but the sheer number of incremental changes should make the W810 an appealing upgrade to many.

Physical Aspects

Physically, the W810 is about the same size and shape as the W800 before it. It weighs 98.8g (3.5oz) with SIM and memory card and measures 100mm x 46mm x 19mm (3.9" x 1.8" x .75") in size. The new keypad design is not all that different from that found in the W800, except that there is now space between each column of keys as well as each row. This makes the new keys a bit smaller, but realistically has no impact at all on usability. The new control cluster underneath the display has changed quite a bit, though. The joystick has been replaced with a reasonable d-pad that has been marked for music control. The left and right softkeys share a piece of plastic with the back and clear keys, respectively. The lone Walkman button of the W800 has been replaced by matching Walkman and Shortcut keys on either side, a nice addition. Overall feel and action from all of the controls is good, but the key clusters on either side of the d-pad are a bit cramped for my liking, and I also prefer a good joystick to a good d-pad any day of the week.

The right side of the W810 is where you will find the dedicated camera button and the volume control. The volume is on the right hand side instead of being in the normal left hand position because it also acts as the zoom control for your left hand when the camera is in use. I found the camera shutter button to lack feedback and require too firm of a touch to activate the camera and snap a photo. The left edge of the W810 is where you will find the memory card slot and the dedicated play/pause music button (which works at pretty much any time, excluding when the camera is activated).

The top edge of the W810 is where the IR port is located, as well as the power switch (which can be used to select ring profiles). The bottom of the device is home to the relatively new Fast Port connector and a lanyard loop. The back of the W810 is where the camera resides - this time without a protective cover. The LED flash and orange colored self-portrait mirror are also out back, as you would expect. The smaller than typical battery cover can be removed to expose a tight slot for sliding in the battery and the SIM card.

Overall build quality seems to be good, which is what we have come to expect from Sony Ericsson. But the device does seem to creak more when squeezed than the earlier models, and just doesn't come across as rock solid as the W800 and K750 did. The look also seems to be a bit more plastic-like. Of course it is, indeed, made of plastic, but I just feel that the K750 and W800 made that less obvious. This is probably much a matter of taste, though, so judge for yourself.

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About the author

Michael Oryl
Michael is the Philadelphia based owner and former editor-in-chief of MobileBurn.com. You can follow him on Twitter as @MichaelOryl

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