This Walkman phone is designed to offer basic music features at a low cost. An uncomplicated slider phone, it looks good, but under-delivers on the music front.
What we like
Compared to many other phones around at the moment, you’ll barely notice the weight of the W395 in your pocket. It’s cased in plastic, making it light, but it’s done so in an understated, attractive way — nothing feels overly plasticy. There’s some mirrored cladding at the front, soft touch at the back, and some understated metallic highlights on the D-Pad – all in all, not a bad effort from the design team.
As a Walkman phone, the key function is obviously the ability to store and play music, so it’s good to see a generous 1GB microSD card being included, regardless of the contract you choose. There’s also a dedicated Walkman key on the front, taking you straight to the music player.
There’s more music fun to be had musically with Guitar Rock Tour – a Guitar Hero rip off, with Muzak-style versions of your favourite hits, but mildly distracting nonetheless.
What we don’t like
One of the features highlighted with this phone is the stereo speakers, apparently designed to give you deep bass and excellent sound quality. In reality, this doesn’t prove to be the case – they’re certainly better than some others around, but they remain, at heart, tinny – you wouldn’t want to listen to your music through them for any decent length of time.
It’s also worth noting that this is a music phone without a 3.5 mm jack, instead favouring Sony Ericsson’s proprietary headphone jack, and there’s no adaptor included. That means it’s the Sony Ericsson way or the highway, so you’ll have to dump your own preferred headphones – inexcusable on a phone claiming to be a music device.
This slider phone also arranges the numerical keyboard with very little distinction between the keys, in terms of touch, which takes some getting used to, and can make typing messages a frustrating experience.
What is given with one hand (1GB microSD card) is taken away with the other (proprietary headphone jack), making this a phone of compromises, and ultimately, means it pleases no one.