Primarily a media phone, the W705 is for those that don’t ask too much in terms of the camera or email functionality. It’ll impress people, thanks to its shiny good looks. Just don’t offer to show them the iPlayer on it.
What we like
There is one thing that will immediately make you gasp when you get this phone out of the box. The screen clarity? The range of buttons? No. The brave decision to go with both silver and gold for the front of the phone. But do you know what? It works.
Of course, being a Walkman phone it’s got some quirky ways of controlling your music. If you’re a fan of flinging your arms about to skip a track, the ShakeIt function will be right up your street (luckily there’s controls on the front of the phone for the rest of us) and SensMe plots your music on a kind of mood-based graph, so you can match your tunes to your emotions. In practice, it takes the decision to plot the phone’s ringtones alongside your tracks – I’m sure Bon Iver would be thrilled to find out they sit aside ‘chirp’.
Using the full range of responses to text messages is tempting on this phone, as when you get an SMS you’re automatically given the choice to respond with a video, animation, sound clip or picture via the taskbar below. It makes plain text seem a little dull.
What we don’t like
Despite being a Walkman phone, the main issues seem to originate from the media capabilities. For instance, when you turn on the phone, it often takes a good couple of minutes for the phone to show the songs or videos you’ve loaded, even if they’ve been there for months. And if you’re a Mac user, you’ll find the Media Manager software supplied only works on PCs – the alternative is loading it as a standard USB device.
The thought of having the iPlayer subtly dropped into the media menu on this phone appeals enormously. Although the screen is a relatively small 2.4-inches, all is forgiven, since it’s fairly bright and auto rotates. But trying to get the iPlayer to work is quite a feat. Two SIM cards in, and, despite both streaming YouTube via the HSDPA connection, the iPlayer wouldn’t work. In practice, Wi-Fi is probably a better option for many anyway, due to HSDPA coverage issues, but sadly, this didn’t work either. Despite delving into the innards of the router, there were no setting changes I could create to make it work, and a quick browse through the internet suggested I was not the only one to come across this problem.
There’s no doubt about it, it’s a good looking phone. And in terms of specs, it delivers an impressive amount of storage, thanks to the bundled memory card, and great connectivity. Unfortunately, it’s let down by a few niggling issues, which stop short of branding it a really good phone.