The Sony Ericsson W995 looks like the Walkman phone we’ve all been waiting for. Packed with features and a 3.5mm headphone jack, it looks like it could be a winner. Read our review to find out if Sony Ericsson has cracked the Walkman code or if it’s just another rehash of an old phone.
What we like
When you fist take the W995 out of the box you’ll be surprised by its size — it’s a lot smaller than it looks in pictures. It’s really well constructed, the slide mechanism is reassuringly sturdy and the keypad is, for a change on a Sony Ericsson handset, well spaced out with a good layout.
We’re pleased, no, overjoyed to report that the W995’s music offering is superb. The W995 comes equipped with a 3.5mm audio jack and sound quality is great. Even the stereo speakers sound good, which is rare for any mobile phone — annoying teenagers at the back of buses, take note.
The W995’s GPS worked well with Google Maps, useful if you tend to get lost in town. HSDPA (3.5G) and Wi-Fi, made browsing the Internet relatively enjoyable but we recommend downloading Opera Mini. Finally, we appreciated the addition of an FM radio that isn’t a high-end feature but we like it.
What we don’t like
Sony Ericsson has a history of making good camera phones and yet for some reason it doesn’t seem to like putting great cameras in its Walkman phones. The W995’s 8.1-megapixel camera is fine if you’re taking shots in daylight and stand very still but everything else we tried came out poorly.
The camera’s lack of xenon flash didn’t help it in low light and there seemed to be a significant shutter lag, so if you’re taking an action shot then it’s likely to come out blurry. Our only other complaint is about the YouTube and iPlayer apps that didn’t seem to always offer smooth playback.
The Sony Ericsson W995 is one of the best Walkman phones ever made. Our only disappointment was about the camera and streaming video content quality but other than that we highly recommend this phone. This is Sony Ericsson at its best.