The Sony Ericsson W900 is a cellphone I really wanted a while back so getting to review it now is quite nice. I was lucky once again to borrow this phone from a friend for a few days.
I need to be blunt here, this phone is huge and heavy. Its one of the biggest and heaviest phones I think I have ever used. The official dimensions are 109 x 49 x 24 mm and it weighs 148 g but it honestly feels like more. It has a nice big screen coming in at 240 x 320 pixels.
The SE W900 has a 3G connection, Bluetooth, Infrared port and a USB port. The W900 comes bundled with the Sony Ericsson PC Suite which you can use to connect the mobile to a computer, either through the Bluetooth, USB or infrared connections and use the mobile as a modem. Since the w900 is getting on in age I do suggest you update the PC Suite.
It has a 2 megapixel camera with a maximum resolution of 1632×1224 with autofocus and a flash. It also has a secondary camera for video calling which, to be honest, doesn’t really ever get used here in South Africa. Although video calling has been available for years, it has just never taken off.
The main feature behind the W900 is to basically replace low end MP3 players and combine this feature into a cellphone. The w900 does this very well but more about this later on in the review. This mobile supports Java applications, contains a basic organiser and a voice recorder.
As I said earlier the main purpose behind the Walkman series from Sony Ericsson is to replace the lower end MP3 players. The W900 does this very well. The sound quality is phenomenal and thats the only way to describe it. I am permanently attached to my iPod but while I had this mobile in my possession I didn’t even touch the iPod. The headset that comes bundled with the phone is perfect. They are comfortable and the sound quality is surprisingly good. I listened to various hard rock and metal bands so the bass levels were tested decently. There was no distortion of the sound even at higher volumes. Personally, I feel the headset provided with the W900 is of better quality than those bundled with an iPod. The W900 also contains an equalizer with several presets to get the exact sound you want.
The first application I installed was MXiT. It was quick and painless, as it should be, and it worked very well for about 3 ours at a time. Unfortunately, after about 3 hours I would have to log out of MXiT and log back in again. I’m not sure but I think the W900 might have a “safety” feature which cancels a connection after a certain time period. This also happened when I used the mobile as a modem.
Next I installed Shozu which, again, installed quickly and without any problems. I also installed Opera Mini and again, I had no problems in installing it or using it. Using most 3rd party applications with the W900 seems to be a dream.
The W900 has two modes, a music only mode and dual mode. Obviouslu when you’re using it as a cellphone you’re always going to use the dual mode. Although its stated that the battery should last up to 8 hours talk time, the battery only lasted around 5 and a half hours.
I was logged into the MXiT the whole time, sent text messages, browsed some websites in Opera and made 2 phone calls. When you think about it, its not that bad but it does require you to have a charger with you if you’re going to use to this extent.
When I recharged the mobile, I only logged into MXiT and tried to do as little as possible and the battery lasted the whole day and I still had 3 bars of battery life when I got home. I then decided to test out the music only battery life.
I’ve read people stating that you can get up to 30 hours in music only mode and I’m inclined to believe them. I listened to music all day (8 hours at work) and at the end of the day the battery still showed as full. This beats even mu iPod which is only really designed to play music.
The Sony Ericsson W900 is a good sturdy and solid mobile phone. So sturdy in fact was it almost becomes a negative aspect. The phone is really big and the way the screen slides over the keypad becomes quite irritating when you want access to the keypad quickly. I did have one dropped call but that could have been a network problem.
All in all, if you’re looking for a basic cellphone that plays music very well, you can’t go wrong with the W900.
1) Great sound quality
2) Pretty decent camera for 2MP
3) Very user friendly
4) Large amount of space onboard (470MB)
5) Great to use as a mobile modem (3G)
6) Pretty decent battery life
1) The phone is physically too big
2) It is quite heavy
3) Data connection loss after about 3 hours
4) Keypad swivel action is not optimal
I’m still trying to figure out the scoring system for the website so expect a few changes in the future but here are the scores for the Sony Ericsson W900:
Sound Quality: 10/10
Physical attributes: 6/10