Review: Sony Ericsson W810i
By Cian Ginty
The W810i is essentially an update on the previous W800i model that introduced Sony’s Walkman portable music player brand into mobile phones.
While this phone might not be as thin as the W880i, it’s still smaller then most phones out there.
Thankfully the mini-joystick central control of older Sony Ericsson’s has been replaced by directional pad with a button in the centre. Meanwhile, for those used to larger phones the numerical pad may cause texting problems; however, unlike the W800i, the buttons are separated and easer to distinguish one from another.
On the Walkman side of things there are volume control and play/pause side buttons, which work even when the phone is locked.
Unlike other current models the W810i holds on to the Memory Stick PRO Duo memory format, which means the cards are interchangeable with its predecessor as well as the wide range of Sony cameras and the PlayStation Portable.
Memory provided is poor at 512MBs, but the now-known to be expensive Memory Stick format has come down in price with 2GB available for lower then EUR40 and a 4GB stick is slightly sharper at around EUR120 from sites such as expansys.ie and komplett.ie.
The sound quality is of the level you’d expect from Sony. Surprisingly even the mono speaker packs punch in quality and — for a phone — volume. Although music from the speaker will be quickly drowned out in a loud pub you can drive your friends mad on the way home.
The headphone connection like most phones is via the manufactures’ specialised port. And while the rubber earbuds are comfortable they have a habit of getting lost when they get caught on anything. The cable also acts as an antenna for the phone’s FM radio.
If enhanced base is your thing, Sony’s Mega Bass certainly improves the sound. After usage you’ll start to wonder what the problem is if it’s turned off.
While the phone’s internet browsing is limited by the reliance on GPRS, accessing services such as Gmail isn’t as painful as you might think it would be on such a small phone. It works if you need it in a fix, but this is a music phone first and foremost.
Other features include a decent 2.0 mega pixel camera, and a reasonable quality video camera.
When the W810i is switched on the option to use just the music player function is given, although you might have a job on your hands convincing Aer Lingus crew that the phone is on in-flight mode and antenna function is disabled.
Overall, the W810i is what it says on the side of it — a Walkman — a music player with the added benefit of being able to make calls and text.
The handset is available in black or white on Meteor pay-as-you-go for EUR199, or between EUR30 and EUR50 on bill pay. O2 has it in black only for the same price on bill pay, or EUR179 on prepay.