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Sony Ericsson W950i review

A triumph of style over substance

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Our Verdict

The W950i seems to have been designed with music-playing features in mind, and precious little else

For

  • Good music features

Against

  • No camera

    Awful keypad

If you thought smartphones were all about business, then Sony Ericsson is here to remind you there is life outside the office.

After all, when you're stuck in a departure lounge for hours on end, your MP3 player can become your best friend and, naturally enough, Sony Ericsson would prefer you reach for your Walkman phone rather than an iPod. To that end, you get 4GB of Flash memory to store your WMA and MP3 music files which you transfer from your laptop over a USB 2.0 connection.

You get three cables in the box that fit the proprietary connector on the bottom of the phone. There's a USB cable, a cable with play controls that ends in a female jack for the headphones and a charging cable which has a male/female connector, so you can plug in one of the other cables while you're charging the phone.

Then there's the styling, which throws up some serious questions. First the colour, which is described as mystic purple. It's not; it's aubergine. Due to the inclusion of the Flash memory, there's no camera, as there simply isn't space to fit one. This may suit businesses, but this is a multimedia Walkman phone, so the absence of a camera is noticeable.

Finally we have the keypad, which is simply dreadful. It's completely flat with no divisions between the keys and only some tiny plastic bumps to help you work by touch. The numbers are backlit and look very smart, but the keypad is a triumph of styling over function.

Navigation is aided by a touchscreen and jog wheel, but it's not all plain sailing as the icons are rather small. You're likely to need the stylus, which means that you'll need both hands to use the phone.

The Sony Ericsson W950i is a great attempt at doing something a little more consumer-biased with a smartphone, but it fails to hit most of the spots you need a smartphone for, so comes across as less than ideal.