It might be the entry level Walkman phone from Sony Ericsson, but that hasn't stopped T-Mobile tying up with Robbie Williams to launch a branded version of the handset for the current concert tour Close Encounters 2006.

The special edition Sony Ericsson W300i Walkman phone, which has been creatively influenced by Robbie Williams himself, is according to T-Mobile, the first time an artist has been directly involved in the design of a phone and is also the first pre-pay Walkman handset launched in the UK.

That design however is virtually impossible to see over the original W300.

The clamshell handset comes pre-loaded with a range of exclusive and previously unreleased content - including a "live" video clip, wallpapers and the opening song from his concert.

The press release promises an identifiable Robbie Williams logo embossed on the back cover, which amounts to an R and W scrawl, and the two Robbie Williams skins to personalise the phone are actually stickers which you have to stick on yourself to a standard W300i rather than customised face plates that could stand some wear and tear.

Inside and the Robbie connections continue with an icon - oh the excitement - that takes you to RobbieWilliams.com, some music and video clips as well as wallpapers and other such paraphernalia.

While the tie-in might be lacklustre and pretty mediocre, luckily those who have been lured by the deal will be left with a very good handset once the love for Robbie has faded.

The W300 is a quad-band phone with a strong emphasis on its MP3 player creditals. The phone boasts storage for about 70 songs and offers up to 30 hours of music listening straight out of the box with the possibility to expand further via memory card.

Like other Walkman branded phones from Sony Ericsson, the W300 sports a dedicated button to access the music software and a small, but punchy speaker on the rear of the phone if you're looking to share your music with others around you.

Failing that of course and you can just plug in a decent set of headphones and enjoy the music alone. Music is stored on the accompanying Sony M2 Memory Stick and 256MB is shipped in the box.

Those not entirely sold on the digital music front, will be pleased to see that the phone comes with a VGA digital camera, albeit not megapixel and Bluetooth so you can connect it to speakers, headphones or even a printer, but don't expect to get great pictures.

Verdict

Without the solid credentials of the Sony Walkman phone, the Robbie Williams elements would make for a rather lacklustre offering. If this had come with proper face plates, whole albums pre-loaded and never before seen images then maybe it would have been something to get excited over, however as it is, a couple of stickers and a link to a website aren't enough.

As the Robbie Williams phone 6/10 as the W300i 8/10 showing that unless you are a die hard fan, you are better off sticking to the unfussed original W300.