Sony Ericsson W760i mobile phone review

4.5 out of 5
Dependent on contract

For

Music capabilities, 3.2-megapixel camera, GPS, accelerometer

Against

No 3.5mm jack, no flash on the camera, no Wi-Fi

It seems Sony Ericsson offers more Walkman handsets than we've had hot dinners, so is the W760i the handset for you? We get listening and calling to find out.

The new W760 slider is the latest Walkman handset and was announced at the same time as the W380 and W350 models at the beginning of the year. Available in three colours silver, red or black (Sony Ericsson actually calls the colours Rocky Silver, Fancy Red and Intense Black) you get a 2.2-inch screen, a 3.2-megapixel camera and 1GB Memory Stick in the box and HSDPA connectivity, GPS and an accelerometer for control with movement rather than keys.

The slider design is unadventurous, but sturdy and easy to use with a dedicated Walkman button on the side and enough shortcut keys to use without having to "slide" the handset open.

As with most sliders, the 3.2-megapixel camera is hidden when the phone is closed, and as with so many other Sony Ericsson camera phones that aren't in the Cyber-shot range, lacks a flash or auto focus.

Besides the camera, the handset also sports a GPS receiver so you can find out where you are and one of those many shortcut keys on the front of the phone is to access the location services. Out of the box the handset comes with Google Maps as well as Wayfinder for turn-by-turn navigation.

In an attempt to save you battery, the GPS receiver can fortunately be easily turned off however the multitude of location-based software available to you means you'll probably find you keep it turned on. We especially like Tracker, a training programme that allows you to determine how far you've run or travelled and gives you warnings accordingly if you are running too fast or too slow based on predetermined settings. The software is very similar to Samsung's MiCoach although doesn't come with the website interface to match the Korean's impressive sports-focused handset. It will certainly appeal to those keen to see how they run and check their performance.

Beyond the GPS there is also HSDPA so you can browse the Internet or download stuff fast, and thanks to the accelerometer in the handset, the W760i supports landscape browsing.

In fact, looking down the list of phone features, it's more of a case of spotting what is missing - Wi-Fi - rather than what is included.

There is Bluetooth, video game support, you get EA's Pro Street in the box plus two dedicated gaming buttons, and the support for the newly announced Zee remote, and that's before you get to the music element, the supposed main focus of the handset.

When you do get to the music part, luckily for Sony Ericsson, it doesn't let the side down. A "Media" button gives you the media crossbar Sony PSP or PS3 users will be familiar with and this allows you to access your relevant media, songs, photos and games, easily.

Music playback is via the Walkman player and again this can be viewed landscape or portrait as well as supporting movement to turn the volume down or flick to the next track (better hold on tight).

In keeping with our usual complaint about Sony Ericsson phones here at Pocket-lint, there is no 3.5mm headphone jack, this is offered via a dongle as usual.

Music can be transferred to the device via drag and drop or your regular array of music software packages if you aren't up for using the one bundled in the box and most file formats, although not all, are supported. However Napster or music subscription customers will be pleased to know the W760i is classed as a supported device.

Playback from a sound perspective is good. The onboard speakers as you would expect aren't great, but the supplied earphones are surprisingly good.

Verdict

The Sony Ericsson W760i sells itself in as music phone and ends up being so much more.

Whether it's the games, the camera, the internet access or the GPS, there is plenty for the person looking for a host of up-to-date features.

It's not perfect, and lets face it, the slider design is not for everyone, but if you are after a compact handset that is easily pocketable with a strong music focus rather than just another smartphone, this will be hard to beat.