Sony Ericsson W705 review

Announced at the European MTV awards at the tail end of last year and for the only reason that they needed something to announce, the Sony Ericsson Walkman W705 has only recently found its way to be included in a network's portfolio.

There are a plethora of Walkman handsets now in the Sony Ericson arsenal, you really can’t say they haven’t capitalised on the Sony Walkman branding with what’s on offer in any way shape or form. Adding to the range and fitting nicely into the overall series is this new stylish slider phone, a mobile that also happens to be their first Walkman boasting Wi-Fi.

It was a long time coming to the Walkman range, which is still a distinct puzzlement as to why the question has fallen upon deaf ears with Sony Ericsson. Now it’s here, it seems to be a successful venture for them and a great way to get that valuable music content on to the handset fast and even shared. None more so than with the inclusion of the DLNA sharing standard in the handset, which now means the likes of the latest PlayStations can share the content of the phone over Wi-Fi.

The W705 feels the same and operates as nearly every Walkman phone that’s come before, with continuity being rife throughout the range. Its physical controls and OS is reflective of the series, although we can’t help in feeling the icons and the GUI are rather simple and childlike. Perhaps they’re aiming for a younger market than usual, although it might perturb the mainstream customer who wishes for Wi-Fi in a handset as an upgrade.

Navigating through the music is simple and easy, as expected from a music handset and seeing as that is its core function it does excel at it. The main controls for navigation make up the control panel when the slider is closed and it has the useful ability to shuffle through music with a flick of the wrist. With about 4000 songs on the accompanying 4GB memory card (depending on file size etc), the storage is vast enough to house a decent music collection.

Sony Ericsson has thrown in some other useful niceties too. The likes of the BBC iPlayer is on the menu: streaming all your favourite TV and radio episodes has never been easier, with a decent viewable screen too on its 2.4-inch display.

It’s a shocker to have a handset appear without GPS built-in these days; unfortunately the W705 is one of those. Letting down the use of Google Maps, which everyone and their dog finds so useful these days. Even the likes of geotagging for pictures is dependent on GPS too although it’s not a Cyber-shot camera phone; with only a 3.2-megapixel camera it’s still useful none the less to have GPS built-in. You can triangulate your position from mobile phone masts, but it’s still not the same as real GPS.

Verdict

For their first Wi-Fi slider handset the W705 is a good inclusion in the arsenal of Sony Ericsson Walkman phones. There’s a decent enough battery life too, with 4 hours of talking or 350 hours of standby which is reasonable for any phone. With some minor niggles over the OS, no built-in 3.5mm socket, it’s still a phone worthy of your attention if you’d like the latest music phone with good audio playback and do not wish to go down the iPhone route.