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Sony Ericsson W995a

>> Monday, June 8, 2009

Despite its many features, Sony Ericsson W995a manages to be rather compact (3.8 inches tall by 1.9 inches wide by 0.6 inch thick) and lightweight (4.0 ounces). The phone travels well and it has a solid feel, but we noticed that the slider mechanism wobbled just a bit. The W995a comes in progressive black, cosmic silver, and energetic red, though the features are the same on all models. Sony Ericsson W995a's real estate is dominated by a gorgeous 2.6 inch display.

Supporting 16.7 million colors (320x240 pixels), it lends itself well to still graphics, photos, and simple animations. The menu interface is standard Sony Ericsson you can choose from four styles, but we consider the list and grid options to be the most intuitive. You can adjust the brightness to your liking. Sony Ericsson can stumble when designing navigation controls, but the W995's come off pretty well.

The circular toggle and central OK button are large and pleasantly tactile. The surrounding navigation controls, which are shaped like half circles, are a bit small, but they're also raised above the surface of the phone. You'll find two soft keys, a clear button, and a control that activates a user customizable shortcut menu. Spacious Talk and End or power keys sit on either side of its navigation array. The keypad doesn't fare quite as well, unfortunately.

The buttons are rather small and they have a slippery feel. Compared with other slider phones we could dial without looking, but it wasn't the most comfortable experience for rapid dialing or texting. Also, we're worried about long term durability since the area that surrounds the keys "gives" just a bit when we pressed down. It's worth noting that a similar phone the Sony Ericsson W580i developed cracks over time.

On the left spine you'll find a Walkman player shortcut and the proprietary Sony Ericsson headset jack. We're hoping that before too long Sony Ericsson joins other manufacturers in moving to a standard Micro-USB charger connection. On the right spine are a camera shortcut, music player controls, and a volume rocker. The latter doubles as a zoom control for the camera, though it's a little too small for our tastes.

The 3.5 millimeter headset jack rests conveniently on the top of the phone between stereo speakers. You'll be able to use your own headset while carrying the phone in a pocket. On the rear side are the camera lens, flash, and kickstand. The former two are in the top right corner so that Sony Ericsson W995a resembles a standalone camera from behind. The camera controls are easily accessible when the phone is the horizontal position just be sure to keep your fingers out of the way.

As we mentioned, you can use the kickstand to prop the W995 on a table without resting it against your hand or a book. It certainly makes for convenient media viewing, though the kickstand's hinge is rather loose. We'd prefer that it click into place in the open position. And for what it's worth, we'd like it even better if the display offered better video quality.


AD1N June 17, 2009 at 11:02 AM  

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