Sony Ericsson W980 review

A versatile, well-specified phone that will do a fine job for the majority of mobile users Tested at £0.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

A versatile, well-specified phone that will do a fine job for the majority of mobile users


  • +

    Simple to use

  • +

    sensible menu and button layout

  • +

    good spec


  • -

    Audio and video playback are bettered

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It's said that familiarity breeds contempt, but in the world of mobile phones we think it's more a case of better the devil you know.

While Nokia led the way in terms of sheer ease of use when mobiles first emerged, Sony Ericsson has since more than matched it, and so provides perhaps the most welcoming and intuitive traditional phone interface here.

So we're soon working our way through the brand new W980 Walkman phone's features. There's an impressive 8GB internal memory, matching the iPhone's capacity – it's a 3G phone, too – on to which you can load AAC, MP3 and WAV audio files plus MP4 and WMV video.

There's also a decent 3.2 megapixel camera here, complete with zoom. To add to the list of plus points, there is also an FM radio.

Shake it to shuffle it

A unique feature of this Walkman ‘clam' phone is the ‘shake control', which allows you to shuffle your tunes with a vigorous shake of the handset. Dare we say, gimmicks aside, despite Sony's ‘clear audio' claims, the Sony sounds fairly average – not least through the poor earphones.

We'd like a little more bottom end depth, while the level of detail and dynamics on display simply can't match the iPhone or indeed the Samsung offering.

Meanwhile the screen is fine but fairly small for video playback. A large capacity memory and idiot-proof usability are this phone's positives. Sadly, though, when it comes to sonic ability, it can't quite rise to the challenge of the best available here.

What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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