Sony Ericsson W960i reviewed by IntoMobile

Sony Ericsson W960i reviewed by IntoMobile

Well folks, here it is – the long awaited Sony Ericsson W960i review is before you, divided into several sections. Hope you’ll find it useful, and in case you still have questions after reading it, please use our comments form — I’ll do my best to answer in one of the future posts. Ready? Let’s roll…

The look

The Sony Ericsson W960i is the most beautiful UIQ 3 based smartphone ever made. It’s slick and slim, and fits the hand like not many other devices do. Except for the stylus, the phone is very solidly built. The plastic has that cool matte finish and is made so that it doesn’t slips easily from a hand.

Sony Ericsson W960i stylus

As for the stylus, unfortunately I must report I hate it. Compared with the stylus of the P990i, it looks like an unfinished piece of plastic, like it was simply cut from some raw material. Still, it’s not the reason to hate the device as stylus is useful after all — it’s just an area which I would like to see improved in the future Sony Ericsson Walkman smartphones. Since I use a finger for most of the interactions with the device, this doesn’t fully counts.

Keypad

Going from the Nokia N93, at first, I hated the buttons. They are smaller and I thought I would be making typing mistakes all the time. Luckily, I was wrong — you get used to them pretty quickly. Above the buttons, there are three touch-sensitive music-dedicated controls for (from left to right) previous song, play/pause and next song.

Besides the numeric keypad, the Sony Ericsson W960i has dedicated Walkman, along with back and “C” buttons on the front; scroll wheel on the left, and volume up and down keys on the right side. Plus, there’s the small power button on the top of the device.

D-pad remains the thing to crave for on Sony Ericsson smartphones, especially for those looking to play a game on their mobile. In addition, I would love to see the dedicated home button. Exiting the Walkman player is a real pain, as I have to press the back button for at least three times. (UPDATE: Just press the Walkman button and you’re back on the homescreen – didn’t catch that).

The screen

The screen is now merged with the phone’s surface allowing you to freely use your fingers — something that I personally see as a direct response to the “iPhone challenge.” But let’s not forget that at this stage Symbian with UIQ3 software platform is a more flexible and expandable platform.

Sony Ericsson P990i and W960i

Back to the screen. Sony Ericsson uses the same 2.6″ on P1i and W960i, which can display up to 262,144 colors (why not 16 million?) in the QVGA (240×320) resolution. I was asked how it’s protected and I can report there’s some kind of plastic layer on top of the display. So far, I haven’t experienced any problems with the screen. It does get dirty, but you can easily clean it with the Walkman-branded casing, which is also included in the box.

Camera

The device comes with a 3.2 MP camera with auto-focus. Those who have used earlier Sony Ericsson smartphones know they are quite fast when it comes to auto-focusing (compared with Nokia’s smartphones). Still, Nokia leads the pack when it comes to video recording. The Finish giant’s phones like N93, N95 and E90 have set the standards which we rarely see in other phones.

Then again, Sony Ericsson is touting the W960i as the music phone. Camera is just an addition, and for taking photos from time to time – it’s great!

Speed

Sony Ericsson uses a 220 Mhz processor with both P1i and W960i smartphones. And while it does sound slow, the device performs better than expected — and just for the record (and as I’ve already stated) I was using the Nokia N93 previously. Guess it’s the 128 MB of RAM we should thank for the solid performance.

Sony Ericsson P990i and W960i - pic 2

So far, I’ve installed several Java and Symbian UIQ3 native applications and I still have to see it slowing down. I have no idea whether this has to do with the code itself, but the device is working perfectly. Not that I wouldn’t like it to run on a faster processor, but even this way – it performs great. Almost two weeks after I started using it, the W960i hasn’t blocked for a single time.

Connectivity

The Sony Ericsson W960i is a tri-band GSM/GPRS phone (900/1800/1900 Mhz), and also includes the UMTS radio (2100 Mhz). In addition, it supports stereo Bluetooth (A2DP) and WiFi wireless connectivity. No EDGE, though.

Where’s HSDPA and an accelerometer

HSDPA is not supported and the device doesn’t have the built-in accelerometer. I guess it’s the dimensions of the device and the battery life that made the Swedish-Japanese handset maker go this way. It’s still faster than the iPhone, but can’t match the download speeds of the Nokia N81, another device the W960i competes with.

As for the accelerometer, I would expect it to come on-board, especially when we know that it’s present in both K850i and W910i models. Plus, let’s not forget the W960i is competing with Apple’s handset, hence including all the things iPhone has and add some special sauce on top of it seems like an obvious move…

It’s a music-dedicated device but…

…where’s the standard 3.5mm jack? I do use stereo Bluetooth headsets, but I know many people love the idea of using standard wired headsets on their phones. To be fair, there is a cable converter included in the package, but that’s not actually the “real thing.” And yes, earlier reports were true — there are no Bluetooth headsets in the box, or at least not in my box… However, this will make the device more affordable.

Next, where’s the other speaker? The W960i has only a single speaker. Even some mid-range Nokia NSeries phones come with stereo speakers. Not to mention that we see an increasing number of Chinese phones coming with two and even more built-in speakers. And while most people actually don’t listen to music this way, it’s still a strange call Sony Ericsson has made. It doesn’t cost that much more, but provides an additional checkmarks in the device comparison table. ;)

8 GB of Walkman love

Walkman logoThe Walkman software is fully integrated with the device. You can reach it from the home screen — by touching it — or using the dedicated button. It’s stylish and quite straightforward. Not exactly the “iPhone like stylish,” but more than good enough. Scrap that, the W960i provides the users with the so-far-best out-of-the-box music experience on a UIQ 3 based smartphone. Plus, you have 8 GB of available space to put many of your favorite songs and take them with you, wherever you are. I know some people like the idea of exchangeable microSD/Memory Stick Micro cards/sticks, but I’m not one of them. As far as I can see, 8 gigs should keep me pretty happy for a while.

Finally, Sony Ericsson integrated its PlayNow offering with the device, allowing users to purchase mobile content — music included — while on-the-go.

Software

The retail box comes with a CD that contains the Sony Ericsson PC Suite and the Sony Ericsson Media Manager. The latter is a real pain killer, making transfer of media files to the W960i a snap. Still not the iTunes, but they’re getting there.

As for the pre-installed applications on the device, besides the standard UIQ package that includes such apps as calendar, notes, calculator, converter, alarm clock and stopwatch; and of course the Walkman app, the W960i also comes bundled with third-party applications and games like Opera Browser (yes, it can handle full HTML pages), FM Radio, QuickOffice, RSS reader, Business Card Scanner, PDF+, ExchangeActiveSync, as well as two games – QuadraPop and Vijay Singh Pro Golf 3D. Furthermore, like with other Sony Ericsson smartphones, users can get (buy) additional mobile content from the Sony Ericsson’s Application Store from the “More applications” link.

Usability

Here’s one area where much could be improved. If you haven’t used any UIQ-based smartphone, you won’t like the W960i. It’s everything but user-friendly and sometimes I even think it was made by programmers who may not be fully aware of the end-user’s needs — this is not to say that I have anything against programmers. Menus are not that logical and some things require more clicks than it’s needed on other phone. I’m not here bash UIQ as I know they work hard on these issues, but it’s important to note that first-time UIQ users may — and most probably will — experience headaches.

Final word – do I recommend it?

Yes and no!

Yes to the current UIQ smartphone owners who will find the W960i the most polished device so far. It has the best media player, enough RAM and tons of storage capacity. Alternatively, you may want to go for the business-centric Sony Ericsson P1i, which basically has everything the W960i has except for the Walkman player and 8GB of built-in memory.

On the other hand, if you’re coming from the Windows Mobile, S60 or feature phone “background,” get something else – this isn’t the thing you’re looking for. Or prepare to spend at least a week adjusting to the weirdly organized (sub)menus.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the device, but I do consider myself to be an experienced (smart)phone user. For instance, after moving from the Nokia N93 (which also has WiFi) I’m still annoyed with the fact that the W960i doesn’t prompt me which connection it should use — it connects to 3G without asking me whether it should look for WiFi networks first. In addition, I don’t like the idea of having to use the touchscreen for some common tasks. For instance, you can’t access your “Sent” messages folder without a touchscreen. But, I’m getting used to it…

At the end, it’s your call. The W960i is not a cheap device. Stefan says you should avoid buying the Nokia N81. If that’s the case, you should avoid the W960i as well. But if you like how UIQ works, go for it. There’s no better non-business UIQ phone on the market at the moment…

Again, if you have any questions please use the comments form bellow…

  • George Chatzakis

    PLEASE I need an advise as it is finally time for my new phone.w960(P1i) or N95 8Gb(N82)?

    The question regards the same phones from each company one with flash memory and one with card

    So two questions:

    1:Many people say that 3.2 mp for SE = 5mp for nokia. Is that true from the way you see it?

    2: If you could buy one of the two regardless of money which would it be?

    Nokia wins on video,P1i on email,W960 on music
    I have an ipod so no need for music.video is as importand as e-mailing for me meaning that they are not frequently used. So I wil not decide based on these

    So it is down to camera(20%),built quality(20%),system stability and third party applications(60%)

    Any comment on the P1’s(W960???) bluetooth GPS?The way I see it nokia’s GPS is nothing more than google maps(especially the new 2.0.5 with location)! Or am I wrong?

    Battery is also an importand issue but I think with the use I do I will be able to squize 2 days out of the nokia

    Please pick one!

    Please I have untill monday 17/12/07 to choose one.

  • Antoine of BH/MMM

    Any chance of you finding out if there will be a US-spec version of the W960 coming? Given a few firmware updates to address the UI issues, it could really be a solid device for several users. And many I know still prefer SE’s phone over others because of the design and style of them.

    Great job on the review.

  • Vlad

    George: Some people say that 3.2Mp from SonyEricsson equals 5Mp from Nokia…I really do wonder how, when not even 5Mp from SonyEricsson are equal to the 5Mp from Nokia. See GSMARena reviews of the cameras, see Mobile-Review reviews also. Maybe that will help.
    If I were you, I’d get an N82. The BEST flash on the market.

  • Joe

    First great review and i agree , verdickt Dont buy.
    First music witch I feel is much better in Nokia devies today then walkman , also video, kamera and much more stuff like GPS 5MP and more , like N82
    who is 10 times better and almost 10 time cheaper then w960i

  • topy

    Great review!

  • Ben

    yea thx … great review… You have made it easy for me to go against the w960i… that leaves me with a choice between the the n81, the n82 or the much more affordable e65.

  • Michell Bak

    Dusan, try pressing the Walkman button again to exit the application / get back to the standby screen.

    Don’t totally agree with some of your points of view – i.e. the part about having to use a whole week to get accustomed to the “weird” sub menus. In my opinion there’s nothing weird about the operating system and I find it on par with S60 in terms of responsiveness, interface and usability.

  • Michell Bak

    Forgot to mention that you can change the settings on W960, so it’ll prompt you about what connection to use.

    Sorry, but it doesn’t seem like you’ve been going through this device thoroughly enough :neutral:

  • Patrik

    Nice work on review Dusan , almost same as this review impression of w960i>

    Obviously the developers have put too much effort into morphing a touch-screen based smartphone into a feature phone, but somewhere along the way they forgot to cut its price. So they have boosted it with a couple of accessories, but even on this front it is not all sunshine and rainbows. This way, the Sony Ericsson W960i will retail for roughly 765 USD, but due to some certification issues it won’t ship with a Bluetooth-headset in the box in Russia. And in Europe it will come in with a price tag of 500-550 Euro, which isn’t the best offer out there either. In fact, you can get some more capable S60-powered solutions by Nokia for the same money right now.

    On balance, the W960i employs a decent and generally right idea with odd implementation. Who might fall for this device? Those who have already spent some time the Sony Ericsson W950i won’t like the new ergonomics. Basically, old and loyal users have been literally dumped with this phone, for it brings nothing new for them. The W960i resides somewhere outside the company’s mainstream, and aims at a new audience. It is quite another matter, though, that having used this model, you are likely to lose all interest in other Sony Ericsson’s offerings, so this device is more of anti-PR for the brand.

    The way it is positioned (as the flagship of the company’s music-inclined offerings) doesn’t seem particularly justified, for its centerpiece, the music department is in line with other UIQ-based devices, like the Sony Ericsson P1i. The Nokia N81 delivers substantially better sonic experience, even with fewer settings on offer. Sony Ericsson’s real music-minded flagship is the Sony Ericsson W910i, but this model ships with some other abilities and settings. All up, there is not much going for the W960i. This model fails as the company’s music-heavy flagship, and there is no real explanation of what has affected the developers to this extent, so that they have come up with a product like this.

    A few more models designed in the same fashion should be enough to get the brand’s loyal consumers to switch over to Nokia’s solutions, which have more of Sony Ericsson’s spirit today than Sony Ericsson itself. Obviously, the fate knows what irony is, so let’s wait and see how the story will develop

  • dusanb

    To Michell Bak:

    You’re right about the back button used in that manner. But do that from Walkman’s screen when an actual song is playing. Just pressed it for 4 times to do that! To be fair, you could click on “My Music” and then just a single back button will do. Still I would appreciate the home button.

    As for that settings, I think I’ve found the way to do that. But, why is this not preset as it is on S60 devices? You start a browser and if you want to go online, it asks you which connection should it use (3G or scan the area for WiFi networks).

    But I repeat, the W960i is a great device and I love it. It’s a best Sony Ericsson smartphone so far. Still I would like to see it improved, just like all other devices…

  • dusanb

    Forgot to say. We’ve no information that Sony Ericsson will be releasing U.S. specific version of the W960i. At this stage you can buy it from importers, but you won’t have the 3G.

  • PlayerKill

    Great review, Dusan! Although, you could talk more about the sound quality.

  • Arlaharen

    You forgot that pressing (for a longer time) the back button will get you right back to the start screen unless you prefer pressing the walkman key (which I consider being like a Alt-tab key for the walkman app)

    I don’t agree with you about the UIQ interface being strange and confusing in the “sub menus”. It seems that you are an old S60 user and have not gained enough experience outside Nokia land. I have been using both S60 and UIQ devices and prior to that Windows Mobile devices. Among the pack the most confusing and irritating is the WinMo UI. After that it is quite even among the S60 and UIQ UI. The difference between UIQ and S60 is that you most often can perform the task faster on the UIQ device because of the touchscreen (I dont use the pen)

    But if you want an easy to use phone I suggest you go for a feature phone from “any” manufacturer.

  • Michell Bak

    @dusanb
    OK, try this. Go to the standby screen on the W960 and press the Walkman button – now you should be in the main player. Then simply press the Walkman button again to minimize it. Simple.

  • dusanb

    Damn, I didn’t get that. Thanks man – that helps a lot! :)

  • dusanb

    Update the post with Michell’s advice. Thanks man, that was very useful to know.

    One other thing that annoys me — I can’t easily send/forward a message from the “Sent” without using a touchscreen. There’s a small (at least for my fingers) next/prev folder button near “Inbox” label. And when you have something in the other hand, it’s quite tricky to change the folder…

    Yeah I could go to Inbox and go to other folders via “More” link, but that’s like two additional clicks…

    And in case you ask, I do this regularly to pay my parking — keep forwarding the message with my plate number. Guess there’s another way to do this, but I’ve been doing this for some time that it’s a habit now. :)

  • Michell Bak

    Yes, I figured you didn’t know about this :lol:

    Anyhow, about the whole connection thing. The phone will try to connect to whatever you’ve told it to. You can prioritise so it won’t connect to 3G if a WLAN network is also connected :)

  • Michell Bak

    Might as well mention some of the other “secrets” of the Walkman player. If you’ve got an album cover set for a song, you can just press the album cover in the player and it’ll be enlarged. Also, if you’re playing a song by “X” and you’d like to listen to more songs from “X”, simply press the part of the player where the artist is placed – in this case “X”. Same thing goes for the album.

    Oh and some have been asking me about repeat and shuffle – how to enable it. Simply press the icons in the player and that should do the trick.

  • CVA

    Michell Bak ur big fan boy of SE,This is not a decent offering

  • Malcolm

    I really don’t understand the hostility from CVA and Patrik towards this device.

    Sure, it’s not an N95, but it’s a lot slimmer and much nicer in the hand than any of Nokia’s bigger N series devices.

    And UIQ 3, with all it’s quirks (which are most obvious on the W series phones), is still just as easy to use as S60, and much more fluid once you’ve got used to it. And as for feature phones — well, they just don’t compare with either S60 or UIQ.

    I think, given the beautiful screen, flexible and powerful (if quirky, and still rough-edged) UI, 8GB of RAM, good sound and powerful player, SE has a pretty decent phone in the W960i.

    It’s certainly solid — we’ve had a prerelease unit for some time and it’s had no problems.

  • jon

    CVA, wtf are you???

    Regarding Patrick, he his just quoting Eldar from m-r review, made some months ago, based on a pre-production unit…

  • Michell Bak

    CVA, I’ll take that as a compliment. Yes, I do like Sony Ericsson the best given the fact that I run a very successful Sony Ericsson blog. Anyhow, my last Nokia device was a N95, so it’s not like I haven’t tried it. And well, personally I’d say W960 beats N95 and is very much like N95 8GB being only a little behind it.

    This is without question the best smartphone from Sony Ericsson ever and it is also THE BEST music phone on the market. The player is AMAZING!

  • mady

    what about the video recording ?? is it 15 frame or 30 frame??

  • Kula bácsi

    Michell Bak you’re a brainwashed SE fanboy. The iPhone wipes its ass with this sorry SE “musicphone”. Does it have gapless playback ?

  • CVA

    Hi all,
    The w910, w960 and k850i are some of worst phones ever made by SE,But also agree they good once upon a time
    P900,w800,k800 and some phones were gud.But for past
    1n1/2 yrs SE failed to deliver,and Its Some of the greatest SE fans Like Michell bak that make worst products of SE as if it was best phone ever made.by publishing blogs and reviews in site and youtube there by deluding people

    And the 3.2 camera in w960 is very very poor,and offer only ok pictures of 2mp resolution,i.e u get only 2mp cam.
    Build quality stylus is another disappoinment,
    Materials used are not on par with high end set for price of phone.
    Bluetooth headset was a must at this price was removed and eventhough it looks pricey for mere 2mp cam quality.
    No gr8 improvement in sound quality, u wont feel much difference frm previous walkman phones like w800,w950.
    No 3.5 Mm jack for music phone.
    Mediocre video recording at 15fps qvga
    No mini usb port,u get stuck with fastport
    Not a brillinat screen,even poorer than nokia 6300 low end phone which beats w960 is legibility in sun and display quality and brightness.
    even many of motorolas have better screen than w960.

    Considering the price w960 is questionable offering,one shouldnt get carried away by false info like best phone in the market or …”

  • chirag

    can anyone please let me know what is the price of this phone??? and whether it is avaliable in mumbai or not and where???

  • Michell Bak

    @mady
    The video recording is 15 fps @ QVGA resolution.

    @Kula bácsi or whatever it was
    You’re calling me brainwashed while you’re the one saying iPhone will kick W960’s ass? Gimme a break here! That must be the joke of the century. Give me a ring when the holy Jesus phone does your coffee, ok?

    @CVA
    Ahh okay. Getting personal, are we? Ok, lets see what you’ve got.

    Have you got either a K850, W910 or W960? Nooooo? Thought so, but why are you saying bad things about them, when not even having a single one of them? As a matter of fact, I’ve got ALL THREE and I’m actually capable of telling the truth about these devices and how good they are.
    :lol: Who’s the one deluding people, again? I’ll give you a hint – Y O U.

    Once again, tried the W960 or even seen the camera in action? Well, guess what – I HAVE! The quality is not excellent, but it’s definitely above average and it delivers some good photos. Only 2 mega pixel resolution? It’s 3.2 mega pixels, but the amount of pixels doesn’t really matter, in case you didn’t know that (either).
    Removing the headset was Sony Ericsson’s way to cut down on the price, and again, it’s 3.2 mega pixels, but who’s counting???

    The audio quality is excellent, but you wouldn’t know if you haven’t tried it.
    It’s correct that there’s no 3.5 mm jack input built in the phone, but the fact is that along with the phone comes a 3.5 mm jack headset AND a 3.5 mm jack output cable for listening to music on a stereo.

    Video quality isn’t bad, but not on par with some of Nokia’s offerings, that’s correct.

    :lol: Who cares about miniUSB, when the FastPort connection works faster than transferring files on e.g. the N95 or the music oriented N81?

    Yeah, but is the 6300’s display as large as the W960’s? And can you touch the screen and thereby opening up for a whole other world of input options? Noooo! And for your information, the W960 display is fully readable in the sun and is very bright.

    And please stop referring to me as a “fanboy” without mentioning that you’re a fanboy yourself, please!

  • CVA

    Hi Michell Bak

    When i have tried all the three and all my friends are disappointed with them,
    i must be a fanboy to invest in these worthless highend overpriced phone.So ill never
    invest in them.So i have enough expererience with the phone so im capable of telling about
    this phone.

    Let me ask you one thing why is w960 camera not on par with k800 or k810 both are
    3.2mp? leaving the flash which xcluscive for cybershot?
    EVen if the headset was included its still overpriced,No its not 3.2 mp they should
    have put it 2mp, just a marketing gimmick which Se does For ex
    the K770,K550 are some of worst examples of cybershot branding.

    Theres no breakthrough in audio quality,why dont they have introduced any
    audio chips like the 5610 n n81,still the sound quality is same.i doubt if u have
    ever used Nokia n91 which was way head in SQ compared to anyother phone in market
    which was introduced so 2yrs ago had exceptional sQ.Beats all the phones including
    w800.

    And regarding the 3.5 mm,fastport connectors jack they are not durable,and many including i have learnt
    lot of lessons from SE.

    All care for USb port,except u

    I gave 6300 and w960 as an example, to state that in terms of display quality
    even 6300 beats the w960.No u started comparing a low end phone with ultra overpriced
    So called “high end phones”.May i ask u is w960 a competitor for 6300 lol.W960i screen
    is very dull and washed out, open ur eyes and see,its not only me but all reviews also state
    it.In terms of legibilaty in sunlight again its very poor,no where near competitors

    So with huge loads of problem ur Praising these phone now wht should i call u ?
    except for fanboy?

    Please try Nokia,samsung,Lg,Iphone and all phones before making such comments.

  • Michell Bak

    Dude, speak English!!!!!! I have a hard time making any sense of what the f**k you’re saying.

    Why is W960’s camera not on par with K800/K810? Simple, it’s not a camera oriented device, but a music oriented one. Both K800 and K810 have got extra software for image editing and both have got a Xenon flash as well. And YES, it IS a 3.2 mega pixels camera, don’t you get it?!?!?!! Have you ever seen samples with K770? It takes some of the best 3.2 mega pixel photos with a phone EVER, although it lacks a proper flash. Try to find a Nokia phone with a better 3.2 mega pixel camera, not even N73 or N93i – two of Nokia’s camera oriented phones – beat it.

    Listen, you don’t need an audio chip to have great audio quality. Everybody’s saying that “ooh, this phone’s got a sound chip, so it’s great”. Erm, no! It might as well be a great sound chip. Either way, W960 produces some cool audio and it’s good. And yes, I’ve tried N91 (8GB), and agree, the audio quality is very good.

    Also agree that the Fastport connectors HAVE been easy to break. Not any more. Sony Ericsson have made them much better lately.

    MicroUSB isn’t really popular, and the Fastport is way faster. Last night I transferred a 600 MB movie to my W960 in less than 1½ minute. Even GSMArena says that “microUSB port is not that popular”, see the 5610 review under Disadvantages.

    Ok, dude. You started the comparison of 6300 and W960, not me. I still don’t believe you’ve actually tried the W960 and seen its display at full boast. You do know, that when you get it, the display backlight is far from at maximum. When it is, it’s great. And about the legibility in sun light, that’s it with all touch screens, but W960 does this a whole lot better than most!

    So, what should you call me other than a TRUTH TELLER? And no, I will not try Samsung, LG and especially not iPhone, which is a large piece of crap. Tried this before it got to the European market and was not impressed.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I don’t feel like continuing this argument. It’s stupid, and I know I’m right. No need to prove myself yet again and again. Have a Merry Christmas and I hope not to hear more from you.

  • Daniela

    The biggest selling point for me (at least against Nokia) is the size. As I have small pockets and don”t want to carry a handbag while working, this matters for me.
    I also like the iPhone as a device as it is easy and quick to navigate and looks nice, but the German contracts are inacceptable. I also don”t like that Apple can always access your phone and keeps you sim-locked even after the 2 years wore off.
    My boyfriend got the LG Viewty, but I am missing all the office applications and the look of the SE w960i.

    I also regret not having a 3.5mm jack, but the w960i will be my next phone.

  • Mr. Wendell

    The reviewer needs fact checking before issuing complaints.

    For example, on the issue of wifi connectivity Dusan stated:

    “For instance, after moving from the Nokia N93 (which also has WiFi) I’m still annoyed with the fact that the W960i doesn’t prompt me which connection it should use — it connects to 3G without asking me whether it should look for WiFi networks first”

    The complaint is the result of user error. On all the UIQ 3 phones you can set up “internet groups” and assign services to one of the groups you create. For example, email SMTP activity can set to use the general (called “internet”) or a special internet group you set up.

    A strength of UIQ is that within each internet group you can add internet accounts (example WIFI hotspots, encrypted wifi, data connections, bluetooth PAN, etc) and *rank* them. For example, on my P990i when an email is sent it uses the “Mail Outgoing” group I created. In this group I added and ranked 3 wifi accounts and one data account. Therefore when the phone sends an email it first tries default wifi setting, then my home wifi router, then a GSM data account. This in my opinion is superior to Nokia’s approach where you have to continually specify which connection. Since this happens behind the scene, if you are worried you can check which data account is being used at any time by using the stylus to click on the data transmission icon.

    Later on Dusan also stated:

    “I don’t like the idea of having to use the touchscreen for some common tasks. For instance, you can’t access your “Sent” messages folder without a touchscreen. But, I’m getting used to it…”

    Actually you can. Try hitting the left or right direction on the 4-way controller when in the messaging center to scroll through all available folders in an account.

    My critics on the poorly researched review aside, I personally found the UIQ interface to have a steep learning curve (about a month or two). Once I did get over the wall, I found it quite logical, just in an after-the-fact sort of way. Needless to say, if you switch to UIQ expect a learning curve, but lots of functionality.

  • dusanb

    I agree with Mr. Wendell — you can customize everything, and I’ve figured that our later (hence I’ll prepare another article on the subject). But, I still don’t like the idea of the month-long learning curve, out-of-box experience should be much better.

  • ash

    the phone cnnt read chinese characters.
    can you offer any help?
    thx :smile:

  • PureMetal

    :mrgreen: I love this phone! I’ve had it for a month now and it’s great. The interface took a little getting used to but now I’m a master.

    There is only one problem now… When the phone first came out I logged in to the SE web site and looked at the support, documentation, and ‘extras’ that were available for the phone. But now, the W960i phone is NO WHERE to be found on that site!! Did they recall it? Are they disavowing any knowledge of the existence of this phone? I mean WTF?!!? I can’t even find the FAQ for this phone any more!!!

  • Jon

    I’m getting my new W960i on Monday. Just wondering if anyone’s tried to connect it to a mac? I’m pretty sure the Walkman software won’t work but can you still connect like old Sony Ericsson phones?

  • PureMetal

    there are two modes of connection when you plug in to a computer. Normal mode and Fast file access mode. I connected my w960 in fast file access mode and it works fine. It shows up as a USB drive for the internal 8GB memory(and also charges the battery).

    In Normal mode, the phone doesn’t show up at all on the MAC but still charges the battery.

  • Xerene

    Wow… after reading the reviews, i think i’ll still go ahead to get W960i – as it don’t seem too bad after all.

    Though recently someone told me that her friend’s set seems to ‘auto shutdown’ & the touchscreen is kinda ‘laggy’.. but i can’t think of any other better phones as to what W960i can offer (8Gb, WIFI, 3.2 cam, Keypad in classic hp sequence) *Just hope my review a month later will be like PureMetal – “I love this phone!” :)

  • Ahsan

    hello dusan,
    first of all i would like to introduce myself as m submiting my first comment on this site…m from pakistan and m using SE phones since 2003 1st one was T610 so i think u can understand that m a very experienced user of SE. m a great fan of SE phones specially of Walkmen phones n i can compare it with nokia as all of u guys know that SE fights back with nokia very well n managed to win against nokia in very short time period here in pakistan..i totally disagree with ur opinion as i know SE phones very well n i can descrbe them step by step….
    1- SE got stylish phones.
    2- SE got good colour sharpness n Screen resolution.
    3- none of the other brands ever beats SE phone in camera.
    4- SE got great walkmen music which m totally satisfied and many other does.
    5- SE got different types of flash menus.
    6- SE got nice features in their phones
    7- SE got very well battery timings n u can compare it by urself.
    and finally SE is much much easier to use then nokia or any other……and one thing to be cleared,,never buy ur cell phones by reading these reviews just go by urself to the shop n test the phone over there…i said this because i read about the W880i and they said W880i gots the bad keypad,my last phone was also W880i and i didnt found any difficulty for Writing SMS i can write a full SMS in 20 seconds or less,its all about getting used to ur mobile…now i got K850i with spectecular 5-MP camera and they also said the same about K850i and i m so sorry dusan i didnt found any difficulties….and about W960i its going fantastic in market n i was waiting for very long for a Symbion Walkmen phone from SE n finally ive got it….its great believe me is great…..oh ma god ive written so much…..byebye…and any types of questions regarding to SE phones please dont hesitate to ask..

  • Tony

    Well I have had phones seens 1989 and both Nokia and Sony-Ericsson and must say Sony-Ericsson phones sucks when compare with Nokia like N82 or N95.

  • kartik “can we play youtube vids on the w960i”

    hello all ,
    thanks dusan for the great review.

    i just bought the phone, its got something called music vibes can u brief me on that .,., i cannot find opera browser on the phone or is music vibes the opera browser,
    1st thing i did after connecting my phone to wifi was to go on youtube to check the vids but i cannot see for some reason pls tell me if i am doing anything wrong, i have also uploaded several mp4 format vids on my mobile while 95% r working smoothly even the big movies ,,,few r lagging and few arnt running at all even thou they r running on my sony2gb mp3 come mp4 player pls tell me wats the problem ,,

    rest i upgaded the phone the 2nd day i bought its actually running amazingly well just some minor problems, i am just loving it. and abut the stylus thing i hardly have to use it ..,, fingure touch works fine for me.

  • kartik “can we play youtube vids on the w960i”

    oh by the way i bought the phone bec of this review, anyhow the MBW-100 works amazingly well with the phone i do not have to take my phone out of pocket to change the song just press the button on the watch .,., rock solid .,.,

  • Sone

    Hey

    Can tha media manager cd convert rmvb in to mp4 for free?

    Or you know a software that does?

    (rmvb = real audio/video)

    Thanks peace

  • karen

    anybody here who can tell me how much this fone costs??please…

    i’m having a hard time searching for its price…

  • louisse richardss

    did anyone order their W960i? I just wanted to know how long it took to come. :smile:
    thanks

  • Siraj

    :grin:

    Hey Review is pretty fair- gd to know that all
    points were covered well whether positive or
    -ive!
    thats a Just review & of course the device would
    have -ive points!!
    I’ve seen my gd friend struggling on P800- it was
    disgusting and freakin bulky- I think this is awesome!
    well Michell is right in his ways- & CVA also makes a
    point- the Fact is that whatever a person tries to think- He wont be given a Perfect All-in-One Device!
    Why?
    Now here comes something known as company Politics!
    they actually hire people to design a professional
    plan wrapped in a political cover to make Big Money!
    SO all you People Don’t get dissappointed- im sure
    there can be better phones but they wont just give it!
    you would have to go with what is offered!!
    is there a choice??
    I was so confused between the i-Phone & W960i, but
    the major difference would be the keypad with TS..
    which the i-Phone does’nt offer!
    im sure the adaptive text input would work like a
    charm in the i-Phone but keypad is a keypad- again
    then due to the keypad i would miss the Massive
    screen i-Phone offers!

    Im Still in a flux- anyone got more suggestions please
    feel free to express- im not fond of Nokia else N95 *GB
    would have been my choice definitely!!
    :eek: :smile:

  • rypenk

    This review had quite disappointed me on w960i, ’cause I thought that THIS phone had no cons. :grin: Seems like I was wrong. Still, I’m going to buy this phone, ’cause I think it will bring big difference between my last phone and The w960i [now I'm owning Nokia 6100 :mrgreen: ] So, I have a question. Is it worth to buy the phone now, if I’m going to use it for more than 3 years? I mean, isn’t it going to be a piece of crap after few months? Or should I wait a bit longer? And are this phone’s abilities worth that much money? :???:

  • Confused !!

    Hi all getting a new phone on tuesday and i cant decide which to get N95 8gb or W960i or whatever else you can suggest?? I have heard the N95 comes with sat nav built in is this true do i have to subscribe to anything ? im currrently on vodafone in the uk. Also been told texting on the W960i is a nightmare ?

    Any help opinions would be great.

  • Robert

    Had owned sonyericsson K700, W850, Pi series and now the W960. I must say the w800series was easier to use and adapt to (even for ma wife who has been a Nokia fanatic). But av to admit, the changes ushered in by the W960 are in line with market competition.. Samsung, Nokia, LG, etc are upgrading the products therefore we S.E faithful had better stick with this series till we get a more powerful one. By the way, i love the OperaMini-4, adope reader, touch screen and 8.gb of memory (use it mainly for back-up storage of office data). Sh’ld i recommend it 4 new users? A Big No.!. This phone can make u go sh##! Bu#**! … functions were built with assumption that we av all ever used sonyericsson. (if u av SE Phone, u probably ‘ll want to upgrade to W960, coz of rave reviews; just like i did, but b4 u do. Go down to your nearest phone store and take it 4 road test!)

  • Dtan

    I bought the w960i on 15 March 2008. Within two weeks of purchase, the stylus tip broke-off. Don’t know how? Can only blame it on the poor design by the of SE’s engineers. It is a 2-piece plastic parts construction and press-fit in. The stupid SE service shop wanted to charge me S$10 for a poorly designed stylus, which I refused. I have a spare stylus that came with the box. The SE engineers must have known that their stylus construction sucks!

    I only earnestly started using the w960i one week after purchase, after loading in my contact details, etc. I tried the morning wake-up alarm. But it did not sound! I found out that the phone auto shut-down and hanged. Had to remove the battery and re-start again. Then, the alarm sounded! This is terrible work of the SE engineers?

    Sent to the SE repair shop and after two days without the phone (and having to re-load all my contacts, music, etc) the morning alarm worked. But, this time, the noon alarm and the appointment alarm suffered similar problem – which is auto shut-down and hanged. Again, after removing battery and re-starting, the alarm works!
    Sent my phone for repair again today 5 April 2008. Hope it works??? Am I unlucky or is somebody else facing similar problems? My set is loaded with Chinese software.
    Cheers,Tank2

  • looksharp65

    Hi everybody, yesterday I bought my SE W960i and sure, yaeeah, I admit I’m a bit doubtful. FYI, the price was some 450$ and no BT headset was included.
    Main reason for buying it were the wealth of features and storage space.I have quite big hands and the device fits fine in them.
    I have used several SE Java phones, latest were K610i and W810i. High-end Java applications like OperaMini4 and Morange really turbo-charge these phones and I am very comfortable with SE’s UI.
    For more specific demands I have been using Palm PDAs, latest is Tungsten C. The latter works fine with OM4 on WiFi but obviously it’s no PHONE. However, Palm PDA are incredibly versatile, fast and intuitive.Still, some five years after its introduction, no newer device seems to beat the Palm Tungsten’s UI.
    Now the W960’s UI and menus make me very confused and disappointed. I surely will adapt, but the very day Palm launches a handset with decent features, I will be the first to buy it, no matter the price…
    Best regards all!

  • Aamyre

    Hi, I have been using w960 for almost a month. Previously I was using w950i – w810i – w550i. I have to admit I was a little skeptical before buying it but now a month later I am totally in love with this cellphone.. I agree the stylus could have been better but once you get used to it, it doesnt really bother you much. BTW great review :)

    Aamyre

  • RYK

    I can definetly say the uability is not up the mark. It’s very clumsy. This is the 1st time I have had to read the manual to understand some very basic features.

    The jog dial should have been a small roller upfront; its very time consuming to have it on the side.

    There are lots of problems with text entry, especially when entering in web addresses as scrolling over and editing doesn’t seem possible.

    To add to all this the WiFi antennae seems to be of very poor quality and does not detect networks where my iphone friends happily find hotspots.

    Stick to iPhone or Blackberry

  • SARUN SUNNY

    hello
    my name is Sunny and I am a student in UK, I’m planning to get a new phone but I’m stuck in deciding sony erricson w960i or nokia n95 8gb. I’m a sort of person who likes music very much may b the SE camera will b enough me. but by reading all these reviews i thinks that the w960i will makes some problms later on. plz help me by replying me the adavantages and disadvantages of sony erricson w960i and nokia n95 8gb
    thanks
    sunny

  • looksharp65

    SARUN SUNNY,
    bear in mind that built-in storage space is no good as the sole reason to buy a device like this.M2 cards prices drop rapidly and in a handset like the W890i they equal the performance of the W960i.
    In fact, these two devices share the same media player but the W890i generally reacts much faster in other tasks.But I must admit the W960i has a very warm,rich and full sound not really present in the W890i.
    It may serve as a guideline to you that I still, after 2 months with the phone,still am confused with the UI.
    Best regards! //L

  • Ahsan Waheed

    Hi friend….

    If u like music and camera very much then my clear answer will be SonyEricsson W960i….its a powerfull music device and the big advantage of touchscreen…..all you want to do its to get use to it….thats all its only takes 2 days….and i hope ull enjoy the features of this phone and powerfull music….on the other hand N95 8GB is also good but its only main feature is GPS thats it no good sound and no touchscreen plus a very bold look…..my advice for you if u didnt get any of the phone yet you just wait for the another series of Walkman W980i releasing in july its an awesome phone you better check its features first.

    thanks for reading my opinion

    Ahsan Waheed.

  • looksharp65

    Let me make myself perfectly clear.I’m slowly beginning to like my W960i.Its overall performance and hi-tech level is awesome. Still, I feel very doubtful because you should not have to be an engineer to manage your cell-phone. Symbian UIQ is quite slow, not really stable and possibly soon obsolete, gone and forgotten. Sometimes I feel I’m stuck in a Kafka novel using it. I said it before and I say it again, SE Java phones equipped with state-of the-art Java applications are more than sufficient for 98% of the users. They are also easier to use,faster and smaller, and dropping memory card prices inhibit the reason of buying it for its 8GB memory. W960i also lacks external memory card slot. So, think twice before you buy….

  • which one is the best one

    which one is the best the Iphone 8GB or the sony ericsson W950i

  • looksharp65

    FYI, newly founded Symbian Foundation plans to create a common, universal UI in order to meet the new challenges of Android,Apple and Limo. This means that UIQ (and Series 60 as we know it today) will disappear from the market.
    200 out of 375 employees at UIQ software company in Sweden will have to leave. Sad for us in Sweden, but hopefully the new UI will be more intuitive and user-friendly. Maybe they should take a glance on Palm in search of better ideas…?
    If you are not in desperate and immediate need of a high-end smartphone, hold your horses or buy a plain, reliable Java device.

  • Ahsan Waheed

    Hello..
    Brother looksharp65 said that no external memory card slot in SE W960i my question is : do u really need an external memory slot….?you have 8GB man its enough i think more than enough and second question is : Is there an external memory card slot in NOKIA N95.? i think no…

  • looksharp65

    Brother Ahsan Waheed…. yes and no. 8GB is a huge amount of space. Then again, expectations on storage space tend to increase as time goes by.
    We should soon see the 32GB M2 (just a prediction, I have no such secret information)
    With a memory slot, management of files becomes so much easier. They can be read through a USB card reader, stored in your wallet or be physically sent by mail. When memory cards grow faster and cheaper, the device with only a built-in memory probably will be regarded as obsolete sooner than a device with a memory slot.

  • looksharp65

    Sorry , I forgot one important issue about built-in memory. If your device crashes, you REALLY,REALLY need to have a back-up. But it is far more easier to move the card to another phone, isn’t it?

  • Adster

    Dose the W960i have a mp4 player because i want to put a film on it if i get it?

  • dnrestcom

    Till now i got a problem with W960i which is turned off by itself. This is what i called Sony Ericsson rules!

  • edd

    i am encountering my prob now with my w960i phone. I just baught it last july. I couldn’t be able to use its touch screen. It is now insensitive. I went over the user guide and checked it but until now it is not working.

  • BASH

    hi i am owning a w960i for the last 6 months. it was abit complicated at the beginning. i normally keep my phone in my pants pocket. today when i took my phone out to use the LCD was damaged. the screen had not a scatch on it. i havent droped the phone or anything. i would like to know if any other owner of a w960i has had a similar problem.

  • Zuhayr Moreea

    i just want to know that due to the phone memory of 8gb,will the W960i slow down when the memory will be almost full?
    and also does the W960i catch viruses easily?also is it difficult to get rid of the viruses?
    Plz help me!

  • ABC

    Its been a year I have been using this device and I simply love the way it works. It does slow down a bit when its completely filled but surprisigly not to what I had expected after filling up 7.5 GB space.

  • kelly

    i need a lot of help….i got this phone yesterday and the screen is messed up..like when i press the menu it takes me some where else….help plzz??

  • db

    hey this is one of the best reviews out there!!!! but anybody knows if this phone will work fine with only the 1900mhz in the USA???? please answer!!! thanks!!

  • chiccoturbo

    Just be sure that all is properly connected inside (touchscreen swap to the LCD chip and LCD to the mainboard (under the numeric pad).
    good luck

  • Simbal

    How long can I play music, before the battery dies? Where I get this phone in the USA?

  • zaki

    I need that pen as soon as possible

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