Nokia may be gearing up for the mother of all mobile music assaults but when it comes to tunage on the bounce, Sony Ericsson’s Walkman phones still rule. The coming soon W960i looks to be the unofficial mobile music holy grail but until take off its latest audio adventurer, the W910i, is the Walkman phone to covet.
The W910i is the first Walkman to usher in the next generation player, spanking new desktop multimedia software, mood adapting playlist creation and motion sensing music controls. Not forgetting it’s also the first ever Sony Ericsson phone hurtling to HSDPA download speeds.
Slip slide away
Sony Ericsson’s penchant for the slider form is growing after a shop full of candybar’s and the W910i is its finest skater to date. The action is spring loaded while the torso is Rhianna trim, although it does have a tendency to creak.
The famed Walkman player now falls under Sony Ericsson’s new Media banner that gathers your music, photos and videos under one roof. The new look Media menu has graphically pilfered from the Sony PSP and now adds Podcast and Audio Books to its musical sub sections plus a photo tag system to neatly file your snaps. It’s a convenient way to access all your multimedia clobber.
Shake, rattle and roll
Still on the Walkman player tip, a new SensMe feature lets you tag songs according to its mood. Sad, happy, fast and slow tunes are all plotted on an emotion graph for you to create playlists.
This means break-up songs are, for example, filed under the extreme end of the ‘Sad’ chart. SensMe is quirky enough, but we think punters will know to reach for Old Bobbie D’s ‘Blood On The Tracks’ album for that cathartic outpouring.
The W910i is riddled with motion sensors including accelerometers for automatically altering the display orientation when you move it from portrait to landscape position a la the Apple iPhone. The transition is seamless while further sensors have been fitted to handle wrist jiggle style-music controls.
Again the W910i has lifted this movement malarkey from Sony’s NW-S200 Walkman dedicated digital music player: flick the phone left or right and the tracks skip, put it shuffle mode, give it a waggle and the songs will randomly mix.
However, while it works to the letter, you have to hold down the awkwardly placed top Walkman button before initiating the wrist action and, besides, we’re unsure how Joe public will react to involuntary twitching.
The W910i is amped to the gills with cracking new features. It’s still true to the Walkman phone heritage but has more of a handle on the entire mobile multimedia landscape, and for that it garners the full five stars.