Sony Ericsson W715
Similar in many respects to the W705, the Sony Ericsson W715 is a slider handset that is available in either silver or black. This handset, as its “W” designation indicates, is a member of the Walkman family. I have been looking at a review unit that is of the silver variety with gold trimmings. Weighing just 98g, this handset measures 95 x 48 x 14mm (H x W x D) when closed with the height increasing to 128mm once you have slid it open with a touch of your thumb.
Dominating the front of the handset is a 2.4-inch screen that I seem to spend a great deal of time cleaning – surely it is about time Sony Ericsson made moves towards including a cleaning cloth to sit alongside the power lead and earphone unit that forms part of this package. Despite the various fingerprint smears, this screen, with a resolution of 320 x 240 pixels with 262k colours, provides a display that should not disappoint. The handset’s accelerometer motion sensor technology ensures that the display automatically adjusts between landscape and portrait mode.
Positioned above the screen is the secondary camera unit intended for video calling while a control array of three circular pads sits beneath the screen. The left pad features call, activity menu and a selection key while end/on/off, clear and the second selection key are to be found on the right pad. The centrally positioned pad with its gold trim provides the navigation and Walkman controls. As with the W705, I found the 3 x 4 keypad to be a tad too cramped for my taste and had to take more care than usual when inputting numbers.
Situated on the right side of the handset are the dual volume and digital zoom control plus the camera key to activate the main 3.2 megapixel camera. A dedicated Walkman button is located on the top of the unit and the connection for charger/hands-free/USB is positioned on the left. Following the pattern of the W705, the supplied 4GB memory card, which supplements the unit’s 120MB of internal memory, requires you to remove the back (a slider lock is located on the base of the handset) in order to insert the card.
As we have come to expect with a Walkman phone, the W715 offers a wide range of musical features. You can play music using the standard button controls or make use of the accelerometer facilities to shake the handset in order to switch between and shuffle tracks plus adjust the volume level. I have to admit that I have yet to feel fully at ease with this feature and still prefer using the control buttons. SensMe, TrackID, FM radio, Clear Stereo, Clear Bass and MusicDJ are other features available with this handset.
The unit’s 3.2 megapixel camera will not set your pulse racing but it does perform adequately. While there is no auto-focus feature and the LED flash is limited, you do get 3x digital zoom, picture blogging and geo-tagging plus photo fix, PhotoDJ and VideoDJ features. Included among the camera’s settings are those for burst and panorama modes.
One major difference between this model and the W705 is the inclusion of GPS facilities which work in conjunction with Google Maps. You can use the GPS feature to pinpoint your current location; get route finding information and have access to Tracker which can keep track of your speed, route and energy consumption during training. While I found the GPS feature to be not totally accurate, it was near enough for most purposes.
This 3G HSDPA handset supports both WiFi and Bluetooth. The standard package of telephony features includes SMS, MMS, Instant Messaging, Email, Tasks, Timer, Calendar and Alarm Clock. There are also five games but these are demo versions with limited game playing abilities. Talk time is rated at 4 hours for 3G and 10 hours at 2G with standby at 350 or 400 hours respectively.
Currently available as a Vodafone exclusive, the Sony Ericsson W715 is an attractive looking handset with a more than adequate feature set. Pricing, as usual, will depend upon the type of contract you opt for when purchasing this package.
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