Sony Ericsson W580 Review
2 megapixel camera, unfortunately without an auto-focus or a flashlight as in the Cyber-Shot series. The camera interface is as the one of the S500 – it is neither like in K800/K810 Cybershot phones, nor the new one we saw in W910. It is in portrait orientation and in menu-structure offers options like shooting mode, night mode, self-timer, Effects, White Balance and settings. Here also is the camcorder.
One can select one of the 3 possible photo resolutions: VGA, 1 and 2 megapixel.
One must take into consideration the absence of a flashlight when taking pictures indoors; in darker places the ability to do so will be limited. At good light the images are of medium quality: there is some blurring of the details but almost no “noise”. With the light going down, the pictures get less clear with even the object of the photo hardly recognizable, so as a whole the result is unsatisfactory. The lack of macro mode is also noticeable; as you can see for yourselves, it is practically impossible to make out the inscriptions. The results are much better outdoors, but the quality of the image is once again basically dependent on light. The photos feature good color presentation, yet one can perceive the lack of detail and the blur of the background objects. Take a look at the images that we have taken in order to get an idea of what the 2 megapixel camera can achieve in reality.
One has no choice of resolution when doing video-clips: it is the same as with the older company series – 176 x 144 pixels – and the respective result rather unsatisfactory, rendering the videos unusable in reality for anything but MMS.
According to information, supplied by the manufacturer, the music and video players of W580 support the following file formats: AAC, AAC+, E-AAC+, MP3, MP4, M4A, WAV. We tested the player and see that it doesn’t have any problem with MP4 H.263 video. Viewing streaming video is also possible due to the 3GPP support of the device. To enjoy music, one can also make use of a Bluetooth stereo headset since the phone supports the A2DP profile, providing a wireless stereo signal.
The W580 has the Walkman 2.0 player for music playback. Unlike the 3.0 version we saw in the W910, this one cannot be used in landscape orientation. You sort the music by Artists, Albums, Tracks, Playlists, Online channels. Options include Equalizer, Stereo Widening, different visualizations and 3 skins, and the player displays the album art cover of there is one. Depending on the Theme you use, the phone may visualize the song name when it starts with flash interface over the homescreen. Such feature we saw in the Spinnin’ theme.
The Shake control function of the Walkman will be of interest to many of you. It is a bit odd why the user manual dedicates just a few lines to elicit this otherwise wonderful way to operate it. In reality, these do not make clear how to manage this function. It gives a short description saying that it must be active when the player is on, but in fact one should proceed as follows: hold the Walkman button (when the player is on or is minimized), then perform a movement to change the track. This can be done with the keypad locked; the phone will signal the command has been fulfilled by vibrating.
If you do not know the name of a song that is being performed, the Track ID function can be of help. This is a service for music recognition, which records a fragment from the piece of music, sends it over the Internet, and then feeds back information about the artist, song, and album. We have been delighted and fascinated by the excellent performance of the Track ID: it coped with identifying all the songs we included in the test.
The phone also disposes of an RDS radio, capable of storing up to 20 radio stations, either manually or automatically. However, if you wish to listen to the radio, plugging the “cable” headphones will be indispensable – in this case they serve as an aerial.
The phone comes with a preinstalled three applications called MusicMate2 (a music utility), Pocket Trainer and Walk Around the World (calculates the time to walk between some major cities). And killing time is secured by the Lumines Challenge game – a modification of Tetris, and Sims 2 – a mobile version of the well-known, computer game. Software:
Fitness. This Fitness application measure your activity, if you want to. You can see how much you have walked (distance and steps), information about running, and data about used energy. To make sure that the results are correct you need to calibrate the application before first time use.
Of course, one can always complement this software with favorite games or programs thanks to the Java MIDP 2.0 support.
The Sony Ericsson 580i's are absolutely the worst phones I have seen in the 14 years I've been a Cingular/AT&T customer. Out of 7 - 580i's all 7 were bad, we have a family plan and are switching out phones again. Screens go black, phones access the internet & make and recieve calls when locked and in a case (thus without your knowledge if you are wearing your phone in a clip you never know when you have an open line or who is listening to your conversations), buttons crack.
As an AT&T call center rep, I have had more complaints about this phone than any other that we sell...the cracking keys are the most commen problem, but we do get plenty of complaints about the screen going out as well. We should just replace these with at the very least W595s...