Interface and Functionality:

It may be just a humble feature phone, but the Sony Ericsson Mix Walkman does offer some flexibility when it comes to personalization. The phone runs the Touch UI, which is reminiscent of the UX interface found on its smart siblings. In particular, we liked the ability to customize the four corners of the home screen with a shortcut of our choice.


Unfortunately, surfing the web is not something that the phone's built-in browser excels at. It struggles with displaying large web pages and refuses to render most of the images they may contain. However, we installed Opera Mini 6.1 and it worked nicely. Sure, the pages loaded somewhat slowly even though we were using the phone's Wi-Fi radio instead of its EDGE connectivity, but eventually, they looked properly aligned and scrolling was smooth enough.


The eBuddy client, which comes pre-installed, grabbed our attention as it enables you to use multiple instant messaging platforms simultaneously, namely MSN Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, AIM, Google Talk, MySpace Messenger, ICQ, Facebook Chat and Hyves. A dedicated email app is also on board. Sadly, the on-screen keyboard that the Sony Ericsson Mix Walkman packs is really uncomfortable to use. Having no QWERTY keyboard is a punishment and the unresponsive display makes inputting text even more difficult.




Camera:

The  Sony Ericsson Mix Walkman offers a basic 3.2-megapixel camera with no flash or autofocus. With specs like that it is no surprising that it takes poor photos. Even when taken on a bright, sunny day, images lack detail and the dynamics range is below average. Things get even worse when shooting at night as photos are full of digital noise. The videos are unusable at QVGA resolution at 15 frames per second.



Sony Ericsson Mix Walkman Sample Video:



Multimedia:

Finally, let’s see whether the phone has what it takes to justify its Walkman brand. Just like the case is with all handsets from the lineup, a dedicated Walkman button conveniently takes you straight to the phone’s music player. The experience would not be complete without the built-in stereo loudspeakers and the premium set of earphones that comes included in the set. What is strangely missing, however, is a microSD card in the box, which is a drag as all that the phone has is the miniscule 111 megabytes of user-available storage.

Both the built-in speakers and the earphones produce clear and rich sound even at the highest volume levels. What is a bit disappointing, though, is that the volume doesn’t seem to go high enough. Another irritating thing that we noticed is that there is a slight amount of hiss during the quiet parts of a song and annoying clicking sounds are audible when tracks change, but these are both problems that few users would probably pay attention to. Still, this is a music-centric phone and such imperfections could have been avoided.

When it comes to features, the Walkman music player has all the basics covered. However, there are a few bells and whistles that are meant to enhance the experience further. The karaoke mode, for example, suppresses the vocals of the song that is currently playing. Sadly, the effect vary drastically from song to song, so it may be unusable in many cases. Another feature that Sony Ericsson decided to put is the Zappin functionality, which lets you preview a song by jumping straight to its chorus. Unfortunately, it simply doesn’t work as intended. Besides that, using it regularly seems quite pointless to us. Last but not least, the TrackID app has the cool ability to recognize songs by simply recording a fraction of it and submitting it online for analysis. We tested  it out ourselves and sure enough, it works like a charm.


Overall, the audio experience that the Sony Ericsson Mix Walkman delivers is not spectacular, but it is pretty good considering the device’s price point. Most importantly, the sound quality is above average and the Walkman music player handles well its primary functions.

Watching videos on the Mix Walkman is possible thanks to its support for both the QuickTime and 3GP formats. However, we couldn't get anything sized beyond 320 by 240 pixels to play. The handset also offers a YouTube player, but although it gets the job done for the most part, videos sometimes refuse to play and an error message pops up. Nevertheless, tapping back and then hitting the video link again solves the problem.

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