Sony Ericsson W380 Preview

Sony Ericsson W380

In the end of 2007, Sony presented a few new phones including the W380, which we will introduce here. It is the third clamshell device with the Walkman logo and it falls in to the middle class. The phone is targeted mainly at the young generation and the people who can not spend a large sum, but love music and would not get a phone without a music player. The gesture control would be quite interesting for them…

As the phone we are using is a prototype, we will do a preview instead of in-depth review. Expect one in the future...


W380’s design is characterized by the single color of the whole device and the sharp edges, which gives it an aggressive look. The device is shown on the official web site of the company and is expected to be released in three-color versions - black champagne, magnetic gray and electric purple.

The Walkman logo, the speaker and the slightly bulging camera are located in the upper part of the front panel and behind them is a relief surface, also used for the back side of the device. The touch sensitive buttons of the music player and The OLED display, which looks slightly dimmed, is in the bottom of the panel. The keys are conveniently large and protruding, resulting the phone to vibrate confirming the command, when pressed. In order to use them you have to unlock the key that is on the back of the phone, which is not a good solution.

The charger port is on the left side of the W380, but it would be better if it is on top or on the bottom side of the device, making it more convenient when listening to music with your headphones and having the phone in your pocket. There is a sign indicating a memory card slot right next to it, but in order to get to it, you have to remove the back lid. There is nothing on the right side, but the volume control button.

Typically for a clamshell, when you open the phone, the 1.9”TFT display, which could have been a little bigger, lights up. The light sensor, which controls the brightness, is located on the lower left side under the screen.

The navigational buttons and the numeric keypad are positioned in the lower half. The internet browser fast access keys, the power-button and the shortcut menu key are located in between them. At first, you may wonder how to turn the phone on, because in comparison to rest of the keys they are smaller and are hard to spot.


The new addition to Sony Ericsson’s Walkman line runs on software identical to the one seen in W880 and not like the version in K850 and W910.

With the W380 and the Z555, Sony Ericsson introduces its new Gesture Control system. Unlike Nokia phones, such as the Arte series, there isn't a dedicated sensor, and the system uses the phone's camera. By waving your hand in front of the lens, the phone will "snooze" your alarm or silence the ringing of an incoming call and send it to the voice mail. Currently, only those two simple actions can be performed, but in the future we may see a smarter system which recognizes different gestures.

The Walkman player is version 2.0 as in W880 and W660, and thanks to the touch sensitive buttons on the front panel, it can be controlled even when the phone is closed.

The phonebook, organizer, messaging and other functionality is the typical for Sony Ericsson phones with all the pros and cons of that software – we won’t show them in this preview...

Expect our full review when final, commercial samples are released.

Sony Ericsson W380 Video Preview:

Sony Ericsson W380 360 Degrees View:

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