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Sony Ericsson W580 Preview

Sony Ericsson W580 Preview
Sony Ericsson W580 is one of the newest Sony Ericsson Walkman slider phones. Based on the S500, it is very similar to the extravagant slider in both design and functionality, and compared to the newer W910 lacks in features.

The W580 is available in two color versions: white-orange and titanium-blue. Our unit is in the second one, which we like more, as the white one reminds us of older phones like W800 and W600 – too ordinary. Under the Walkman branding, the W580 is mid-level music phone.

Based on the S500, the W580 has identical design and same dimensions – it is mid-sized slider with average weight and relatively slim profile measuring 0.6” (14mm). It fits nicely in the hand, and for the opening of the slider, spring mechanism assists you. We don’t like that its movement is not smooth and when you open it to the half, the mechanism pushes it sharply to the end. Also, the upper slider doesn’t cover the whole bottom part, and you cannot push from the bottom, but should push the front side instead.


When closed, the phone is in titanium color with dark blue for the sides. The area around the numeric keypad is also in dark blue, while the one around the camera is in light one with texture, very contrasting.


The display and the navigation buttons are on the front side of the top slider. The display is QVGA with 262k colors and size of 2.1 inches. It is bright and contrasting unit but as it was with the W910, the colors could be more and the transition from one hue to another is not very smooth. This display is exactly the same as the one of the S500.

Below are the navigation keys, including two software buttons, back (arrow) and clear keys, walkman button and shortcut. Typical for Sony Ericsson, they are small but are felt easily thanks to the relief. We don’t like that the soft keys and the back/clear are put in common volume, as a two-way key. They press hard and with almost no tactile feedback. In the middle is the circular 5-way d-pad which is illuminated in bright blue.

Unlike the S500, there is no speaker grill on the front of the W580, but it seems that the loudspeaker is in the same location – on the bottom front side of the upper slider. It is loud, but one of the tracks preloaded with the phone had noises when put to highest level.

The numeric keypad is almost totally flat and they keys are small, grouped together in rows. We would have preferred them with bigger size, using the space otherwise left in areas around them. They are illuminated in dark blue, unlike the navigation keys which glow in white.


PhoneArena's Sony Ericsson W580 Video Review / Preview :






On the right is the proprietary jack, and on the left is the volume control rocker, which is the only side key. Rather strange for the brand is that this key is on the top slider instead on the bottom one. The two sides also pack elongated LED lights, which blink in bluish (theme dependent) color. When a call comes, they blink in Red-Green-Blue, but don’t indicate a missed call with any color.

The top side houses the tiny power button and the slot for M2 memory cards.

Interface:

As the software of the phone is based on the old Sony Ericsson UI, we won’t discuss all of its features, but just some.

Standard for a Walkman phone, flash themes are supported. Preloaded there are 5: Walkman, Clarity, Spinnin’, Splat, Strobe. The flash themes can change the menu icons, and even the way the menu look. By default, it is 3x4 grid of icons, but with a theme it can change to a horizontal list for example.

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. 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. Like the W910, W580 will feature Shake Me technology, which changes the music track to next/previous/random after you shake the device in definite manner. Unfortunately, our prototype doesn’t support it.

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.

The fitness application measure your activity, if you want to. You can see how much you have walked (distance or steps), information about running, and data about used energy.

We won’t comment on the phonebook, organizer and the messaging menus. Check the Sony Ericsson K800 review to view what they are, if you are not familiar.

As a whole, the W580 is a nice Walkman phone, but as the W910 is already announced, the W580 looks as an old phone, with no appeal.

Don't forget to check our Gallery for a few more images.

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

Also check our previews of Sony Ericsson: S500, W660, W910

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