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.

[img full [[16241:"1",16240:"2",16242:"3"]:"1-st and 2-nd images, from left to right - W910, W580, S500, T250, W660; 3-th image, from top to bottom - W910, T250, W660, S500, W580"] /]
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

FEATURED VIDEO

9 Comments

1. SE Freak unregistered

Nice review,i can't wait to get it on my hands,i've ordered it a month a go here in Holland.SE says it's gonna be released next month...we shall see. Greet

2. Monika unregistered

I have seen that it is also available in black...http://www.sonyericsson.com/spg.jsp?cc=de&lc=de&ver=4000&template=pc3_2_3_1&zone=pc&lm=pc3&pid=10856&esi=true It would be nice if phonearena could also test the sound and battery-life as well as the quality of the photos. The videos and the reviews/previews phonearena makes are very interesting!! I like the pictures taken in the dark, showing the light-effcts of the phones!

3. Anthony unregistered

I wonder which phone would be a better buy, the S500i or the W580

4. SE Freak unregistered

@ Anthony if you want a Walkman phone ......buy the W580i or no walkman phone.... buy the S500i(i've read on some forums that the keypad is very fragile and breaks easily with normal use!!?) The W580i has more advantages than the S500i see preview movie Greet from Holland

5. mathen unregistered

also,boulevard Black,which is the best..

6. zenlen unregistered

curious... i have had to send my s500i (black) in FOUR times for broken keys. my sister had the same problems. i finally got to the supervisor level (after the 1st time they were paying for shipping at least) and they are now replacing with w580. good customer service if you are nice to them but problems with s500 were extremely annoying and disappointing. i bought the phone 4 months ago and have used for probably a week...the keypad on the w580 looks frighteningly similiar.

7. unregistered

comes in 5 colors- metro pink, jungle green, velvet red, boulevard black, style white and urban grey it's a good phone mine is white but i wish i had gotten black because its sleeker but i wish that suncom had it availible in green or red but it's still good so far no problems

8. unregistered

ATT also offeres this phone

9. unregistered

hey, does anyone know where to get themes where the main menu moves.. or any like this phone on the video http://video.aol.com/video-detail/sony-ericsson-w580i-white-flash-menulightfxwalkman-skins/21017351 49?icid=acvsv3 the themes are great and i have been looking for themes like this for a couple of months now. thanks :)

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