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back to article Sony Ericsson Walkman W890i mobile phone

Sony Ericsson turned heads last year with its ultra-slim Walkman W880i. Now its successor, the W890i, aims to play to an even wider audience with improved handling and upgraded features. The W880i was a breathtaking switch into ultra-slim mode for Sony Ericsson’s Walkman phone range. It was admired not only for its bold design, …

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What is it with S-E and their increasingly crappy cameras?

You would expect the technology to improve, not deteriorate. I have a two-year-old S-E W800 and it has a 2Mp camera with a bright LED illuminator (not a true flash but better than nothing), effective autofocus and a sliding lens cover. Is no illumination/flash, no autofocus and no lens cover really progress?

Sure, you can argue that if photography really concerns you, you wouldn't care about this and would go for a proper camera. But as it happens, the W800's is good for day to day use, when I can't be bothered to pack the Canon.

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re: crappy camera

This phone is all about being slim, with the camera as a nice add-on. A 'crappy' camera is better than none at all, and this one has at least gone from 2mp to 3.2mp.

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Boffin

A suitable...

...successor to the W880i, which makes me a happy chappy as my contract is up relatively soon...

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Stop

Camera phones

If you are really worried about image quality, then you shouldn't be using a phone for pictures. Get a £100 Fuji/canon compact, the image quality will be infinitely better, you'll have real zoom, proper AF and a decent sized sensor - not to mention a proper flash.

For quick snapshots on the move, a couple of MP, a fixed focus and a small flash will generally do the job. If you want better pictures, get a camera.

Steven R

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re: crappy camera

Does anyone really use their phone cameras?

I used to when they first became available, and I have used them occasionally in the past but the images aren't particularly great.

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Camera - and pedant about the "i"

The camera on the cybershot phones are very good (with a "proper" flash). Surprisingly, the Walkman phones are good at being a Walkman, not to mention being incredibly slim. I'll be tempted when my contract is up on the W880...

Pedantic moment - doesn't the "i" usually imply infra-red? I remember thinking the same thing with the W880(i!)

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Paris Hilton

WTF!

Ok, first off, who cares much about the camera, its 'acceptable' for this type of phone. The new LG Viewity thingy or the new 5mp samsung are what you want if you want a 'proper' camera and a phone combined.

What buggs my luggs is the review giving the phone greif over position of the headphones!!!- I don't know about you but I have had 3-5 S-E phones all of them with the connector on the bottom (my current W850 as an example).

I hate the connector being on the bottom because its at the end of a long phone it 'decouples' easily. Roll on side headphone/charging socket..... Although to be honest I want a proper mini-USB socket that the phone will charge from.

I am at the end of my current contract and was looking for a phone with a big screen, good video, the new faster G3. and most importat to me. 1. a shed load of memory (8Gb+) 2. able to load it with codex to watch movies.

My cunning plan is to use it as a mobile entertainment thing for long trips, MP3 player and camera... and to be good at all. (I can login and stream from my home computer for video or load the phone up with stuff before I leave).

This phone will not do the above, however rather than take somthing with only 60% functionality, I will keep my phone as a phone and MP3 player for another year (ie I will upgrade to this new model) until there is more choice at the high end.

(I suspect I am gona end up with some poo Windows device to get the codex I crave).

-ano

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re: crappy camera

"Does anyone really use their phone cameras?"

Chavs do, normally when they're kicking the crap out of someone or breaking the law in some other way, shape or form.

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@Anonymous Coward

> Pedantic moment - doesn't the "i" usually imply infra-red? I

> remember thinking the same thing with the W880(i!)

Nah, the "i" means that its the European version of the phone, there's also be W880c (Chinese version) and W880a (Americas) versions.

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Yes, I use my K800 camera a lot...

...even though I own a decent compact, as I always have my phone with me. The Cybershot phones have excellent cameras - I just wish SE would stop delineating their models into separate Walkman and Cybershot brands - they don't seem to understand that some of us want both an excellent camera with a xenon flash as well as a capable music player! (the K850 doesn't even have a music button).

I see no decent successor to my K800 yet...

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Still waiting for CDMA

I don't have a choice but cdma here.... only Alltel and uscellular work. Sure wish S-E would make one. I like the battery life and walkman sound... oh and I wish it were a flip phone....I don't like the idea of putting my mouth near the mic that's been sitting that close to my bum all day....especially after a big pot 'o beans...

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SE's Crappy Connectors

I used to have a K800i and will agree with those who say its still a marvellous phone. In fact the chap that sold me my HTC S710 refused to part with his.

But man those crappy flimsy poppy-outey, pathetic, bulbous connectors that SE keeps coming up with are ridiculous. What the hell is wrong with micro USB. With really minimal design effort a micro USB connector could be almost flush with the phone which is what you want when sliding the thing into your jeans pocket with the earphones plugged in. My wife's W880 is also a great phone with another amazingly stupid connector that you always have to try plugging in the wrong way before you plug it in the right way.

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re: crappy camera

Well done to those who actually bothered to read to the bottom of my comment before jumping in. As I said, the cameras as fitted to the W800 and other S-E phones of that era were actually good enough as a "proper" camera for day to day use, which is indeed unusual for a phone, so I understand the prejudice even if it's unfounded. If I know I'm going to be taking photos, I'll take the Canon, but just because I don't, doesn't mean I want to compromise too much if the need unexpectedly arises, and the W800 does surprisingly well under the circumstances - apart from the lack of a real flash, but I'm talking landscapes etc not pubs. Furthermore, those who have read my other techno-fascist comments on matters photographic, will know that the rise in megapixels to 3.2 with this one is not necessarily the good news suggested by some above.

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Boffin

Tell us about the basics too

Putting aside the issues with the camera, it seems common now for reviews to focus on the "additional" features of the phones, ignoring the more basic things, related to basic communications.

Having just bought one of these phones I'm dissapointed to find that the vibrator is so weak that I miss calls unless the phone is in direct contact with me - if it's sitting loosely with my season ticket in my shirt pocket I don't feel it buzzing so miss calls. I've also noticed that there isn't enough contrast between the keys and their backlights (silver version) so that, in many lighting conditions, I find myself having to tilt the device to see the legends, making texting more time consuming than it needs to be.

Both of these are simple things, which should have been picked up in testing, both by the manufacturer and reviewers but which obviously weren't. They also don't get picked up by the buyer until it's too late and they've actually bought the thing ! Having said that, this review did mention call quality and signal handling (and is correct; call quality is high and signal drop outs seem few and far between) - again things you need to know if you want to comunicate, not just listen to music or take pictures !

Also note that if you buy an O2 branded W890 Google Maps isn't installed as per the review - you have to fetch it yourself, but it won't install alongside the otehr locational related apps.

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