Sony Ericsson has quite a few Walkman phones out — fat ones, skinny ones, flashy ones and bland ones. The Sony Ericsson W508 is the current model, and it's of the slim, lightweight and slightly bland type in a clamshell form.
Design and features
At first one could easily be fooled into thinking this was a slim MP3 player and not a flip phone. Coloured in boring grey, the W508 has external music controls, a small OLED screen, a camera lens and the sensor for "Gesture Control" on the exterior. Gesture control is used for muting calls or to snooze an alarm by waving your hand in front of the sensor.
The W508 fits snugly in your palm with the handy controls on the front removing the need to open the clamshell for many operations. The time, battery life and song titles appear on the external display. Also within reach without having to adjust your grip is the volume rocker and hold button (to prevent any accidental bumps from activating the music player) along the right side of the phone.
And if using buttons aren't your style, there is Shake control. By shaking the phone in certain directions it can shuffle music tracks, go to the next or previous song, and control the volume. It's a bit redundant when the keys are all there on the outside of the phone (and you won't have to risk straining your wrist!).
On the left is Sony Ericsson's customary proprietary port for the included charger, USB and headphones (the hands-free headphones have a 3.5mm port).
You also get an orange "Style-Up Cover" if gunmetal grey is not to your liking, plus you have the option of buying other coloured covers. The faceplates are easy to remove and attach, as they're made of a slim plastic that easily click into place. Unfortunately, you can only change the front exterior — the back of the phone will always be grey.
Opening the phone reveals flat circular keys that are evenly spaced from each other. This may take some getting used to, especially when the only thing to feel your way across is the slightly raised border around each key.