Sony Ericsson W660i review: Sony Ericsson W660i

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Typical Price: $899.00

Sony Ericsson W660i

(Part #: CNETSony Ericsson W660i)
4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Excellent battery life. 512MB Memory Stick included. Great suite of music applications. Comfortable form-factor.

The Bad Yet another Sony Ericsson candy-bar phone. Does not natively sync with Mac OS X.

The Bottom Line Looking as good as it sounds, the Sony Ericsson W660i is an exceptional fusion of 3G handset and music player. However, existing Sony Ericsson users may find little more than a smattering of new applications to tempt them into an upgrade.

8.5 Overall

The Sony Ericsson W660i is a full-featured, yet no-surprises 3G mobile phone, sporting slick looks, intuitive functionality and a smattering of useful applications. Weighing 93 grams and measuring 102 by 46 by 14.5mm, the Sony Ericsson W660i is pitched as the must-have mobile device for folks who want their music on the move.

The adage "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" seems to be Sony Ericsson's golden rule, and the Sony Ericsson W660i is certainly a testament to this. Throughout, the handset shares more in common with its predecessors in the K3x, 5x and 6xi series than otherwise, not only sharing a classic candy-bar form-factor, but a near-identical user-interface, button layout and list of features. As much as this may limit any convincing argument as to why existing 3G Sony Ericsson users should upgrade to this new, bells-and-whistles model, it should be known that it does possess a number of defining features that are not only quite useful, but also a lot of fun.

The Sony Ericsson W660i's rounded corners, tactile keypad and matte finish have been sculpted with maximum comfort in mind. One could imagine it to be the brainchild of some illicit mobile phone-using motorist's club (you know who you are), bearing the single goal of crafting a phone that can be wholly utilised using one hand. The keypad is very responsive and easy to the touch. Being a Walkman-branded product, the Sony Ericsson W660i transforms from phone to music player with the press of a button, and likewise into a digital camera. In turn, the four-way keypad can be programmed with shortcuts, taking the repetition out of performing common tasks.

One of the Sony Ericsson W660i's more standout features is the inclusion of an easily-replaceable 512MB Sony Memory Stick Micro, providing ample room for either oodles of photos, or a few music albums. Contrary to old times, a phone-to-USB cable is provided, meaning that you can now transfer files to the handset post-haste, or at least without fooling around with a Bluetooth connection. Considering this is a digital music-oriented phone, this is not only a great improvement over previous models, but a timely feature set. However this said, the largest-capacity Memory Stick Micro currently available in Australia is 2GB, which is certainly not enough to have serious audiophiles considering the purchase of a Sony Ericsson W660i as a viable replacement for their higher-capacity MP3 players.

Aiding its role as equally phone and music player, the Sony Ericsson W660i contains a variety of music-oriented applications such as the Walkman Music Player (complete with fancy visualisations and skins), the PlayNow music purchasing service (not yet available in Australia, at the time of writing) and the gimmicky, DIY pop-tune creator, MusicDJ. Most interesting of all is the TrackID program, which allows you to record a short sample of a tune, before polling the Gracenote database for its respective artist and album. As expected, this feature links in with the Sony Ericsson W660i's built-in FM radio software, providing a godsend for folks who regularly fall smitten of songs they hear on the radio, only to live the nightmare of never uncovering the song again.

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