Hands-on with the Sony Ericsson W995

At GSMA 2009 in Barcelona, CNET takes a closer look at the new Sony Ericsson W995 Walkman.

Normally a cell phone headset jack doesn't get us excited, but with the Sony Ericsson W995 Walkman we couldn't help ourselves. Sure, the W995 may pale a bit when compared with the Sony Ericsson Idou , but it offers plenty of merits. Two days after Sony Ericsson unveiled the phone at the GSMA World Congress, we took it for a spin.

Overall, the W995's design is very similar to other Walkman phones. It comes in three colors--energetic red, progressive black, and cosmic silver--but we're partial to the bright red. At 3.8 inches tall by 1.9 inches wide by 0.6 inch thick, it casts a trim shadow, but it has a solid feeling in the hand.

The 2.6-inch display is gorgeous with sharp colors and graphics. The icon-based menu interface is unchanged from other Walkman phones, which is to say it's easy-to-use.

Its headset jack is one the W995's best features. Kent German/CNET Networks

The navigation array has a somewhat stylized design with a circular toggle and a central OK button that doubles as a music player control. The remaining controls--Talk and End buttons, a clear key, a shortcut control, and two soft keys--are shaped like half circles. The latter four are a bit tiny, as are the keypad buttons.

Now we're excited about the aforementioned headset jack for two reasons. Not only is it conveniently located on the top of the phone, but also it is a 3.5mm connection. It's fantastic that Sony Ericsson finally lets you use your own headset instead of being shackled with a proprietary connection.

The W995 will make you see red. Kent German/CNET Networks

On the spines you'll find the charger port, a Walkman shortcut, dedicated music controls, a volume rocker, the Memory Stick Micro slot, and a camera shutter. The camera lens and flash rest on the rear side next the nifty kickstand. Though the kickstand's hinge seemed a bit loose when we played with it, but we still think it's a great feature.

For a full gallery of W995 shots, check out our slide show .

 

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