The Sony Ericsson Walkman phone range isn't always very exciting, but the W580i has a few unexpected features that make it stand out from the crowd. It's also rather cheap relative to the rest of the range and worth checking out if you're on a budget.
It's currently available for free on a monthly contract from several major networks, or for around £120 on pay as you go.
The W580i feels solid and looks like a quality product with some attractive details, such as the different coloured section surrounding the camera and keypad. Similar to the Sony Ericsson S500i, the W580i is a relatively slim slider phone with a curved section at the bottom. Our model came in a respectable grey and blue casing that attracted several glances at the pub.
Behind the sides of the W580i there are partially hidden LEDs that light up when you get a call or open the phone, and can be set to display different colours. It's rather a gimmick, but it does make it easier to tell when you're getting a call.
The W580i's screen isn't particularly large, but it's okay for viewing text messages and track information when you're using the Walkman feature. Safely protected behind the screen are the 2-megapixel camera at the back and keypad at the front.
We found the keypad a little on the flat side and we would have preferred it if the keys were a little more distinguishable from each other.
Most of the features that you would expect on a Walkman phone are found on the W580i, including the Walkman Player 2.0 software, support for MP3 and AAC files, stereo Bluetooth and an FM radio.
In the box you get a 3.5mm adaptor so you can plug in your normal headphones should you choose, but we'd really like to see a built-in 3.5mm headphone jack so we could plug our headphones straight in.
Music can be stored on up to a 2GB Memory Stick Micro card that will hold around 500 songs, but you only get a 512MB card in the box, which holds about 125 songs. If you want to carry around more music you'll need to buy a bigger card.
A new feature that hasn't been seen on a Walkman phone before is a built-in pedometer that can be set to count your steps while walking and running, and also lets you know how far you've travelled and your average speed.
At first it seems like a strange addition, particularly because the pedometer is turned on by default and starts counting your steps as soon as you start walking. However, it ends up being quite useful for anyone who enjoys walking and running and wants to track their progress.