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.