The Good The Sony Ericsson W995a has a brilliant display and a loaded feature set that includes Wi-Fi and 3G. It also offers a 3.5-millimeter headset jack and a kickstand.
The Bad The Sony Ericsson W995a keypad doesn't feel sturdy and e-mail support is limited. Call quality could be variable and videos were unimpressive.
The Bottom Line The Sony Ericsson W995a suffers from some design concerns and performance issues, but it remains an attractive and functional music phone.
Sony Ericsson W995a
Sometimes, we get excited about the little things. For example, when we first saw the Sony Ericsson W995a at GSMA 2009 we got excited not because it has an 8.1-megapixel camera and a Walkman player--we've seen those before--but because it had a 3.5-millimeter headset jack and kickstand. Yes, we know that those features may seem insignificant when compared with a flashy media player, but as usability goes, you can't top them. The kickstand lets you prop the phone on a table and the standard jack lets you use your own headset. Did we mention that the W995 is the first Sony Ericsson phone to give you such freedom?
Besides those high points, the W995a has other attractions, even if it's not the sexiest phone around. The display is brilliant, the media player performs well, and the feature set includes Wi-Fi, stereo Bluetooth, and GPS. It also is a full quad-band world phone that supports AT&T's 3G network. There were some things that we didn't love: the volume is low, some aspects of the design felt flimsy, and the unlocked W995a will put a serious crimp in your wallet. Without any carrier subsides, it cost about $600. You can get it in Sony Style stores and at SonyStyle.com. And as a bonus, Sony will help you hook up the phone for use with your carrier's multimedia services.
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