Photos: Hands-on with the Sony Ericsson W902

Not content with just giving you default product shots, we've got Sony Ericsson's brand new W902 Walkman handset in-house, and man, are we excited about it

Nate Lanxon Special to CNET News
3 min read

If last month's posts about the new Sony Ericsson W902 and W595 Walkman phones had you excited, wait 'til you see what we've got for you today. Not content with just specs and stock shots of the phones, we've got you an ultra-early hands-on report.

We're not allowed to show off the W902's workings at this point, as only prototype models are available, so you'll have to cut us some slack for that. But we can give you an extensive gallery of photos as we play with it.

If you can't remember or didn't read the specifications of this 5-megapixel music phone, pop back over to our previous coverage. Otherwise, let's get on with our prodding, fingering and poking.

It's a really solid handset, and easily a hot contender for 'nicest candybar Walkman design in a long while' award. The keypad comprises a well laid-out spread of keys -- far preferable to the circular keypad design we used on the new W980 Walkman -- and it feels really easy to text on.

On the W350i and aforementioned W980, SE has tried, fairly successfully, to incorporate dedicated Walkman controls in one way or another. On the W902, play and skip buttons feature down the right-hand side and are comfortable to use with the thumb.

This is a well-designed handset and feels solid to hold. It's got that great combination of style, weight and ruggedness that makes it ideal for loads of different environments. Now if only Sony Ericsson would get rid of that sodding proprietary headphone socket before the phone's released at the end of the year, we'll be even happier.

Design really is the key here, as specs-wise there's nothing super innovative going on. Of course that 5-megapixel camera is going to be a big selling point unless sound quality is stunning -- and trust us, we'll be testing it to death. It'd better be good, though a company that refers to bundled earphones that cost little more than a tenner as 'premium earphones' needs to tread carefully.

That's enough words for now. We've prepared a mammoth gallery of photos over the next few pages. Enjoy this preview for now and expect a full review for you in the coming months once finished products are released into the wild. -Nate Lanxon

There's no doubt in our minds that the W902 is one of the best Walkman handsets ever in terms of its feel. It has precisely the right weight for its thickness, meaning it feel solid but not too heavy. Goldilocks will be pleased.

It's also slimmer and more compact that some of the most popular phones of the last year or so.

Just look at that smashing keypad -- don't you just want to touch it? Yum.

Here it is even closer still. The distance between keys is ideal, and they'll be great for tapping out speedily written, not-at-all-misleading texts -- u jst cnt hlp bt luv this keypad.

The navigational buttons are good, too, though perhaps not ideal if you've got size 18 fingers.

As you may be able to tell, this is the base of the handset.

This repugnant orifice is the proprietary headphone socket. If you want to use your own headphones, you're going to have to use a crappy adaptor supplied in the box. Epic fail.

What doesn't suck horribly, however, is the 5-megapixel camera wrestled into the back of the W902. There's an LED photolight next to it. A xenon flash would've been great, but it'd probably push the W902 even further into Cyber-shot territory, which Sony Ericsson isn't keen on doing.

A secondary camera for video calling and vanity shots is set into the front, though we're yet to find out what resolution it is.

The top of the W902 looks an awful lot like the bottom, only this time it's got a shiny button for pressing.

Several things sit on the right-hand side: a dedicated camera button...

...dedicated Walkman controls...

...and dedicated volume controls.

It's pretty around the back, though it conceals the fact that you have to remove this battery cover to access the memory card slot.

Lower down the back is a lanyard hook.

Finally, the screen seemed okay in sunlight, but we don't want to push this prototype too far until we have it confirmed that everything on the inside is final.