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Sony Ericsson W910: A whole lot of shaking going on

Sony Ericsson's shake control is very cool indeed.

Sony Ericsson W910
Shake it and slide it
Sony Ericsson

Back in June when I first saw the Sony Ericsson W910 Walkman cell phone I was intrigued by its "shake control" motion sensor, which would allow you to manipulate the phone's functions by moving the phone itself. Sony Ericsson said that when using the music player you'd be able to change tracks by flicking your wrist. That promise held true when I reviewed AT&T's Sony Ericsson W580i as that handset offered shake control. Sure, it's a tad gimmicky but it's nonetheless nifty and certainly unique.

But the W910 goes a step farther than the W580i by allowing you to play games using the motion sensor. I had the chance to test this feature at CTIA when I held the W910 in my hands for the first time. Instead of using the navigation controls or keypad buttons to play a game, which can be a little tedious over time, I only had to move the W910 around like a Wii controller. I tried playing a game called Marble Madness, which requires you to move a marble through a series of ramps without falling off the edges. By tipping the handset forward, backward, and to either side you can move the marble in the corresponding direction. And as my U.K. colleague Andrew Lim said, the motion sensor also detects which way you're holding it the phone and then automatically changes the screen's layout from portrait to landscape.

Unfortunately, I didn't get the chance to test the call quality--that's difficult to do when a phone is chained to a booth on the CTIA show floor--but I'll get to that just as soon as we get a review model. And if Sony Ericsson has a heart, we'll get one soon. The W910 also sports a thin slider design (in red or black) that's similar to the W580i. It's attractive on the whole and the display is vibrant. What's more, the keys felt a bit better than on the W580 even though they're still flush with the surface of the phone. The feature is solid, as well; besides the Walkman music player, the W910 offers Bluetooth, world phone support, and a 2-megapixel camera.