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Sony Ericsson W980i - Future phone

Sony Ericsson W980i

Sony Ericsson W980i

25 February 2008
Written by David Hall

From the outside, Sony Ericsson’s latest Walkman-branded handset looks nothing like a phone. Opening up the W980i reveals the numerical keyboard and display we associate with a ‘regular’ mobile phone. The W980i was announced alongside a fleet of handsets at the recent Mobile World Congress 2008 in Barcelona, Spain.

The W980i combines all of the features introduced in recent Walkman handsets – such as shake control, SensMe automatic playlists, a high-quality speakerphone with audio enhancing technology, and a whopping 8GB of internal memory.

The clam-shell form factor of the W980i allows users to interact with the Walkman music player without the phone functions getting in the way – and vice versa. The external full-colour LCD (final specifications to be confirmed) and five multimedia keys mean music can be controlled without needing to open up.

The 8GB of internal memory is enough space to hold up to “8,000 songs” – based on calculations using eAAC+ encoded files. Most music libraries will contain mostly MP3 files; so many users will find they cannot fit 8,000 songs. 8GB, none the less, is still an impressive feat and puts Sony Ericsson up there with the Nokia N81 and N95 – and should satisfy most music lover’s desires.

A built-in FM transmitter can be used to share what’s being played on the phone with all those around you – though a stand-alone FM radio or car stereo system. There’s also a radio tuner for listening in to your favourite stations.

The music experience is further enhanced with Sony Ericsson’s own PlayNow and TrackID applications. PlayNow offers 5 million tracks that can be purchased and downloaded instantly to the handset – making expanding your music collection a breeze.

TrackID on the other hand can be used to identify unknown tracks by sending in a small recording. The track name, artist, and album name will then be sent to the handset if a match is found – along with links to downloading the song through the PlayNow music arena.

When it’s time for non-Walkman features, open up the W980i to reveal its 240 x 320 pixel 262,144 colour TFT LCD. The button style from the front has been extended to the inside, with cool circular buttons and sleek black colour scheme.

GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz and UMTS 2100MHz networks are supported for worldwide connectivity. GPRS and EDGE data protocols can be used on the 2G bands for data connectivity, with UMTS data on the 2100MHz band. HSDPA is also supported, however final specifications have not yet been confirmed.

Sony Ericsson’s proprietary user interface runs the W980i, with the usual array of features: Java support, extensive PIM applications, web browser with WAP 2.0 support, and SMS/EMS, MMS, and e-mail messaging – just to name a few.

The W980i will be available on selected markets around second half of 2008 in a single colour option – Piano Black.

FYI .:. Sony Ericsson W980i
(ETA Q3 2008 for Australia)

Basic specifications
Network system 2G: GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz
Form factor Clam-shell
Size 92 x 46 x 17 mm
Weight 100 grams
Display External: 262K colour TFT LCD display @ 176 x 176 pixels
Internal: 262K colour TFT LCD display @ 240 x 320 pixels
Battery type used Lithium-ion battery @ 930mAh (BST-38)
Talk/usage time* 2G: Up to 9 hours*
3G: Up to 3.5 hours*
Standby time* 2G/3G: Up to 300 hours
Accompanying features
Connectivity options Bluetooth 2.0 and USB 2.0 (Mass Storage Device profile and PictBridge supported)
Camera support 3.2mpx digital camera with video recording, 3.2x digital zoom and PhotoFix application
Data support GPRS, EDGE, UMTS, and HSDPA
Exchangeable covers None
Internet applications Opera browser (WAP 1.2.1/2.0 and xHTML supported)
  Internal -
  External -
Yes, 8GB
Not supported
Messaging capabilities SMS/EMS, MMS, and e-mail messaging with T9 predictive text
Ringing tones Polyphonic MIDI, MP3/AAC ringing tones^
Synchronisation with PC Yes, via PC
System for...
  Add-on applications -
  Gaming -
  Phone -
Java MIDP 2.0
Java MIDP 2.0
Sony Ericsson proprietary
Extras supported
(not listed above)
FM tuner/transmitter
TrackID, PlayNow, Shake control
SenseMe automatic playlist creation
Auto-rotate user interface

* As per manufacturer's specifications (with supplied battery)
^ Final specifications to be confirmed

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