I’ve been the owner of the Sony Ericsson W810i phone with Cingular/AT&T service for about 3 months now. Having properly poked, prodded, connected, texted, called from and dropped this phone for that amount of time, I’m confident I am ready to write an honest review of it.
Weighing in at 3.49 ounces (99 grams), it’s light enough to not be clunky but heavy enough to not feel cheap. The phone is almost 4 inches tall and not quite an inch thick. This soothed my biggest fear of venturing away from a flip phone. With its antenna, my old Motorola v557 is actually a bit taller than this Sony Ericsson w810i. My Motorola V557 is also thicker.
Style and Antenna
I like the “candy bar” style phone. I like the internal antenna. It’s very slick looking.
Battery Type and Life
Battery life is about average for me. With normal phone usage, I charge about every 3 days. If I listen to the mp3 player or FM radio on the speaker, it’ll usually need to be charged after around 3 hours of continual use. What’s impressive is how fast this LiPolymer battery charges. My V557 would need to be plugged in for hours, whereas my Sony Ericsson w810i only needs not even a quarter of that time. I can go from 15% battery to 100% in under half an hour.
The Sony Ericsson w810i sports a bright, clear LCD (TFT/TFD) in 18-bit (262,144 colors), 176 x 220 pixels in size. The screen is sharp and very easy to read with no fuzziness as long as your wallpaper was clear to begin with.
Memory: Built-in and Expandable
The Sony Ericsson w810i comes 20MB of memory built into the phone. My w810i from Cingular came with a 128MB Memory Stick Duo (with MagicGate) card. I’ve since upgraded to a 512MB card and I can fit over 100 mp3’s on that card with ease. I love expandable memory… I just wish Sony wasn’t so elitist when it came to their own type of cards. All that said, these cards are about the same price as an SD or xD card.
Capacity of 1000. I think that’s enough for most everybody. You can assign up to 5 numbers to a name (without getting a double entry, which is obnoxious), email address, birthday, web address, a picture, specific ringtone, voice command, job title, company name, a full address and an additional note. I can’t think of anything else an address book would need.
Bright, white LED’s function as both the flashlight for this phone and the flash for the camera. It’s nice and bright and will come in handy more often than you think!
Polyphonic and mp3. Good sound from the speaker. Options to use just vibrate, just ring, or ring and vibrate are nice. Includes a picture ID and ringer ID feature.
Bluetooth, Infrared and USB. The w810i has a great range with bluetooth. I’ve sent something from one to another on a different floor and the connection was clear and fast.
The w810i also syncs up to my PC via the USB connection like a dream. The provided software is easy to use and very stable. Getting music on is easy, transferring ringtones is a snap, and even adding or removing images is a breeze. I’ve never had a phone cooperate with a computer the way my w810i has.
Text messaging is typical. Email/Picture/MMS, templates included. I’ve never used the web browser, but it is there.
FM Radio/mp3 Player
Coolest of the cool. I love the mp3 player and FM radio. The w810i includes headphones, which can be used to answer the call when plugged in. A microphone and ‘answer button’ are located on the cord so you don’t even have to take the phone out of your pocket. The mp3 pauses when you answer and resumes when you hang up.
The headphone cord (it splits into 2 pieces) also acts as the antenna for the radio. You can listen to both the mp3’s and the radio either on headphone or speaker.
Camera & Video
2 megapixel takes large photos with better quality than I’ve seen from most camera phones. It’s certainly not a professional camera, but it will take photos in the dark thanks to its LED flash. Video is typical for a camera phone, blocky and sort of slow.
Included with the w810i are:
Alarms (recurring and one-time)
Notes (which can be pushed to other bluetooth phones)
Remote Control (bluetooth)
This phone is tough, attractive, easy to use and sized well. Even my fiancé, who has much larger fingers has no trouble pressing the buttons. For the price, there is a lot to this phone, and the only problems I ever encounter are the occasional mp3 error. When I turn up the volume the mp3 will freeze and buzz, and I’ll have to go to the next song and then back to begin the song again.
I was itching to get away from my Motorola V220 after about 2 weeks of owning it. I got tired of my V557 pretty quick as well. This phone provides me with a phone, little camera, and mp3 player/radio all in one. It’s a space saver and a money saver.
Sony support has also been leaps and bounds better than Motorola’s ever has. You actually talk to a person and they talk back. What a wild concept!
It’s safe to say I’m a convert. In a year and 9 months when my phone is eligible for an upgrade, I’ll probably stick with the Sony Ericsson name. This really is an all-in-one phone that will be quite useful to a lot of people.