Sony Ericsson reveals its iPhone-busting W960 Walkman phone

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w960.jpgThe other big announcement from Sony Ericsson’s Berlin product launch was two new Walkman music phones, the W910 and the W960. The latter is the one to get excited about, in my opinion.

The W960 Walkman phone comes with 8GB of internal memory to store songs on, and has a 2.6-inch touchscreen – which will bring those inevitable iPhone comparisons. It’s got built-in Wi-Fi as well as 3G, and promises up to 27 hours of battery life when listening to music.

The W960 also plays videos at 30 frames per second, and has a 3.2-megapixel camera. It really is starting to sound like an iPhone-beater, actually. It also includes the TrackID music recognition software, which lets you identify tracks and get info on the artist and album it’s from.

It comes with a stereo Bluetooth headset AND stereo portable handsfree kit in the box, and will be on sale by the end of the year in ‘Vinyl Black’.

The W910 is an HSDPA Walkman phone that comes with a nifty feature called Shake control, allowing you to skip tracks by pressing a button and shaking the phone. Or waggle it about, and it shuffles your playlist. I wonder if someone at Sony Ericsson HQ has been playing with Nintendo’s Wii.

The W910’s motion sensing can also be used for gaming, allowing you to control characters by moving the phone rather than pressing buttons. Trust me, you will look like a berk on the train if you try it, but it sounds fun.

The W910 also has the latest version of Sony Ericsson’s PlayNow download application, providing access to games, ringtones and full music tracks. There’s also a new feature called SensMe, which lets you create music playlists based on mood – tempo and style – rather than just playing specific artists and albums.

It comes with a 1GB memory stick to store music on too. The W910 will be available in Hearty Red or Noble Black (i.e. red or black) by the end of the year.

Sony Ericsson website

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Stuart Dredge

5 comments

  • I’ve been using Apple stuff for donkey’s years and am a real fan but in my opinion the IPhone is just a gimmick like the Apple TV. EDGE? Why not 3G? It doesn’t do anything particularly well (web, phone or music) and will be very expensive in the UK. Who wants to be tied to an expensive contract. I reckon in a couple of years there may be an IPhone that does store a decent amount of music, has a decent camera (5Meg) and has a decent line speed (G3). Until then I’ll wait. They must be laughing all the way to the bank. It sucks.

  • Hi Del,

    Appreciate the follow-up comment! My view is that even committed Apple-phobes would have to admit that the iPhone is making a big impact in the mobile market – particularly in terms of how music phones from rival manufacturers are perceived.

    I think it’s fair to label the W960 as an iPhone rival though – it’s got 8GB of memory, a touch-screen and Wi-Fi – and even though Sony Ericsson has been making music phones for ages before Apple entered the market (yes, late), it’d be even sillier to write about the W960 without acknowledging the comparison.

    That’s my view, anyway. If someone’s thinking of buying an iPhone, they should be at least aware of the alternatives (W960, Prada etc) – which is why us hacks link them so often!

  • Sorry, didn’t intend to sound so rude to you there.

    I accept your method was to suggest that this was a challenger to the iPhone but my point remains that there is no need to review everything in this sector in the context of a phone that few have touched and which offers – in real fact – little new other than in presentation.

    Peace dude.

    PS – Can I have Susi’s phone number? ;oP

  • Look, for freakin’ hell’s sake, the only reason the touchscreen will invite inevitable iPhone comparisons is because people like you can’t write anything about mobile phones anymore without mentioning the Apple phone. Christ you can’t even write a title without adding a reference. You are making the serious error of commenting on something as an outsider when you are actually the target yourself!

    Need I remind you that Sony have previously released several touchscreen phones and even more Walkman phones – and at least one touchscreen AND Walkman phone (I have it: the awesome W950i that gets so little press or praise).

    Apple are a bit late to the market yet are suddenly the base and comparison point for all mobile products for lazy journalists who have yet to even touch the “Jesus Phone”. Shame they ripped off LG (the Prada specs were released to the public and therefore the industry in early 2006).

    I’m sick of it.

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