sony ericsson w395

The W395 doesn't have quite the same touches of design individuality that distinguished Sony Ericsson's W350i or W380i budget Walkman phones from the rest of the pack.

Its sliderphone template doesn't stray too far away from Sony Ericsson's previous slider handsets, and its plasticky casing reflects the low cost approach.

Available in glossy 'dusky grey' with purple trim or 'blush titanium' with coppery detailing, they're decently enough constructed, and we found the slider mechanism solid and wobble-free.

Its build is medium-sized 96(h) x 47(w) x 14.9(d)mm, weighing in at an unexceptional 96g, while its screen is entry level – a 2-inch, 262K-colour, 176 x 220 pixel TFT display.

w395

One music phone wish list requirement – a 3.5mm standard headphone jack – isn't present on the W395. Like most of its Walkman brethren, the W395 instead uses a regular Sony Ericsson bulky multi-connector socket for earphones, charger and data connectivity.

And again, it's placed on the side. This makes it more tangle-prone than necessary to use in-pocket with earphones plugged in. Unlike more up-range models, there's no 3.5mm adaptor on the supplied headset either.

w395

A Memory Stick Micro (M2) card slot sits on top of the phone, so it's easy to swap cards on the move. A 1GB card is supplied (4GB cards are supported) – which is essential for loading up tunes, as the phone itself packs a mere 10MB of internal storage.

Front controls adopt a signature rounded look, dominated by a conventional navigation D-pad, surrounded by a snazzy purple or copper backlight, that has music player controls marked on it.

Dotted around the D-pad are a regular pair of softkeys, plus call, end and clear buttons - and a dedicated Walkman key for firing up the music maker.

w395

Although small, the keys are perfectly manageable even for large digits, with a responsive action. The nimble D-pad, too, has grooves and ridges to help differentiate control directions.

The numberpad on the slider is moulded from a single piece of plastic, the subtly undulating surface separating keys sufficiently to facilitate rapid fingerwork when texting. Again, its action is remarkably responsive, and while we prefer more individualised keys for accurate typing, it's a good effort for this type of one-piece numberpad.