Sony Ericsson W395 review

A cheap new Walkman music phone which gets the job done

Sony Ericsson W395 review
The Sony Ericsson W395 is a wallet-friendly, functional sliderphone

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The W395's 2-megapixel camera is an acceptable sort of shooter for this grade of handset. It has a tidy user interface, with fewer options than the type implemented on Sony Ericsson's mid-tier line-up.

A camera button on the side can launch the snapper almost instantly; in fact, it's one of the quickest start-ups we've seen from a cameraphone, being ready to go in less than 1 second.


SAMPLE SHOT: The Sony Ericsson W395's 2-megapixel camera is an entry level-grade shooter, so its shooting quality is limited

It automatically switches into a camera-like landscape viewfinder mode, and because the camera's on the back panel, there's no need to extend the phone open to take shots and so it balances well in the hand.

The user interface uses a softkey option to open up the settings menu, where a neatly arranged graphical interface enables you to select from settings options including typical white balance control for various lighting environments, multi-burst four-shot shooting, night mode, timer, three colour effects plus image size and quality.


SAMPLE SHOT: The phone's camera is suitable for quick snaps rather than sophisticated cameraphone shooting. Colour is a touch washed out in bright conditions and there's an obvious lack of precise detail in the shot

There is a shade of shutter lag but it's not exceptional, and images are processed without delay. Once shot, they can be uploaded from the camera UI directly to an online Blogger account – a standard feature now across Sony Ericsson's range.


TIMING: There's little problem, however, with shutter lag, so you can take quick snaps even when there's some movement

A Photo Fix option enables images to be given an automatic freshen up by the phone's imaging software, while some effects options allow for rudimentary post-shooting colourisation of images.

While the W395's user interface is easy to handle, the handset does deliver a limited photographic performance. It'll take decent enough snaps for a 2-megapixel cameraphone in reasonable lighting conditions, but don't expect any fancy photography from this fixed lens shooter.


LIMITED DETAIL:Shots can look slightly soft and colours can be a touch over exposed

Colour rendition is well handled in most reasonable lighting situations, auto exposure is good and photos look presentable, though images lack in fine detail and without an autofocus system, it's limited in precision. Sometimes in lower light images can be soft, and in dark situations, without a flash, images are poor – very murky and grainy.


QUALITY:The W395 can take a reasonable snap, but colours lack vibrancy and richness

The camera can shoot video clips, but at a very low-level 176 x 144 pixels maximum resolution at 15 frames per second. Needless to say, playback is unimpressive - low quality and flickery low-grade phone footage.