Sony Ericsson W995 review

The latest Sony Ericsson Walkman also has an 8 megapixel camera

Sony Ericsson W995
The Sony Ericsson W995 could be the best Walkman phone yet released

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The W995's LCD screen might not match up to the OLED on Sony's recent X-series Walkman, but it's still very good with 240x320-pixel and 262,000 colours.


SCREEN: it's a tad on the small side when using it for watching movies and navigating music

Our only complaint is that it's only 2.6in – fine for a phone, but not so clever for a media player, which is exactly what the W995 really wants to be. It's not bad, it's just that it suffers in comparison to many of the larger touch screen interfaces available from the iPhone or HTC Touch HD.


Strictly speaking, it's not a smart phone, which, while it might limit its abilities in some ways, also means that it's not cluttered up with functions you may not need, and it's easy and quick to find your way around the familiar icon-based menus.

Anyone who has used a standard Sony Ericsson mobile over the last few years will be right at home using the familiar interface.


INTERFACE: it's standard Sony Ericsson menu system here, so it's intuitive without being innovative

Helpfully, Sony Ericsson includes a little bit of haptic feedback when you access menu items too.


The 8.1 megapixel camera is very similar to that found on Sony Ericsson's last Cybershot device, the C905.


CAMERA: it's the best camera on a Walkman phone yet

The Xenon flash is downgraded to standard LED but most of the other Sony Ericsson features are there, including an image stabiliser and auto focus, as well as smile detection and the marvellous BestPic, which takes seven pics in quick succession, both before and after you press the shutter, to ensure you get the best snap.

There's also a 16x digital zoom, macro setting and panorama, though we found this didn't stitch the three images together as easily as some versions of this feature.

Pictures were great in comparison with lesser camphones, but not quite up to the top standard of the 8 megapixel brigade – close inspection revealed a modicum of blurring and a bit too much purple fringing on the edges. It didn't seem to handle bright light particularly well either.

Video provided better quality than we were expecting, though it's still a drop in standard from the still picture images.


FLASH: the LED flash does a pretty good job when taking fairly close shots

low light

LOW LIGHT: in these conditions the W995 didn't do at all well


MACRO MODE: close up shots were surprisingly good although lacked the detail of fully fledged cameras


OUTSIDE: colours are vivid, and focus is good, making the W995 a good all-round camera phone...


... although from this section of the image above you can clearly see the lack of detail


PANORAMA: the panorama mode was easy to operate although you can clearly see the joins between the three frames