Selasa, 14 April 2009

Sony Ericsson deserves a lot of credit for bringing music to cell phones. Though it was not the first company to develop the idea, its Walkman handsets have consistently combined a robust music player with admirable sound quality. And that was true a long time before the arrival of the ballyhooed Apple iPhone. Now the company has succeeded again with the Sony Ericsson W580i. Inside a sexy slider design are the usual high-end Walkman features, all of which deliver solid performance. The phone comes in white, black, and gray. We examined the gray model for this review but the features are the same on all models. AT&T has picked up the white model and is offering it at a very reasonable $79 with service. Otherwise, you can buy unlocked phones for $269. To find accessories for this phone, see our cell phone

The W580i has a 1,000-contact phone book with room in each entry for five phone numbers, an e-mail and Web address, a job title, company name and work address, a birthday, and notes. You can save contacts to groups and pair them with a photo and one of 19 polyphonic ringtones for caller ID. You also can select a video for callers and you can choose a pattern for the side-mounted lights. Other essentials include a vibrate mode, a voice memo recorder, text and multimedia messaging, an alarm clock, a calendar, a task list, a notepad, a timer, a speakerphone (usable after you make a call), a stopwatch, and a calculator.

Of course a phone like the W580i wouldn't be complete without such offerings as full Bluetooth (including a stereo profile), e-mail support, PC syncing, USB mass storage, a code memo for storing sensitive information, and USB cable support. The handset also capitalizes on its "Walkman" name by offering a number of fitness applications. There's a pedometer for running and walking, a sports trivia game, and a fitness trainer for tracking your workouts. There's even a bizarre yet interesting application that will let you calculate how long it would take you to walk to various world locations from your home city.Naturally, music is the main attraction on the W580i. Its Walkman player is nearly identical to that on other Walkman phones. Settings include an equalizer, playlists, stereo widening, and shuffle and loop modes. The interface is minimalist, but you can select a color skin and choose from one of two simple visualizations. The player also supports album art, but it won't recognize every song it plays. You also get an airplane mode for listening to your tunes with the phone transmitter off. Yet the W580i holds a new surprise with its "shake control" application. By holding down the Walkman button when music is playing you can advance to the next track by flicking your wrist. It works quite well and it's an attractive feature.

Loading music on the phone is relatively easy. The needed USB cable and the Disc2Phone software are included, so you're saved the pain of shelling out more money for a music kit. The Sony Ericsson software can be a bit clunky, so we're glad that you can also drag and drop music from your PC to the W580i. Internal memory is capped at a low 12MB, so it's advised you use a Memory Stick Micro card. You also get the standard FM radio and a Music ID application for identifying likable tunes you can't name. There's a quirky Music Mate application that shows the correct finger position for various guitar chords and piano chords while playing the notes. You can even use the phone as a metronome.
The 2-megapixel camera shoots photos in three sizes (2-megapixel, 1-megapixel, and standard VGA). Other options include two quality settings, three color effects, a night mode, white-balance and brightness adjustments, a digital zoom (unusable at the highest resolution), and four shutter sounds (there's no silent option). There's also a self-timer, a multishot mode, and an option for taking panoramic shots. The camcorder takes clips with sound and offers a set of editing options similar to the still camera. Clips meant for multimedia messages are capped at 30 seconds; otherwise you can shoot for as long as the memory permits. Picture quality was good, with acceptable colors and little blurriness, but we miss having a flash. The W580i comes with PhotoDJ and VideoDJ applications, and you can connect the phone directly to a photo printer.You can personalize the W580i with a variety of themes, wallpaper, screensavers and clock styles. As always, you can purchase more options and ringtones from Sony Ericsson via the WAP 2.0 wireless Web browser. Alternatively, the phone comes with a Music DJ application for composing your own ringtones. Gamers can enjoy two Java (J2ME) titles, The Sims 2 and Lumines Block Challenge, with additional titles available for purchase.

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