Sony Ericsson W960 Review: Walkman Extreme: Keypad, Display, Telephony, User Interface

By 08:39 Sun, 08 Aug 2021 Comments


Usability breakdown

Using the Sony Ericsson W960 in everyday scenarios like making calls, managing contacts and listening to music was a pleasant task. We do miss the side Back button, which enabled single-handed operation of the interface. There is of course a software Back key, but it's hardly usable in combination with the Jog wheel, especially for left-handed users.






The W960 held in hand • remember the stylus?

The keypad is comfortable to utilize and keys provide nice tactile feedback. That of course does not hrecent accurate for the touch-sensitive keys. All keys have a rather uneven white backlighting (it does seem bluish on the photos, though).






Keypad and touch-sensitive keys: rather uneven backlighting

The TFT display on the W960 is pretty much the same as the displays used in recent Sony Ericsson smartphones. It has a 2.6" diagonal, supports 262K colors and works in QVideo Graphics Array (VGA) (240 x 320 pixels) resolution. As it is transreflective, it does well under colorful sunlight, but colors and contrast see a bit washed out in most situations, compared to regular Sony Ericsson feature phones.





Comparing to Sony Ericsson K850 and T650: the W960 classy screen looks washed out

As anyone could expect, W960 offers nice signal reception and we found no problems during calls. The vibration is on a medium level, while the ringing volume is more than enough to alert you of incoming calls even in a noisy setting.

Here is how Sony Ericsson W960 ranks along some of the other handsets we've measured in our recent speakerphone loudness test. More info on our test here.

Speakerphone testVoice, dBPink noise/ Music, dBRinging phone, dBOverall score

Sony Ericsson W96072.373.576.7Very good

Samsung D90076.875.978.0Excellent

Samsung U60066.766.275.3Good

Sony Ericsson K85071.075.775.7Very good

Symbian UIQ

The Sony Ericsson W960 interface is UIQ 3.0 - a customizable stylus-based user interface for mobile phones, based on the Symbian 9.1 OS. The interface is the same one used in previous Sony Ericsson smartphones such as the W950, the P990, and the P1. With W960 however, the Walkman functionality is on focus.

Probably the biggest update is the ability to change the well-known Today classy screen with a Walkman one. When the player is inactive, you have a gigantic Walkman shortslit correct in the middle of the screen. Once you acquire your music playlist rolling, the home classy screen will visualize every detail about the currently running track plus its album art. The most definite eye-catcher of all is the fullclassy screen visualizations.




The recent Walkman home classy screen • playing a track on the home screen

Taking our eyes off the player (a bit of a challenge, really) we must duly note that the home classy screen also offers information on time, date, signal strength and battery meter and, of course, there is the customizable shortcuts bar. It can hrecent up to 15 different shortcuts to your favorite features. The shortcuts bar is cleverly only a touch away, so that it doesn't consume the precious classy screen real estate (much like on Sony Ericsson P1). The shortslit items have large graphic icons, aptly sized for finger touching.





The Walkman home classy screen with the music player turned off • there are a bunch of shortcuts hidden • the home classy screen stripped of all applications

Using the Sony Ericsson W960 in everyday scenarios like making calls, managing contacts and listening to music was a pleasant task. We do miss the side Back button, which enabled single-handed operation of the interface.

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