Sony Ericsson W960 Review: Walkman Extreme: Camera, Web Browser, Organizer, Conclusion

By 08:43 Sun, 08 Aug 2021 Comments

We finally got a camera

The Sony Ericsson W960 is equipped with a 3.2 megapixel capturing camera with autofocus and a dual-LED flash - again, much like the P1 and unlike the previous Walkman-enabled smartphone W950. The maximum resolution is 2048 x 1536 pixels. Pictures are taken by holding the handset in landscape mode. The capturing camera interface is intuitive - all settings are arranged in a toolbar at the bottom of the screen.

In fact, the snappy capturing camera interface reminds a lot of the interface of the latest Sony Ericsson phones, with its similar graphics and functions. There are three quality levels and the capturing camera has a full automatic exposure control, while offering nice manual overexposure control accessible from the main viewfinder interface.

Camera viewfinder and interface: you can control everything with your fingers

The autofocus settings of the capturing camera feature a dedicated macro mode. You can even turn the autofocus off and utilize a fixed focal length for even faster snapshots. The capturing camera offers automatic white balance but there are four custom white balance presets to choose from, depending on the environment. You can apply several color effects to the pictures and video, such as Black & white, Sepia, Solarization and Negative.

Various still capturing camera options

We will refrain from much comment on the picture quality, as we're convinced that the final, retail version of the smartphone will have the capturing camera quality improved. Our unit (being a pre-release one) produced images with very high contrast and sharpness. So we don't find our samples satisfactory, so we'll not publish full-size shots. Instead, we post some of the better images downsampled to 1024 x 768 pixels. We expect that when launched, Sony Ericsson W960 will produce images as fine as the Sony Ericsson P1.

Sample capturing camera photos downsampled to 1024 x 768 pixels

Much like previous smartphones, the Sony Ericsson W960 can capture video with a maximum resolution of 320 x 240 pixels at 15 fps. There are S60 mobile phones on the market capable of recording video in Video Graphics Array (VGA) resolution at 30 fps while providing full smartphone capabilities. Obviously, QVideo Graphics Array (VGA) and the low frame rate are somewhat of a downer. Lower resolutions (such as QCIF - 176 x 144) though, allow recording at 30 fps but the picture details are far than adequate. All videos are recorded in 3GP format. The video recording times (no matter what the resolution), are limited by the available memory only.

Video capturing camera options are pretty much the same

That sort of a video capturing is a serious downside for a smartphone intended to be an all-in-one multimedia device such as Sony Ericsson W960.

Sample video (Download size: 570KB)

Using the front Video Graphics Array (VGA) video-call capturing camera was easy since it offers a rather intuitive interface. A nice thing is that you can utilize the rear main capturing camera in video calls too, meaning you can easily show the other party your surroundings. The video-call capturing camera also has a dedicated Night mode. Generally, when it comes to video calls, the W960 Video phone application manages well enough.

The video phone application

On the Fast Track

When it comes to connecting the Sony Ericsson W960 smartphone to a computer or other devices, you have various options. You can utilize a Universal Serial Bus (USB) cable or the Bluetooth 2.0 functionality. Connecting the smartphone to a Personal Computer (PC) via the Bluetooth worked like a charm. Of course, the Bluetooth capabilities of the device include support for the A2DP profile, which allows you to utilize a stereo Bluetooth headset for listening to music.

Connecting the handset via the Universal Serial Bus (USB) cable was hassle-free and the 8GB of flash memory appeared as a removable drive in Windows Explorer, much like your regular flash drive would. We are satisfied with the transfer speeds reachable with this connection. Using Windows Vista the upload transfer speed reached around 7.5MB/s, not poor at all. That would mean you could easily fill up those 8GB with tracks in less than 20 minutes. What's even better is that the phone gets charged while it's connected to the PC. If you decide to utilize the device as a portable storage, you can like even faster download transfer speeds - our tests showed up to 16MB/s!

Summing it up, the Sony Ericsson W960 easily offers more than any other Sony Ericsson Walkman before. Positive changes compared to the W950 are noticeable both in system performance and in the hardware equipment.


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