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Sony Ericsson W715

What mainly differentiates the W715 from other Walkman feature phones is that it’s the first one to feature Wi-Fi. It’s also got a big screen for better browsing, a GPS module, a great and stylish shell and, last but definitely not least, Sony’s trademarked Clear Audio and Clear Stereo sound enhancement technologies. It’s not even a high-end phone, at that.

Advantages

Some may think that it’s yet-another Walkman slider that is almost identical to previous models. I’ll try to prove them wrong in this review. Oh, you’ll also find lots of photos and UI snapshots, in case you want to just skim through the boring, yet highly informative text part.


  • UMTS / HSDPA 2100, up to 3.6 Mbps
  • Quad-band GSM
  • Great design
  • Thin and light body
  • Clear Bass and Clear Stereo
  • Wi-Fi
  • Relatively large screen
  • GPS (W715 only)
  • 8GB card in-box (4GB for the W705)

Disadvantages

  • No inbuilt 3.5mm jack
  • No stereo speakers
  • No autofocus
  • Limited video recording

Now, there’s just one thing before the review starts. Please have in mind that the W705 and W715 are practically identical, save for the presence of a GPS module in the latter and an included 8GB card (rather than a 4GB one). We will not be doing a separate review about the W705.

Stylish to the bone

The w715’s design follows a sort of monoblock philosophy. Its fascia is devoid of curves (sans the buttons), featuring only clean, straight lines. The back also lacks clutter and is only slightly curved at the sides. All in all, the phone is very light and feels very good in the hand, its thickness measuring only 14mm. The length and width are respectively 95 by 47.5. The phone is quite petite, despite what its largish front screen may insinuate. The metallic accents and the front plate also look and feel very nice (especially when cold!).

The front of the phone features a relatively large 2.4″ TFT screen with a QVGA resolution, which is able to display up to 262k colours. Quite frankly, it’s one of the best screens I’ve seen. The contrast is excellent and the colour reproduction isn’t far behind, while screen legibility suffers a bit from the glossy coating, but it’s no too bad, really.

nkn_0607nkn_0608nkn_0609

Around the screen there is a metallic plate with a brushed aluminium effect (who knows, it may just as well be aluminium). It looks positively smashing, I’ll tell you that. Above the screen we have the earpiece, 3G camera, ambient light sensor and the Walkman and Sony Ericsson logos, of course. Now, below the metal part we have a… plastic one (coloured differently, depending on the phone variant). The softkeys and directional pad are located there, which boast a very familiar circular shape. And of course at the bottom there’s another Walkman logo.


Sliding up the phone reveals the alphanumeric keypad. The keys have a slight bump in order to increase usability, but still tactile feedback is rather soft. I’ve another gripe as well - the buttons are too tightly packed and you have to be rather careful while typing not to press an adjacent key. They could have easily given them more vertical separation, but oh well.


On the bottom side we can see the lanyard eyelet and the back cover lock, which I might add, is perhaps the best solution for keeping back covers in place. Good job, SE.

On the other hand, the Walkman button is the only thing to grace the top side.


On the left side we have the fastport, which is conveniently placed near the top, while on the right side there’s the volume/zoom rocker, the camera key and yet another Walkman logo (which is indented and not too obtrusive, actually). There’s also a glossy metallic rim encircling the… rectangular body. There’s also one around the D-pad and around the different items in the earphone compartment. There goes another glam factor +1.


The backside features the 3.2 megapixel camera and the LED flash, as well as the loudspeaker and the obligatory Sony Ericsson and Walkman logos (yes, another one). It’s made out of that soft-touch plastic, which makes holding the phone really pleasant.


The build quality itself is rather good. The phone is solid. The slider mechanism is spring-aided and while it is a tad stiff, we’re quite happy with its stability. Unfortunately, there’s a sort of creak when you press the far right side of the battery cover just below the fastport. I was at first reluctant to mention it, but it’s as if it has become more and more annoying (and apparent) by the day. I’ve been assured that this isn’t a large-scale problem by any means, though. It shouldn’t keep you from buying this phone, as long as you check it before the actual purchase, just in case.


Beneath the cover, which occupies the whole back side, we’ve got the BST-33 1000mAh battery, the SIM card slot, which is comfortably placed next to the battery (as opposed to beneath it) and the Memory Stick Micro M2 card slot. Yes, it is a tad unfortunate you have to remove the battery cover in order to access it, but given the convenient and easy-to-use lock mechanism which the latter employs, that would hardly be a problem.


Now, the battery I’m pleased with. On average, it lasts up to 3 days - 4 maximum. That’s quite reasonable, if you ask me. Well, of course, if you’re an intensive user it’ll be more like 2 days, which is still adequate.


The W715 comes in two colours - Luxury Silver and Garnet Black. Beside the former, the W705 also comes in Passionate Red instead of Garnet Black.


User Interface

standby

The W715 uses Sony Ericsson’s proprietary feature phone OS. Its user interface is in fact one of the best on the market. It’s easy to use, straightforward and graphically rich. Now, I know that may sound like a biased statement, but if you don’t believe me, you should definitely give it a go. The platform is called A2 - that version means that the phone has the much-acclaimed flash-based Media Menu, a sort of task manager called the activity menu and that the handset employs a Send/End key softkey layout. But it’s actually an updated version of the said platform, so we’ve also got conversation messaging, YouTube and Capuchin, the latter of which eases developers in creating more graphically rich and powerful apps. Those are just from the top of my head, actually. There’s much more to it than just those features.


The graphical user interface itself features a plethora of niceties, including menu transition effect, fading and pop-up animations and some very nice icons. But most of all, there’s the ability to use flash themes, which are a sort of themes, which swap your normal JPEG or GIF wallpapers and ordinary main menu with eye-candy-rich flash-based ones.


Despite everything the menu system is still fast and responsive, the animations being swift and mostly non-obtrusive. Even loading a few apps doesn’t slow down the phone considerably. Generally it shouldn’t be much of a frustrating experience multitasking. Also, we are happy to say that the phone hasn’t given us any problems, regarding the reliability of the software - no crashes, random restarts, etc.


The main menu layout itself can be changed to grid view, carousel/rotating view, single-huge-icon-in-a-vertical-list view or flash menu mode, if available. By far the most practical one is the grid view… or the flash one, depending on the theme.


menu-rotate grid-menu menu-single

Now the themes are perhaps one of the most modern-looking and, well, cool ones I’ve seen to date (sans the rather mundane Clarity theme). There are four of them, excluding the aforementioned one. These are: Isch, Lux, Passion and Walkman. Below is a rather lengthy description of these themes


The Isch and Lux themes are pretty much alike. In standby they both employ that plus-like symbol that can be found on the back of the sliding part of the phone and even in some of the advertising campaigns. The Lux one has beige, magenta and blue “pluses” fading in and out and constantly re-arranging in patterns, while the Isch theme has blue ones… along with triangles of the same colour. The former theme uses a khaki gradient as background, while the latter- a black-grey one. The Passion theme, on the other hand, uses red squares and black-red gradients. The wallpapers change animation when the music player’s playing a song or when the phone’s charging (yeah, that one too). Did I mention the accelerometer-controlled Walkman logo in the centre of the screen? The themes also put different backgrounds in the Media Centre, in order to spice it up a little. Flash main menus are naturally present, employing wobbling icons and symbols bouncing off them.

The Walkman theme has been updated this time around. We’ll just say that it’s quite a bit more dynamic than its previous incarnation and has a flash menu (!), the icons of which seem to carry momentum as you browse it. It’s quite a nice effect. Shooting geometric… “thingies” are there too.


Speaking of flash-based interfaces, as with many recent (as of 2007) Sony Ericsson phones, the W715 has a sort of Media Centre, which is essentially a media library, from which you can access all the pictures, videos, music, games and web feeds on the phone. A YouTube player is there as well. The menu can be set to auto-rotate when the phone is held in landscape and is quite fast at doing so, too. It can be accessed either by pressing the left softkey while in standby, or by choosing the respective icon in the main menu. It’s very good looking, no doubt, but it’s also smart.


media

The photo gallery, for example, is one of the most sophisticated on a mobile device. You can tag pictures, browse them by month, easily launch themed slideshows, quickly edit photos in PhotoDJ (VideoDJ is for creating videos, while MusicDJ - for ringtones) and send pictures.


photo photo-gal

The video player is quite handy as well. You can rewind, fast forward and save snapshots, for example. The interface is nice and clean. Sadly, it doesn’t support playback of either DivX or Xvid content. Not even AVI or WMV files. It can only read MPEG-4-based formats, such as MP4.


Moving on to less media-related parts of the interface, we find the activity menu - a core component of the Sony Ericsson interface. It’s a pop-up menu that serves as a hub for all of your internet bookmarks, menu shortcuts, recent events and running apps. It is launched by pressing the activity menu key right below the green Send key. Saying that it’s “very useful” would truly be an understatement.


activity

A novelty in the user interface is the addition of a Search shortcut instead of a Contacts one in standby. It lets you quickly type in a website address or choose one from the list of bookmarks. Some may find this useful, while I think others would prefer the old shortcut.


Organiser

Naturally, the W715 is also a fully fledged organiser. It has a number of features, which many users find useful, even essential.


organizer file

The File manager is quite a powerful tool. It’s no coincidence it’s the first item in the menu. It allows you to browse the files of your phone in an easy and intuitive way. It has tabs at the top which let you switch between files on both your phone memory and memory stick, or each of these locations individually. The folders are as follows: Camera album, Music, Pictures, Videos, Themes, Web pages, Games, Applications and Others. The capabilities of the manager include single and mass file transfer/copy/move, file renaming, folder creation, file sorting, memory status and others.

The calendar is quite handy. It gives you the opportunity to save detailed appointments and reminders and to review your week schedule in detail. There’s even an option which enables you to find a specific event. The calendar can be synchronised via SyncML or Microsoft Exchange.

calendar alarms

An alarm feature is included as well. You can set up to five alarms and give them different properties, such as recurrence on specific days of the week, text, snooze time, picture and ringtone.

There’s also a basic calculator application, which regrettably lacks a square root function. Thankfully, Sony Ericsson has decided to incorporate a unit converter into the app, which lets you easily convert between different mass, length, area, temperature and volume units.

calc converter

Additionally, there are apps for taking down tasks with reminders and notes, which can even be put on standby. A sync option, a stopwatch, a timer and a code memo app are available as well. There is also a torchlight feature that uses the camera’s LED flash. Strangely enough, the Video Call option is in this menu too. The Applications menu is hosted here.

Applications and Location services

The W715 comes preloaded with several handy applications. These include:

AccuWeather - Neat weather application that can keep you updated on the weather all around the globe. The application features 3-day forecasts, including temperatures and wind speeds.

accu-w weather

Comeks Strips - This app lets you add filters and graphics to images and compose small comics. It’s kind of fun, I guess. It’s quite similar to PhotoDJ, but its aim is not to refine photos, but to spice them up with clipart and fancy overlays.

comeks

Music Mate 5 - The Music Mate app has been featured in every walkman so far. Its basic purpose is to help aspiring musicians play the guitar or piano. There’s also a utility for measuring the tempo of a song (in beats per minute), a metronome and a beatbox. But perhaps the most fun part is the motion sensor-controlled instrument simulator. Swinging the phone up, down, left and right activates a different music instrument. There’s quite a lengthy list of such you can choose from.

music-mate music-m-guitar

Music Quiz - This is actually more of a game. The app scans your music gallery and then it plays back parts of tracks - you have to name the album, artist or even release year as fast as you can in order to get a higher score.

m-quiz

Rock Bobblehead - An Elvis bobblehead doll the wobbles around as you shake the phone. It can be used as a standby wallpaper.

Standby World - This is another wallpaper application that displays the time in 3 different cities around the world. These, can be customized, of course. The background changes accordingly depending on whether it’s night or day at a particular city. Very neat, I know.

Walk Mate - A step counter that monitors your movement throughout the day and week. In order to stay healthy, the app recommends a daily average of 10 000 steps. It works quite accurately, I might say. The program can be put on standby, or you can just leave it running in the background.

walkmate

World Clock 3D -This app enables you to browse a 3D globe according to the different time zones. You can also locate different major cities and see the respective time throughout the world.

world-clock

WayFinder Navigator (W715 only) - This is probably one of the best GPS offerings available on the market for feature phones like the W715. There are lots of settings to play with, including optimizations, traffic info, automatic calculating of routes, voice messages and so forth. The phone comes with a 3-month trial.

Tracker (w715 only) - A sports app that is able to measure speed, distance, show you your highest achievements and even draw your running course via its inbuilt GPS.

There’s also a Google maps client that can pinpoint your position using the phone’s built-in GPS module or cellular network data (for the W705) and show you where you are on a satellite image map. It’s fairly accurate, too. You can also freely browse the world map, of course. Searching for places and adding them to a favourites list is also possible. Be warned, though, that it downloads the maps in real time, so it would be advisable to use the app while connected to a Wi-Fi network or if you have a suitable data plan.

g-maps

Camera

The W715 has a 3.2 megapixel LED-equipped camera on its back. Sadly, it lacks autofocus (and a lens cover). But despite that, it still performs quite well. When sufficient light is available, at least. Although there is an LED flash, nigh photos don’t turn out too pretty, meaning that the flash is a underpowered. Daylights, on the other hand boast pretty accurate colours and contrast. White balance can be a problem sometimes, but it can be fixed by applying the respective settings. Unfortunately, the infamous oil-painting effect (actually a noise-reducing algorithm) is present on most of the photos at 100% zoom. But what am I blabbering about, have a look for yourself.

[more camera samples available here]

Decent, no? Well, mostly. Let’s not forget that this phone is in fact a music-oriented one, so we shouldn’t expect wonders in this department.

The interface is very similar to the one that can be found in the Cyber-shots. It’s intuitive and easy to use, naturally. Looks good, as well. Here’s a list of the available settings:

  • Shoot mode - Normal, Panorama, Frames, Burst
  • Picture size - 3MP, 2MP, 1MP, VGA
  • Flash - On, Off
  • Self-timer - On, Off
  • White balance - Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent, Incandescent
  • Effects - Off, Black & white, Negative, Sepia, Solarize
  • Picture quality - Normal, Fine
  • Review - On, Off
  • Add position - On, Off
  • Save to - Memory card, Phone memory
  • Auto rotate - On, Off
  • Shutter sound - Off, Sound 1, Sound 2, Sound 3, Sound 4, Sound 5
  • Reset settings
  • Reset counter

Unfortunately, the Scenes option is not present. That could have come quite in handy in certain situations.

The phone can record QVGA videos at 15fps. It’s inadequate, I know. SE should have at least bumped the frames per second up to 30. Night mode can be turned on, which improves brightness at the expense of reduced fps. The LED can be turned on as well, which lightens up close objects. Here’s a video sample:

Video sample

By the way, the W715 supports PictBridge printing, which means that you can connect the phone to certain printers directly and print your photos without the use of a PC as a medium. Picture and video blogging are available as well.

It’s all about music

The W715 isn’t branded Walkman for nothing, unlike other handsets. Playing music is its purpose (aside from making calls) and it does a pretty good job at defending the brand name. In order to durther prove that, there are even several full songs preloaded on the memory card, some of which are actually pretty good.

music music-search now-playing

The music player can be found in the Media menu, or can be directly launched by pressing the Walkman button on the top of the phone. When you enter the Now playing screen, the D-pad lights up in orange. While browsing tracks there’s a dynamic search feature that searches for tracks as you type their title, which is quite handy, I’ll tell you that. There are several different filters according to which you can browse your songs, if you chose to take the Media menu route. These are: Artists, Albums, Tracks, Playlists, SensMe, Genre, Audio Books and Podcasts. All of these are pretty self-explanatory, except for SensMe. Here’s how it works:

sensme

The songs which you transfer over to the phone via the Media Manager are automatically analyzed by the program and given “mood coordinates” (not that this option has to be turned on). Then when you open the SensMe filter on your phone, you are presented with a grid, containing many small dots. Each of these dots is actually a song, which is positioned according to how sad, slow, happy or fast it is. When you position the cursor circle above a song, you can expand it or retract it and create a playlist of songs that are within it. Frankly, the actual mood recognition could have worked better.

The available settings for the music playback include stereo widening, the traditional shuffle and loop, a visualizations chooser and the 8-bar equalizer. Now, the equalizer is kind of special. There’s an additional double-length 9th bar, which controls Clear Bass - a technology borrowed from Sony’s own Walkman players, which enhances the bass output. It actually works well.


In addition to adjusting the equalizer manually, you can also choose from a list of presets. These are presented in a nice and graphically-rich way. The presets are as follows: Treble, Heavy, Pop, Jazz, Normal, Unique, Soul, Easy and Bass.

equalizer manual-eq

The visualizations are nice and fancy, but are fitted within the album art frame, which is pretty small. I also think that they don’t reflect the beat of the song playing, but are rather preset animations.

Being a Walkman phone, the W705 is expected to have great sound quality, right? Some Walkman phones have underperformed in this department, quite frankly. Now would be appropriate to say that the W715 is no exception. But I won’t say that. The sound is fantastic. The phone utilizes another technology, borrowed from Sony, called Clear Audio. In my experience, it really does make a difference. You can clearly hear each and every musical instrument. The basses are also good, providing you use a decent pair of headphones, such as the ones that shipped with the handset - namely the HPM-77. Those are truly of fantastic quality.

There’s also another gimmick in the music player. You can change tracks by shaking the phone left and right, which respectively brings up the previous or the next one. By raising or lowering the phone you can change the volume as well. All this has to be done while holding the Walkman button, of course.

The player itself supports MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, RealAudio 8, and several WMA file formats, so I don’t think anyone would have any problem playing their songs.

The loudspeaker plays music in only one channel - that means it isn’t stereo. This wouldn’t be a problem for most people, but it would have been a nice feature still, the phone being a Walkman. I would rate the speaker above average. While it is loud and clear, it could have been a bit louder. The basses are also weak. But I couldn’t expect more from a mid-end phone. On the positive side, the sound doesn’t crackle at high volumes.

The W715 also comes with an FM radio receiver. The radio player supports RDS, which means that you’ll be able to see information about the particular station you’re listening to on your screen. You can also save up to 20 favourite frequencies. One thing to note though - you need to have a pair of headphones plugged into the phone if you want to listen to radio. You can choose to transfer the audio to the loudspeaker, but you still need a set of wired headphones connected to the phone, because the cable actually acts as an antenna.

radio radio-option

There’s also TrackID onboard - Sony Ericsson’s free music recognition service. With it, you can retrieve information about the title, artist and album of the currently playing song (either records a clip from the internal radio, if you’re using that, or uses the microphone). The results come back usually within 10-15 seconds. Data traffic charges may apply, though, depending on your operator plan. The service is amazingly accurate and has proven to be quite handy.

trackid

Games

The W715 comes preloaded with 5 games, which is actually pretty good. These include:

Bowling - As you’ve probably figured, you play bowling in this game. You can customize your avatar and then either practise or play in a tournament. What’s interesting about this game is that you use the motion sensor in order to launch and steer the bowling ball. It can be quite fun, but I’d advise against playing the game in public using the accelerometer. On the other hand, who am I to tell you what to do?

bowling

Bubble Town - The goal of this game is to clear a field of differently-coloured balloon-like creatures by launching and hitting them with other differently-coloured balloon-like creatures. When 3 of a colour are next to each other, they pop. The game is surprisingly addictive and is sure to cause the fast draining of the phone’s battery on your behalf.

Guitar Rock Tour - If you’ve played Rock Band or Guitar Hero, you already know what the game is about. You press certain keys in accordance with the different colour “plates” coming at you on a guitar string field. Timing is a key factor here. The goal is to try and finish songs as accurately as possible. The game could be as fun as it could be irritating.

NitroStreet Racing - It’s like Need for Speed ProStreet, really. You drive a car either by using the D-pad or the accelerometer, you unlock new ones, you unlock new tracks, etc.


While the game isn’t bad, I like the NFS one better.

Sudoku - What you do is try to solve Sudoku puzzles with varying difficulties. The greater the difficulty, the more points you earn, which can be spent on customizing you virtual avatar and winning virtual trophies. You can also invite your friends to your personal little Sudoku cafe to play there so that you may improve its rating. There’s also a quiz game which involves guessing your friends’ tastes… or something. It’s quite an entertaining little game - especially to Sudoku fans.

Web browser and connectivity

The web browser that ships with the W715 is called NetFront 3.4. It’s actually a pretty nice browser. It has a nice cursor-oriented interface that makes browsing pages very easy. You can save web pages and pictures, mark favourite sites, pan and zoom, search for sites and find text on a particular site using Find option. You can browse pages in text-only mode as well, in order to reduce data traffic. The home page is a customized Soy Ericsson start page, which gives you fast access to Google search, your browsing history, a link to Sony Ericsson’s fun & downloads mobile site and more.


NetFront 3.4 supports CSS, HTML, xHTML, and light Javascripts. It cannot display any Flash content. It’s generally quite a nice web browser when it comes to rendering web sites, although slow at some times. You can also use the browser in landscape mode, by turning the phone sideways.

browser useb

The DLNA-certified Wi-Fi support is a very welcome feature, indeed. The b and g channels are supported. Fortunately, the W715 is able to find and connect to different networks in the vicinity relatively fast. The interface is incredibly easy to use - just as if you’re connecting via Bluetooth. All data traffic is rerouted through the local connection, if you’re connected to a wireless network.

wifi-copy

The phone’s GPS was quite fast in our tests. It was able to pick up a number of satellites in just under two minutes. The phone also supports assisted GPS (or aGPS), which means that the phone can make use of the cellular network in addition to the GPS module to fix your position faster and more accurately.

The W715 supports Bluetooth v2.o. That way, can transfer files between the phone and, say, a computer or even other phones, regardless of the manufacturer. You can also stream music via it, as it supports the A2DP profile. The phone can be used as a Human Interface Device as well (i.e. remote) for your PC.

Now here’s some good news for travellers - the W715 and W705 support quad-band GSM/EDGE connectivity and dual-band UMTS/HSDPA, or the 900 and 2100 bands to be more specific.

RSS feeds provide a brilliant opportunity for people to keep themselves updated on the latest news from various websites. This is built right into the web browser, and if you’re browsing a website with RSS feeds, you’ll be notified by a RSS icon at the top of the browser. From here on it’s easy to add the feed to your list of subscriptions on the phone. You can set the feed to be updated automatically or manually, if that’s what you prefer. You can easily access your feeds from the Media menu, but if you don’t want to go through the hassle (or lack thereof) of doing that every time, you can simply add the feeds directly onto the standby screen. This is quite a brilliant solution, if you’re a keen user of RSS feeds.

feeds

The W715 supports most common e-mail services, including Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo! Mail. You’ll have to set up everything manually though, unless you choose to make use of Sony Ericsson’s online e-mail set-up. The phone also supports push e-mail. You can make use of both IMAP4 and POP3 protocols.

Contacts

The W715 can hold up to 1000 contacts or 1700 phone numbers. That’s quite enough for most people, in my opinion. Each contact can be given the following information:

  • Name
  • Number (Mobile, Mobile (private), Mobile (work), Home, Work, Fax, and Other)
  • E-mail (up to 3 e-mail addresses)
  • Web address
  • Picture
  • Contact-specific ringtone
  • Voice command
  • Work information (Title, Company, Street, City, State, Zip code, and Country)
  • Personal information (Street, City, State, Zip code, and Country)
  • Info (a note)
  • Birthday (can be added to the calendar)

contacts

You can send contacts to other phones via Bluetooth, MMS, SMS and e-mail or sync them with your PC. Contacts backups can be done right on your memory card or on your computer, using the Sony Ericsson PC Suite. There’s also an option to save 9 speed dial numbers, naturally. Saving groups for quickly sending multiple messages at once is also possible.

Messaging

The W715 supports the use of SMS, MMS, EMS, e-mail and voice messages.

The message editor found on the W715 is a universal one, used for both writing SMS and MMS messages. It’s quite easy to use and is visually pleasing. You can add emoticons, pictures and photos, videos, sound files and even recordings to an MMS. There’s also a feature called conversation messaging, which displays all your messages with a certain contact in speech balloons under each other. This feature is both easy and fun to use.

messaging new-message convo

As always, the T9 dictionary is the best on the market and miles ahead of anything else out there. You can always add a word to the dictionary if it’s not in there already. Other features include a large variety of special symbols, support for copying and pasting text, changing writing settings, such as language, dictionary, word predictions and suggestions.

Calls

The W715 can also make calls, you know.

To make a call, you dial the number via the keypad, search for a contact in your contacts list or recent calls one, or use the Smart Search feature, which suggests certain contacts, depending on which characters you’re typing right on standby. That last one is quite a useful feature, I’ll tell you that.

dynamic-search

In addition to voice calling, the W715 can do video calling as well. It has a separate frontal camera especially for that purpose. In the video call screen you can adjust various settings, such as switching the outgoing video signal with a static picture, changing the size of the video frames, adjusting the brightness or even turning night mode on.

We’re generally happy with the network reception. The signal strength was fluctuating at times during the testing period, though, but it quickly recovered. No dropped calls too. I have also no complaints regarding the sound quality.

The call manager can be brought up by pressing the Send key when in standby mode. It brings up a list of 30 of the most recent calls. These can be categorized by All, Answered, Dialed and Missed.

calls

Conclusion

Now, you may say that the W715 is a tad too similar to other recent Walkman sliders. You’d be wrong to think so. I’ve held almost all Walkmans, but the W715 is by far one of the most stylish ones. Feels great in the hand too. Considering that it isn’t exactly a high-end phone, the addition of Wi-Fi, GPS and the Clear Audio sound enhancement technologies is very welcome. Also, the great bundled earphones and the included 8GB card makes the phone all the more valuable. So if you’re looking for a great-looking and relatively cheap GPS and Wi-Fi-wielding musical slider, there are few alternatives to the W715.

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