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October 9, 2006

10-second tech review: Sony Ericsson w810

Posted by Tricia Duryee at 12:13 PM

NEW YORK -- While traveling, I decided to bring along the new Sony Ericsson w810 from Cingular Wireless. Besides obviously being good for making phone calls, it also has a stellar music player and a 2 megapixel camera for shooting fairly high-quality pictures for the tourist in me.

In doing so, I learned a few things about the phone -- good and bad.

First off, I wanted to load a fairly sizable music collection on it because I'd be flying from Seattle to New York, and then taking a train to Boston, and then flying back home from there.

I thought it would be as easy as taking the 1 gigabyte memory card out of the phone, sliding it in my card reader and dragging and dropping the music. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. Sony Ericsson doesn't use SD cards; it uses a Memory Stick Duo, which did not fit in my card reader. That meant, I had to connect the phone to my laptop with a cable.

The second disappointment involved Motorola Bluetooth stereo headphones I brought with me. I figured they would be super helpful on a flight because they are cordless and I could tuck the phone into the seatback in front of me while listening to music. I discovered early on, however, that it did not work. It impossibly difficult to get the phone to discover the headphones, and once it did, it would not play the music. My initial suspicions that the phone does not support stereo Bluetooth seem to be the reason why -- so this setup will never work. Why would you build a music phone without being able to use stereo Bluetooth?

That left me the choice of bringing a pair of earbuds. I was forced to bring a set out of the box; once again, the input cable had a funky plug, not the usual earplug adapter.

Despite all those setbacks, the music player does work well, and easily fit more than 80 songs -- the extent of my digital music collection -- and room to spare for pictures.

Next up was the camera functionality. My first shots were taken in the Fat Beats store in New York, which has a partnership with Nokia.

After that, I headed downtown to check out the World Trade Center site. Here, I was impressed. I took my time adjusting the contrast and zooming in and out to get the exact shot I wanted.


TRICIA DURYEE
At the World Trade Center site in New York.


The clarity of the shot was fairly good even when using the zoom. My only complaint here -- and I might just be missing it -- is that I don't see a shortcut to getting to the camera. I have to through the menu and select camera.

And, for whatever reason, the phone is always asking me what language I want to use: English, Spanish or Portuguese.

Other than that, I love the size, the candy-bar shape with the black and orange signature colors, and the user interface, which uses smart-looking icons and pictures.

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Tricia Duryee
Tricia Duryee
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Angel Gonzalez
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Kristi Heim
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