Sony Ericsson W8 Walkman was the first Android smartphone from the Sony stables to carry the Walkman name which was when first introduced an immense hit and still is in many ways. Now another Android smartphone has followed its footsteps, namely the Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman. If you are familiar with the Sony Ericsson phones then you would have probably realized that the Sony Ericsson W8 Walkman was almost a carbon copy of the Sony Ericsson X8. With the Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman however, you get a Samsung smartphone that is totally new and sporting some pretty good specs along the way.
Smartphone manufactures sometimes ignore the importance of design and tend to focus on giving the best possible specs they can think of. However, Sony Ericsson didn’t disappoint us in that way as the Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman was not boring in terms of design. The phone is made of plastic and oozes with some kind of youthful look thanks to its colorful accents. It would definitely hit it off with the younger crowd and also some trendy adults as well. The phone measures in at 4.17 x 2.22 x 0.56 inches thus allowing it to fit snugly in one hand and making it really easy to operate the phone with one hand too. It tips the scales at just 115 grams giving you no reasons to complain about its weight. Although it fits in the hand comfortably for us, users with a small hand might struggle a little with the 0.56-thick phone.
As we were saying earlier, if you have a smaller hand, then you will definitely have a problem getting to those buttons on the top of the screen especially when there is a headphone connected. We also have some complains about the 2-stage camera button as it doesn’t really give proper feedback. If you are not paying close attention to the button, then it will be so hard to know if you have already pressed the button or not. Even harder is to know when you are half-way through the button. However, one good thing when it comes to buttons is that Sony Ericsson has thrown in a dedicated Walkman key that sits on the top side of the phone for quick access to the Walkman music player app. The screen on the Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman is just 3.2 inches big and has a resolution of 320 x 480 pixels. On the back of the phone sits a 5MP camera that comes with both auto-focus and LED flash.
As mentioned earlier, the Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman smartphone actually comes with a decent specs sheet. One of them is the single-core processor which runs at 1GHz. This CPU is aided by a 512MB RAM and this makes your journey through the Timescape interface a really smooth one if you are willing to forgo using live wallpaper that is.
The Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman runs on the Android v.2.3 Gingerbread and Sony Ericsson provides its very own user interface, Timescape, which we are really happy with. At 3.2 inches, the screen may be a little small for the current generation of smartphones. However, what makes this phone great is the UI as it takes up all the space on the screen to give you as much as humanely possible. Timescape makes your user experience pleasant and convenient by providing you with a pop up bubble on each of the four corners and each of this pop up bubble can hold four shortcuts for super quick access. Thanks to this feature, your five customizable home screens can be used to fit all the widgets that you are going to need. Each of the homescreen allows for up to three widgets, depending mainly on the size of the widget. A simple pinching out movement will show you an overview of all the widgets running. The screen is really small for the onscreen keyboard to be used in portrait mode because the keys are really small. So if you are not a patient person and typos will just irk you, then it is best you switch to landscape mode whenever you want to send out a text.
The screen has already made a bad name for itself in this review due to its 3.2 inch size. However the screen on the Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman provides a resolution of 320 x 480 pixels which churns out a 180ppi screen. The display also had normal viewing angles and average contrast levels. We also liked the display’s brightness as you could use it with no problems even under direct sunlight.
On the back of the phone you will find yourself looking at a 5MP camera that has both auto-focus and a single LED flash. We found the interface very straightforward making it easy to use. The variety of shooting modes offered was also a plus. You also get to take panorama shots in both 2D and 3D modes. The camera did impress us with its photos. When we went out on a cloudy day to take pictures, the pictures actually turned out well as it had the required details and good color too. WE also loved the fact that we barely waited between shots. It’s so fast! Moving indoors however, pictures take a turn for the worse as the flash doesn’t kick in to save the day. Videos are not that good although you can record at 720p. We found the videos to lose out on details.
The Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman comes with a good browser installed as your pages load pretty fast. However this rule doesn’t apply when the pages are heavier as you will see when you try to load pages with heavy Adobe Flash content. You get some nice response when trying to do all the navigational functions too. So what connectivity options are offered on this phone? You get the usual suspects like DLNA, Bluetooth and A-GPS with the Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman.
The phone’s performance was an up an d down ride. We liked how the earpiece sounded loud enough, but we didn’t like the muffled voices and rattling noise that we hear when we increased the volume. Our friends on the other end had a good time though as our microphone picks out our voice clearly and sends it over to their ears. Sporting a 1200mAh battery at this time and age is probably a little outdated especially since it’s a smartphone with Walkman feature too.
Pros and Cons
The Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman had its user interface optimized for the smaller screen. The camera was super responsive and was fast to move from one shot to the other.
We found from our tests that the phone actually has an issue of rebooting out of the blue. The dedicated camera key was good to have, but it was nowhere close to being easy to use.
The decent list of specs that comes with this phone is definitely worth every penny you will be paying for. If you are a fan of music, then the Walkman part of the Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman phone will kick in and make your day too. So if you are looking for that smartphone that will take care of your music needs at the same time, this phone will do you some good.