The latest addition to the range of Walkman mobile phones is the Sony Ericsson W705. Though this mid-range, HSDPA-capable mobile phone doesn’t offer any groundbreaking features, the W705 scores points for an excellent design. It is also the first Walkman phone to include Wi-Fi connectivity.
The W705 Walkman phone is a slider handset that boasts a stylish design. It features a brushed steel finish, gold edging and brown rear casing and it is one of the thinnest slide phones we've reviewed. It feels solid for most part, though the top half of the slider does wiggle from side to side and the rear casing creaks when pressed in certain areas. The battery cover is held down by a small yet effective plastic lock slider, located at the bottom of the phone.
The phone's controls are straightforward. The five-way navigational pad doubles as music playback controls, and the phone also has two selection buttons, answer and end call keys and a number of shortcut buttons. On the right of the handset are volume controls and a camera button. There is a dedicated Walkman button on the top, and it is a little too small for our liking. Despite most of the controls looking fairly small, they are comfortable to use and provide good tactility. The same is true of the W705's keypad — at first it looks like it's too flat, but the keys are well separated and are slightly raised, making text messages easy enough to punch out quickly.
The Sony Ericsson W705 includes the latest Walkman music software, which is integrated closely with all the multimedia features of the phone including photos, videos, games and Web feeds. The included headphones produce a crisp and warm sound with decent bass. Despite the lack of a 3.5mm headphone jack, Sony Ericsson includes an adapter that allows a standard pair of headphones to be used. You can tailor your audio using the five band equaliser or a range of presets.
Sony Ericsson's TrackID feature allows you to record a few seconds of any song and send the snippet to a music database. If the song is recognised, the title, album and artist name are sent back to you. A2DP Bluetooth and an FM radio are also available, while Shake It! and SensME technologies are both included. Shake It! allows you to skip tracks by simply shaking the phone, while SensME allows you to create a playlist based on mood and tempo.
The Sony Ericsson W705 is HSDPA capable and is also the first Walkman phone to include Wi-Fi. Voice calls are crisp and clear though incoming audio could have been a little louder — it is sometimes difficult to hear in noisy environments. The phone comes with 120MB of internal memory, but the big drawcard is the included 4GB Memory Stick Micro (M2). You'll have to remove the battery cover to access it, but 4GB of storage is an excellent deal.
Other features of the W705 Walkman phone include a 3.2-megapixel camera with LED flash, a video player and some of Sony Ericsson's proprietary applications such as VideoDJ, PhotoDJ and Music DJ. There's also remote control and sound recording functions, and USB 2.0 connectivity (unfortunately through a proprietary USB port). The W705 Walkman also has a host of organiser features — including calendar, tasks, notes, alarms, calculator, synchronisation, timer and stopwatch.