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MWC 2009

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Sony Ericsson Memoir  

Feb 15, 2009, 7:13 PM   by Eric Zeman and Rich Brome   @phonescooper
updated Feb 19, 2009, 5:00 AM

Our Mobile World Congress coverage, with hands-on reports from Barcelona on the HTC Magic with Android, Linux phones, Acer, and new phones from Samsung, Nokia and Sony Ericsson.

Sony Ericsson kicked off Mobile World Congress this year with a whimper. It only announced one fully-conceived phone, while teasing us with scant facts about another. Despite the lack of exciting announcements, there were a few other Sony Ericsson models on hand that we haven't had a chance to play with yet.

W995

The W995 is the latest and greatest Walkman phone from Sony Ericsson. I'd be lying if I said it was exciting. It may boast some impressive specs, but it is so similar to other Sony Ericsson phones, that it would be hard to tell them apart. Lack of interesting design features aside, the devices Sony Ericsson had on hand were solid and felt like production-quality phones.

W995  

The slider mechanism was strong and smooth, with no wobbly-ness at all. The control pad was the usual mess of buttons from Sony Ericsson. No less than six buttons flanked the D-pad, making the navigation area feel a bit cramped. The D-pad itself was easy to find and use. The dialpad felt very good. The number keys were well spaced and had excellent travel and feedback. The buttons on the side of the phone all felt good enough.

The software running the phone didn't look terribly different from what we've seen on other Sony Ericsson phones. The PS3-style media menu remains the same, and the camera software was quite good. The W995 has an accelerometer and reacted immediately to any changes in orientation of the phone.

It has a pop-out stand so the phone can be placed on a level surface and watched like a miniature TV. This is meant to make sharing content easier. It has a regular 3.5mm headset jack, supports Sony Ericsson's M2 memory format and has stereo external speakers.

In all, the W995 is certainly a solid phone and offers a decent spec list. It's too bad Sony Ericsson wrapped it in the same garb as so many of its other phones.



Idou

We didn't get to touch the Idou - it was behind glass - but we did take a close look at it. If Sony Ericsson can implement the software on it well enough, it should be a really exciting phone. The Idou will run a future version of Symbian, which has yet to be developed by the Symbian Foundation. SE loaded it with some sort of demonstration software that looked pretty slick, but there's no real indication that this represented the actual software that the phone will ship with. The operating system, however, will be fully touch-based.

Idou  

The Idou is a nicely-sized black slab of a phone with a cover over the camera and an array of buttons all over it. It is a little on the thick side for my tastes, but isn't terribly fat. Unfortunately, that's about all we can say at this point. Even so, we shot some video for you to look at.



C903

The C903 is an 8.1 megapixel camera phone that will have support for North American 3G networks. Like the W995, the Sony Ericsson family resemblance is very strong. The control pad felt especially crunched and the soft keys jutted out from the phone's face in a way that they may catch things in your pocket.

C903  

The display was brilliant and looked fantastic. The dialpad was nearly identical to that of the W995. In fact, it was so similar, I have to wonder if it is made from the same parts. It worked well.

The back of the phone has a hatch covering the camera lens and flash. Slide it down to reveal both, and launch the camera software. This hatch felt a little flimsy to me. It could be that the devices on-hand were well-worn, or it could be a bad design. Sony Ericsson wouldn't say if the phones we sampled were final builds or not.

The user interface was identical to that of the W995, with the same menus and icons and software. The camera software, in particular, was very responsive and fast. There was little to no delay when making adjustments to the camera's settings or functions, and the flash was insanely bright.

It will no doubt make photographers happy with its capable camera and solid photos-handling applications.



W395

This was the lowest-end device announced by Sony Ericsson this year, but it is no slacker. It has a 2 megapixel camera and the latest Walkman and music software from Sony Ericsson. Everything about it felt good. The buttons on the front face surrounding the D-pad were comfortable. The D-pad itself was a breeze to find and use. The keypad wasn't as good as the other two discussed above, but it was still decent. The slider mechanism felt strong and it was comfortable to hold.

W395  

The buttons on the sides were a bit harder to find and use that I would have liked, and I thought the user interface was a little sluggish. In all, though, it is a decent little phone.

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Comments

This forum is closed.

This forum is closed.

IrishCarBomb

Feb 26, 2009, 3:59 PM

Official Launch Info of Diamond2 and Pro2

http://telekom.com/dtag/cms/content/dt/en/617148;jse ... »

http://www.engadgetmobile.com/2009/02/26/t-mobile-br ... »

It sounds like T-Mobile Europe will be the first to launch the Diamond 2 and Pro 2, as well the Diamond 2 might be an exclusive to T-Mobile?!
my problem is that you get your info from a website that post things like this....

http://www.engadgetmobile.com/2008/09/29/verizon-get » ... »

You might be right, but i will wait and see who gets it in America first.
...
Kayslay34

Feb 23, 2009, 2:04 AM

Quick Question

Are they going to make winmo 6.5 available for the touch pro and other newer winmo phones when the pro2 and diamond 2 come out? Or is it going to be download at a later date?
The new HTC phones will ship well before WinMo 6.5 is available. It will be a free update available later from HTC.
mrvolp12345

Feb 18, 2009, 3:34 AM

Touch Pro2 coming to Sprint?

Does anybody know or have any information on the touch pro2 coming to Sprint?

When do you think we will hear from HTC or the press which US carriers get this wonderful phone?

Can anybody speculate if we will get the carrier availability news this month or will we have to wait until sometime in March or April?
The Touch Pro2 will come to "all major carriers worldwide in late Q2 2009". I don't know which carrier specifically, but that does mean it will come to at least one US carrier in the first half of the year.
I would be willing to bet that the Touch Pro 2 will be spread around like the original Touch Pro, with multiple major carriers getting their hands on it. I also would be willing to bet, although with more risk, that T-Mobile will be the likely origin...
(continues)
...
jpgavin

Feb 19, 2009, 6:37 PM

Headphone Jacks on HTC V.2 Phones?

Did anyone see if either of the new versions of the Touch Diamond or Touch Pro had a headphone jack?
doubt it! i dont know why htc is so ignorant and wont conform to what the consumer wants?

its very frusterating!!!
nousske

Feb 18, 2009, 8:54 PM

Question on the Samsung Memoir if someone can answer?

Rich,
I was curious do you know if the memoir will have google talk included on the IM client or not.
just was curious.
thanks
nousske

Feb 18, 2009, 5:56 PM

The Memoir IM client

Rich,
I was curious do you know if the memoir will have google talk included on the IM client or not.
just was curious.
thanks
RenegadeY2K8

Feb 18, 2009, 2:20 AM

HTC Magic (G2)

that guy in the video was talking like no one has seen android before and most of the stuff he was showing i can do now on my G1 well expect the soft keyboard (For Now Twisted Evil )
I know. Sorry. It was a Vodafone guy, and Android is new to Europe.

Truth be told, there is not much new compared to the G1. It lacks a keyboard and a has a few hardware tweaks like a larger battery and more memory, but that's about it.

A...
(continues)
...
holdenmichael

Feb 18, 2009, 3:12 AM

Windows Mobile 6.5: No more plug-ins? Tasks?

Where the new home screen disappoints is that it completely removes the widget-like Today Screen Plug-In architecture from previous versions. Widgets are something of a hot trend right now, and Microsoft essentially had a huge head-start on that with its Today Screen Plug-Ins. Quite a few good third-party ones are available. While the replacement home screen is nice out of the box, Microsoft has not only broken compatibility with old plug-ins, but failed to provide a new API for third-party plug-ins at all. This feels like a major step backwards, and is a baffling move.


I'm happy to learn that Mobile Shell 3.0 is going to be supported, but what about all the free plug-ins I used to use? Am I even able to see task...
(continues)
The new home screen is nice, but it's not customizable at all.

I'm afraid it does not seem to includes Tasks, which I'm bummed about, too. Sad It is just alpha right now, but the current home screen modules are:
  • getting started
  • fa
...
(continues)
...
larue26

Feb 17, 2009, 5:03 PM

New or old?

I am confused! What are these cellphones suppose to do? Aren't they suppose to do that? I don't need 32GB, 4.0 inch screen, stereo speakers, Alien Wi-fi, with a sleek OS, etc.. The most important part of a cellphone to me is "no dropped calls", excellent reception, and a loud enough speakerphone. These are the essential parts of a phone and it seems that cellphone manufactures are missing the point. The iphone is great but you have to be near your computer to keep it juiced up with content. That is crappy! I like my good ol sony ericsson that can connect to any computer and makes calls all the time. That is just my opinion, what's your? Smile
I'm not sure what your point is. Is there some specific innovation around battery physics you were hoping for? That would be nice.

Most people have good coverage these days without dropped calls. If that's not the case with your carrier in your are...
(continues)
...
IrishCarBomb

Feb 16, 2009, 8:39 PM

Touch Pro2

How did the keys feel on the Touch Pro2? And how was the accuracy of the touch screen? I know you didn't get much time with it, and the phone is probably only a 90% prototype, but is your first impression of it one where the input aspects of the phone have improved over the original touch pro?

The screen looks amazing! And the keyboard looks like a fuze between the touch pro and the xperia. This makes me rather excited, since I found the input on the original touch pro good, but lacking ergonomics, ie stylus required to use the touch screen properly, and the keyboard lacks that something that let's you know where you are at on it without looking. Don't get me wrong, I think it is one of the best phones for inputting commands, I'm just...
(continues)
I'm really excited by the Touch Pro2. I had a Fuze (AT&T Touch Pro) but returned it - I thought it was just missing something. This phone looks awesome - the screen size, gestures, and the TouchFlo 3D look better implemented. AT&T better pick this ...
(continues)
The QWERTY keys feel fantastic on the Touch Pro2! Smile

From the article:

The best feature of the Touch Pro2 just might be the keyboard. It's one of the best I've ever tried. The keys are perfectly sized and shaped, and feel wonderful
...
(continues)
...
edgar1013

Feb 17, 2009, 9:43 AM

N86 is sick!!

i am really feeling the N86.
i don't know if i missed it, but does it come with the OLED screen?
Yes, I've read that it comes with an OLED screen
Tmo Slave

Feb 15, 2009, 7:53 PM

Memoir Video Recording

Did you try out the video recording on it? I read that its suppose to record at 30fps.
Yes, I would certainly hope so. That's very common. 15 fps is relatively terrible.

I think the Memoir can actually record at 120 fps, like most new high-end Samsungs.
 
 
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