Sony-Ericsson W950 - walkman phone done properly (finally)

Sonyericsson W950Sony-Ericsson have announced the W950, their latest Walkman-branded phone. This is the one we here at the office have been waiting for! SE have finally decided to stop pissing around with a piddly 512MB phone and whacked the W950 right up to 4GB! And they have managed to keep the phone in the same sexy M600 form factor which we raved about earlier. The W950 has a regular numeric keypad instead of the M600's funky not-quite-QWERTY keyboard but despite having fewer keys it is still slightly heavier - presumably due to the whopping great memory chips inside it. SE have also opted to drop the horrendous day-glow orange styling in favour of a (slightly) more subtle design. One possible drawback, although with 4GB internal memory it is a minor one, is the lack of a memory card expansion slot. The phone is otherwise quite similar to the M600, with a 2.6" 320x240 QVGA colour screen, UMTS, FM radio, Bluetooth, USB2 mass storage mode and Push email.

Sony-Ericsson-W950IFrom the press release: A major addition to Sony Ericsson’s family of Walkman® phones is announced today. The W950 is an ultra-slim, ultra-stylish, UMTS-enabled device with 4GB of onboard storage complete with touch screen for simple navigation through music genres, playlists, individual songs or music albums.

More than a music phone, broadband-fast email and Web browsing plus a suite of high performance entertainment applications add to its capabilities, making it one of the most highly specified phones in the Sony Ericsson portfolio.

“Bringing the Walkman® brand to Sony Ericsson phones was one of our outstanding achievements in 2005 and we have now sold more than 3 million Walkman® phones,” said Miles Flint, President, Sony Ericsson, “W950 is our sixth Walkman phone to be introduced since that announcement and listening to music on mobile phones is now an established and  growing consumer behaviour. This announcement also demonstrates the flexibility of the Symbian v9.1 and UIQ 3.0 platform to create a consumer focused offering as well as business and the W950 is now our third Symbian based handset to be introduced in 2006.”

The W950’s design will turn the heads of the most avid style aficionados. Its thin, sleek and compact form is finished in Mystic Purple, fingerprint-proof matt with orange accents. The purity of its design is strengthened by the keypad being flush with the surface, and orange backlighting that brings the music keys to life in a stunning, practical way.

The music player within the W950 has the functionality and sound quality of an equivalent standalone device. Its 4GB storage can take up to 4,000 songs and the sound quality, delivered on high quality headphones, makes listening to music a real pleasure. A new graphic-rich interface on the Walkman® player makes it easy to navigate around the music library by song, artist or playlist and now it’s possible to search visually by browsing through album covers using the stylus and touch screen. The W950 has all the benefits of a combined phone and music player, enabling multitasking between listening to music, SMS texting, emailing and browsing the Internet.

Getting music into the W950 is fast and simple and can be done in a number of ways. The supplied Disc2Phone music management software is an intuitive package that handles transfer to the phone of music stored in the user’s PC. UMTS capability also makes the W950 ready for fast direct-to-phone transfers from available operators’ download services.
Beyond music, the W950 is a complete mobile entertainment centre that delivers great speed and exceptional quality sound and vision. Users can now enjoy the complete spectrum of mobile multimedia applications, from web browsing, push email and video streaming to 3D gaming and store-and-share of media files. Besides music, 4GB is enough storage for a wealth of photos, video’s or email attachments in the phone.

Stereo sound through wireless headphones is now possible as the W950 support Bluetooth streaming in stereo. The Bluetooth Stereo Headset HBH-DS970 also announced today and available as an accessory delivers high quality stereo sound through stylish, comfortable headphones.

W950 is the 3rd Sony Ericsson phone based on the new Symbian v9.1 and UIQ 3.0 platform, benefiting from a growing multitude of third party applications. All of these applications are available to download from the Sony Ericsson Application Shop, an online catalogue that is stocked directly by third party developers.

The Sony Ericsson W950 is a Dual Mode UMTS Walkman phone starts shipping during Q3 2006. Regional variations are:
W950i - Dual mode UMTS (2100MHz) - GPRS 900/1800/1900 for Europe, Asia Pacific,Middle East, Africa
W950c - Dual mode UMTS (2100MHz) - GPRS 900/1800/1900 for Mainland China (launch for mainland China dependent on availability of 3G services.)

W950 – Features at a glance:
• Music
• Walkman® player
• Supports MP3, AAC, AAC+, E-AAC+, WAV and m4a
• 4 GB flash memory
• Up to 4.000 songs can be stored when downloading songs from operator networks in E-AAC+ file format
• Touchscreen with album art support
• Polyphonic ringtones, 40 voices
• Graphical equalizer and Mega Bass™
• Disc2Phone music management software
• Stereo headphones in the box
• FM radio with RDS
• MusicDJ™
• Speakerphone
• Streaming Audio/Video
• Bluetooth™ stereo streaming support
• Java MIDP 2.0
• 2D and 3D gaming
• Music play time – 10 hours

Messaging
• Bright QVGA TFT 2.6’’ Display
• 262K Color display
• Video playback , 30fps
• SMS, MMS and e-mail
• Handwriting Recognition
• Touch screen
• Word completion and Auto correction

Connectivity
• Opera™ 8.0 Internet browser
• RSS Feeds
• Bluetooth™ 1.2
• Infrared port
• USB 2.0 Mass storage, High speed (480 Mbps)
• USB cable in the box
• Modem
• WAP 2.0 XHTML/HTML
• Dual Mode UMTS 2100 – GSM/GPRS 900/1800/1900

Business
• Full HTML browser Opera™ 8
• External antenna connector
• USB charging
• PC synchronization
• Flight mode
• Size: 106 x 54 x 15 mm
• Weight 112 grams
• Talk time: up to 2.5/7.5 hours (UMTS/GSM)
• Standby time: up to 250/340 hours (UMTS/GSM)

                                         

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