"Great cell phone for the money"4.0 starson by methos1979
Pros: Decent clarity/reception, good mp3 player, stylish
Cons: Poor button design, marginal camera
Summary: I bought this camera a week ago as an upgrade to my old phone. I use Unicell as my carrier. I did some research on here after seeing what Unicell was offering for phones and went with the W300i Walkman.
CNET's editors' review was pretty much right on. The phone is a nice offering into the 'entry-level' mp3 lineup. It's small and pretty good looking from the outside. I like flip phones. I wasn't crazy about the black/silver/orange combo but it still looks pretty good. Replace the orange with something like red or blue and I'd like that a little better. The color scheme seems to say 'Halloween' to me. The Harley people will likely love it!
The outside display is pretty good. Monochrome orange (maybe that's why they went with orange in the color scheme?) that shows up very well even in sunlight. A color screen for viewing pictures of who's calling on the other other end before you answer it would have been nicer but to cut costs you have to make sacrifices somewhere and they chose this. Besides, the mp3 player makes caller id much easier - more on that later.
The speaker on the back top is nice and loud for speakerphone calls and playing ring tones/mp3s. Reception has been very good and call clarity very good also. The sound from the earpiece seems a little 'tinny' but I can hear everything just fine.
The unit feels a little too light and 'plastic-y' but it also feels and seems to be solidly made, not cheap. The battery cover is on pretty tight and the memory card slot can be accessed without removing the battery, so that was good. My phone came with a 256 meg card.
Inside the phone looks nice. Silver with a pretty big display with good resolution and colors. Probably the biggest negative thing about this phone is the button design. You've seen the reviews and the pictures. I can see what they were going for but they missed the mark. The buttons certainly look stylish or cool but I think they would have been better served with going with a more standardized set up. (I am really used to dedicated call and end buttons which I guess Sony never uses and really should start to use. But I quickly got used to using the soft-keys for that.) That said, the buttons all work just fine for me. I don't have really any problems operating them, even the number/letter ones and super-tiny Walkman and On/Off buttons. But I think they should rethink this in future models. It just seems to be so much wasted space. Buttons, IMHO, should be a case of function over form.
The menus and software that came bundled all look and work very well. I had no problems installing anything and transferring files and pictures was a snap. The camera works well and, as said in the CNET reviews, is marginal at best. But I didn't buy this for the camera. It's fine for fun pictures or contact photos but that's pretty much it.
The mp3 is where this unit shines. It provides exactly what I hoped for - a cell phone that I could listen to music on and not miss phone calls. 256 meg of space is only about 50 songs so I will be upgrading to the largest card I can find, which seems to be a 1 gig right now. 2 gig would be better.
The only issue I'm having with the player right now is that there are a couple of Sony mp3 files that came with the phone that connot be deleted. When I want to just play all my songs randomly those eventually come on and are annoying. I haven't gone in to the file manager yet to see if I can move things around to prevent this.
Another pleasant surprise for me was the included headphones. I know a couple people here panned them but I wasn't worried because I generally hate ear bud headphones and have several sets of over the ear headphones I prefer. But I tried the Sony earbud headphones and found them quite comfortable. I love that I can put them in, start the mp3 player in my car (or work, or wherever) and take calls without having to pull the phone out of my pocket because the phones have a mic and button on them to take calls with. You can also use your own headphones and still have this capability as the mic/button unit stays with the phone - your phones plug into that.
I was able to assign different mp3 songs as different people's ringtones so I can tell who is calling by that, a neat feature to me. In fact, I LOVE this feature. If I had to pick one thing I love about this phone it would be that when it rings I know who it is by the song being played. And it's great not to have to pay for ringtones - assuming you already have them on your computer.
This phone pretty much does what I hoped it would do. The drawbacks, the buttons and camera quality, were not enough of an issue to make me return it.
If you're looking for a nice looking, small, flip-type phone, with a camera, but mostly mp3 playing capabilities then this is a good choice for you. It has bluetooth and a bunch of other features that I will likely never use, or not use too much, but are nice to have.
Hope you found this actual user review helpful. I put more stock in what I read from actual users than the professional reviews but I must say that CNET really nailed this one.Updated
A month later and I still love this phone. Any problems I thought I was having turned out to just be me. Love the voice dailing. One word of caution: If you use the Magic Word function, make sure it's a unique word!!! Otherwise your phone will call people you don't intend to, when you are unaware!!!! Just ordered a 1 gig card. I just use Windows Explorer drag and drop instead of the included software. Much easier. And as for the buttons, I have not problem with them. I would upgrade my rating to a 9 easily.