SONY ERICSSON W200I

Everyone rats the Walkman phones, but sometimes they look a bit pricey – especially to a PAYG audience. So here’s the sub-£80 version, a smart, compact, lightweight handset complete with the latest Walkman music player, stereo headset, FM radio, and a 128MB memory card – big enough to store 30 or more tracks.

At first sight it looks a bit like the W810i, which is presumably deliberate (and no bad thing). It’s thicker of course ,and it does feel relatively chunky. Build quality is good, and so is the overall design. Keys are clear and well defined, and fast texting is easy enough. The dished soft keys and CLEAR/RETURN buttons work well, and while a D-pad would probably have been better for music playing the joystick is sound for navigation.
 But it’s the music player we’ve come for, and it’s excellent.

Yes, you get Sony Ericsson’s MegaBass bass booster. Yes, there’s the usual dedicated Walkman key on the side. The Walkman application is fast and easy to use, of course. Audio quality is very good too – better on the headphones in the box than the speaker, of course, but even the speaker’s not too bad. excellent, especially with the stereo headset supplied. The Sony Ericsson PC Suite file transfer is easy to use, with drag-and-drop transfers; moving photos or videos between phone and PC is equally straightforward.

As a phone, we had no complaints – both reception and call quality were excellent in our tests. Battery life was good, too.

Downsides? The most obvious omission is Bluetooth. So there’s no option for a wireless headset, which is a shame. At least the W200i comes with a standard 3.5mm jack if you do want better ‘phones. The screen is noticeably cut-price, a CTSN display (rather than TFT) with low resolution and rather muddy, unrich colours .The other iffy element is the VGA camera, which feels like a real throwback in terms of functionality and is good for occasional snaps only.

• Quality music playing at a bargain-basement price

SPECIFICATIONS
Size:

101x44x18mm
Weight:
85g
Display:
CTSN, 65K colours, 128 x 160 pixels,
Camera:
0.3MP, 640×480 pixels, video (QCIF)
Connectivity:
Triband GSM, USB
Battery:
Standby up to 300h, talk time up to 7h

VERDICT
FEATURES 2/5
SALEABILITY 4/5