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Sony Ericsson W800i Walkman

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Official manufacturer page: Sony Ericsson W800i Walkman

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W800i Walkman Camera Phone Review

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As a cameraphone, the W800 is identical to the K750i - where the W800 differs is in two main aspects: the design, and the media player. Personally, I never liked the K750's styling - it's not that it's a bad design, it's just one that never worked for me. The w800 fixes all that - it's a lovely looking phone, with a good and (dare I say it) funky design. Bucking the trend of blue lights on everything that's been getting worse as the price of blue LEDS drops, I was pleased to be bathed in the gentle orange glow of the W800, and it's cream, slightly matt finish is a refreshing change from the norm.

The media player is very nice. I didn't envisage myself using it much as I have a hard disk mp3 player that does perfectly well, but I was surprised to find myself using the W800's mp3 player quite a lot. Not in the same way that I use my iPod, which is a portable music source for headphones or speakers, but as a standalone sound maker - just a little tune to groove to while walking to the post box, or some backup sounds in the car (as my cd player in there is notoriously unreliable). Having one-button access to music, and having the mp3s player carry on playing while you do other things with the handset is a nice (essential, if this is to be the Walkman SE want it to) touch as well.

Unamped, the W800's little speaker carries a tune quite nicely - of course, there's not much bass and it won't play very loudly, but when you're sitting quietly in the garden reading a book, loud and bassy isn't what you want. Through headphones it performs perfectly well, the supplied earphones are pretty good (it's just mp3, it's hardly worth worrying about hardware quality), and the loading/unloading software is bearable. It would be nice to be able to drag and drop, and it would be nice to support mp4/aac/ogg/etc, but as a secondary music platform, it's pretty good.

PC connection is by bluetooth or high-speed cable, and it is very fast -I suspect the cable itself is faster than the memory card write speed. The phone shows up as a standard usb mass storage device, and although some stuff can be loaded/unloaded by browsing the phone through windows/macos/linux, mp3s can't, you have to use the Disk2Phone software supplied. There doesn't seem to be any restrictions on Digital Rights Management for the mp3s I tried, and it doesn't appear to want to reformat your files to Sony's ATRAC format (I had a Sony mp3 walkman that did that, and it was damn annoying)

The camera, as you can see, is a nifty little device - the macro mode is much appreciated, as is the slightly improved interface. Startup time from opening camera cover to photo being saved is about 4 seconds, which is mostly taken up with the fairly slow autofocus mechanism. That's not really a complaint - autofocussing is a hard job in computing terms, and I'd rather have something a little slower than something that's not going to flatten my batteries with complex edge detection. The camera light is VERY bright, as some of the following photos show. I initially thought the camera erred slightly toward overexposure, but that turned out to be the phone's screen being set too bright - the images looked fine on my PC. We haven't got one to test, but I recently saw a head-to-head comparison of the W800 against the upcoming Nokia N90, and the W800 outperformed it in almost all photos. Sony Ericsson appear to still be leading the field in phone camera technology, although recent Sharp handsets are looking good, and Samsung have their liquid lens magic lined up for sometime next year. For now though, my choice would be the W800, because although some other handsets may have slightly more megapixels (and what a useless yardstick to measure cameras on), the W800 wraps it all up in a nicer, smaller, easier to use package.

All in all, the W800 is a cracking little device - the usual tweaks and improvements have gone on with the operating system and the interface since my last phone (SE S700i), although I imagine that the K750i functions very much the same. My only gripe might be that the plastic shell feels a little flimsy, but it seems to actually be quite tough, and it more than makes up for any slight feeling of fragility by being very lightweight (several times I've 'lost' the phone, only to find it sitting un-noticed in my pocket).
13th Sep 2005, 00:08  


floyd says:

The Nokia N91 specs claim it's WiFi enabled... and I guess it runs on Symbian - that's gotta count for something right?

It also seems to be as big as this new Sharp cameraphone. I await reviews of the new Nokia. I can see it being a much better phone if they can manage to keep it light and ensure the camera is comparable to the K750/W800's.

13th Sep 2005, 00:27

mat says:

I've seen a W800 vs N90 photo test somewhere on the web, and the much-vaunted Ziess optics on the N90 seem to be hugely let down by a shit CCD (it actually looks liike a CMOS sensor in some shots). The N90 has no vibrate mode either (can't speak for the N91), which sucks hugely - my phone spends most of it's time on silent and I need to know if it needs my attention.

I don't like Nokia's though. Never have, and I doubt I ever will. I try to, every time they promise something "great", which later turns out to be "a bit shit". I can't stand their interfaces, they are usually disasters of HCI design - although plenty of people seem to love them, I believe that those people are wrong. :)

I noticed much fuss being made about built in email clients and organisers and the like on the N-series Nokias. Whoop-de-frickin doo, Nokia - I've had IMAP4 compatible email clients on my phones since my second ever SE handset, years ago. Welcome to the 21st century, guys..

You should also note that SE have given me quite a few handsets for nothing, so I may be biased ever so slightly in their direction. That said, Nokia, Sharp, Samsung et al are welcome to give me free handsets too (and if they're good, I'll be nice about them as well). It's hard to say "I got this phone for free and it rocks!" without sounding sold out, but I really do like this handset in almost every way, and I promise that, if it had pissed me off in any way, I'd have written it up here. :)

Actually, that does remind me of an ongoing SE problem - still no option for custom/mp3 message alert sounds. Although the W800 has one more, slightly less annoying, sound effect to choose from. Still frustrating though.

13th Sep 2005, 01:21

floyd says:

The thing that worries me about buying into these handsets with bespoke OS's is exactly that... the OS's are bespoke, and I image SDKs are nonexistant. I could be wrong on that.

The Nokia news dissapoints though - I imagined the camera would be better than that, especially as it seems to be so phyisically big. At least someone's starting to wirelessly enable their phones properly.

I await further next gen handset reviews! (And no one would blame you for selling out ;))

13th Sep 2005, 05:29

stefan says:

actually, it does support m4a/aac music playback.

the disc2phone app might not, but you can just copy m4a's onto the memory stick and it works quite nicely.

15th Sep 2005, 16:05

bronxelf says:

I try to, every time they promise something "great", which later turns out to be "a bit shit"

You know, every time I think you can't come up with a turn of phrase to make me laugh harder, you prove me wrong.

You so rule, mat. Totally. *dies*

15th Sep 2005, 16:08

seaneeboy says:

Re: Nokia design, I've been saying this for YEARS. Very much doubt I'll go back, and very glad they don't have the monopoly on mobile phones anymore :)

15th Sep 2005, 16:14

seaneeboy says:

PS - superb pic of elvis :)

15th Sep 2005, 16:15

kostika says:

on the k750i, and I suspect this one too, you can use mp3's for message alerts.

Go to Sounds, then wherever you've got the sound you wanna use, click More, then Use As, then message alert.

You can't set mp3's for the message alert in the settings which is annoying, but this is how I get around it :o)

15th Sep 2005, 16:28

mat says:

Oooooh. Cunning-o. That works for me too. Nice, thanks.

15th Sep 2005, 16:30

kostika says:

Well that solves that down point :o)

15th Sep 2005, 16:32

mat says:

and Stefan's mp4/aac fix works too.


15th Sep 2005, 16:38

kostika says:

sorted. Although I don't use MP4s so I've not had a problem with them.

15th Sep 2005, 16:50

jaggysnake says:

You see - that cat has been trained to perform for moblog from day one. Mine are old and are relatively new to moblogging, so they still don't get that they're supposed to LOOK at the camera and STAY STILL when I'm shooting.


15th Sep 2005, 18:08

mat says:

You have no idea how many versions of that photo I've got where he's NOT looking at the camera... Never work with children or animals.

Big plus of this phone being all Walkmanny is that it has a huge memory card, so it doesn't matter.

15th Sep 2005, 18:10

seaneeboy says:

Well, it's rare for me to highlight a cat pic, so it's double well earned :)

15th Sep 2005, 18:32

OJ says:

Thanks for the fulsome review - you've reminded me to get around to using the mp3 player on my K750i. Oh and actually reading the manual to find out what the macro function does.

One K750i feature I'm particularly liking at the moment is the "burst shoot" mode which reminds me of the multiple shot lomo.

You can have some fun doing subtle movement variations or less esoterically have a go at capturing fast moving things like the red arrows.

ps. I know cat chat is bad form, but you really have nicked my cat haven't you? He/She's a dead-ringer down to the white bib n' socks and black eyeliner.

16th Sep 2005, 11:07

kostika says:

Macro is for doing close up detailed shots like this.

16th Sep 2005, 11:11

afternoon says:

16th Sep 2005, 12:45

Kayze says:


12th Oct 2005, 18:49

Piilatihassits(siagiancoy-at-yahoo-dot-com) says:

I thinks w8001 work good enough for me, Nice sound quality, but anyone know how i can play Ogg audio files in my w800i ?
Thank you for your attention

21st Oct 2005, 11:54

eliezer(elie-at-steinbock-dot-biz) says:

the link: How to get music on to a W800i with OS X, isn't working. Could someone please explain how in this forum

23rd Oct 2005, 12:40

big louie says:

hi there! sorry to butt in! I love my w800i, it rulez!

disc to phone, that sucks tho right?

Everytime I transfer something, it never actually ends up on the phone! Odd!

Anyway, to my point, thanks for the acc m4a tip, very handy.

25th Oct 2005, 22:09

Nina says:


I'm not really a computer whizz so excuse the following probably really dumb question but can you just plug the w800i cable into the usb point and your computer will recognise it like a normal usb mass storage device?

My work computers won't let you download stuff you see!

6th Dec 2005, 15:26

kostika says:

If you're running windows XP, yes it should. The w800i and the k750i are virtually the same phone and windows xp recognises the k750i without any additional software. This also may hold true if you're using windows 2000.

6th Dec 2005, 15:37

Nina says:

Brilliant, thanks! I have xp so I'll give it a go!

Looking forward to the phone arriving!

7th Dec 2005, 12:07

Joe says:

um, my version of XP required the drivers, before the phone was recognised as a mass storage device.

7th Dec 2005, 12:10

kostika says:

I'm using xp pro. It immediately recognised it as a usb mas storage device when I plug it in.

15th Dec 2005, 13:04

Wedge says:

None of my versions of XP Pro have ever auto-installed the K750. Some XP users may have the latest windows update for the driver cache - perhaps this is why some XP users have luck.

You certainly won't be able to just plug in to a Windows 2000 machine - you will need the drivers on disk or access to the internet.

However once it is setup it appears as a drive letter - so you don't need any special software to copy files to or from the memory stick.

4th Jan 2006, 00:39

nedd says:

Hi All,

there is a problem using the USB cable with the W800i. thats why music and stuff never makes it to the memory card.

if you check out the Sony Ericsson site there is a Update Service that lets you update the software on your w800i and this is supposed to fix the problem. i ran this update but i never tried using the USB cause i have a memory card reader.

the update is really easy to do.

also Really Big THANKS for the m4a tip. i love it.

4th Jan 2006, 15:29

Amit says:

hey..i have some problems with my W800i USB connection. The first time i plug it its all fine...but if i remove it and replug it then it doesnt appears a USB device in My computer. i have to restart my laptop. that sux. but surely it charges the phone ....any comments???

14th Jan 2006, 01:00

wayne(offitsface-at-yahoo-dot-co-dot-uk) says:

Can anyone please tell me what video format's W800i plays cos I have just downloaded a MPEG4 and that will not play!!!! Thank you in anticipation.

24th Jan 2006, 10:06

Joe says:

Wayne, I believe the w800i will only play mp3/aac not a full mpeg 4

24th Jan 2006, 10:10

sli says:

I think it plays 3gp
thats third generation platform
its easy to google it and get a coverter and watch what you like on your phone.
though your battery might not last too long. I up loaded some simpsons episode and ended up recharging soon after seeing it. but still it keeps me entertained in the long que to the postoffice.

28th Jan 2006, 04:43

ahad says:

im am buying this phone do u think i should buy it
and the only problam wiv the phone is
that the screen is to small and the sound quality on loudspeaker is very low and not that loud plz any who has this phone tell me its not true

21st Feb 2006, 19:16

teflon says:

You're not planning on using this phone to broadcast music to an entire train carriage, are you? Because if you are, you shouldn't do that.

21st Feb 2006, 19:30

Cath says:

Hello i'm using ox 10.2 and nothing happens when i plug the usb cable in my mac! and i don't know why and i can't do anything! there doesn't seem to be any support for mac users! can anyone help do i need to download something?

please help -

23rd Feb 2006, 00:17

ahad says:

no its just that i want to have a gud desent camera phone and loudspeaker quality which u can show your phone off!!

23rd Feb 2006, 21:10

ahad says:

go the phone its wicked in everyway

1st Mar 2006, 18:57

The Byter(elior-at-emp-dot-co-dot-il) says:

Is there a way to use the IR as a remote control ?

7th Mar 2006, 08:55

Mcrbloke(mcrbloke-at-gmail-dot-com) says:

Sorry if i have missed something, but could someone tell me how i am meant to get my mp3 songs onto the W800i if i don't have them on disc? does that mean i would have to burn a disc to rip them onto the phone? oh dear,

8th Mar 2006, 16:59

mat says:

You've missed something. Use the software that comes with your phone "Disc2Phone" to put mp3s onto it. It's just called Disc2Phone, you don't actually need a CD to rip.

8th Mar 2006, 17:29

Nina says:

Does anyone have a clue how to change the format of songs saved on your computer from WMA to MP3, cos when I save a CD to my laptop it automatically saves as WMA and I can't work out how to convert them to get them onto my phone???

17th Mar 2006, 15:00

g says:

i know nothing but sometimes you can change the preferences in your media player. if you go to tools/options/preferences once the player is opened there may be an option to change the recording preference. but as i say i know nothing

17th Mar 2006, 15:03

Mcrbloke says:

HI all, ta for your help in the first instance, i got the W800i and am very happy with it. I also got myself a 2gig memory stick for just over £50 which means i can get around 400 songs on while still having having half a gig for pics and vids, etc. I have to say the battery doesnt live up to much when i'm using the mp3 player. It just means i'll have to take the charger with me on nights away.

has anyone bought either the MDS 60 or 70 or the Symfony Classic Music Station

I'm like the look of them but wondered what they sounded like?


8th Apr 2006, 13:30

fouad(fouad__007-at-hotmail-dot-com) says:

i want to format w800i plzz reply me

20th Apr 2006, 12:45

sol says:

ahhhh poor fouad

23rd Apr 2006, 14:48

rama(ramarealm-at-yahoo-dot-com) says:

hi!my w800i is sucks!i've tried to transfer aac file from my friends mobile(nokia 6630, she convert it with nokia audio manager), and guess what?!it won't played!after it's already sent, tha aac files is store in the other sucks because in better quality, the aac files only take 1,5 mb storage.can anyone help me how to play aac files in my mobile?and how to convert it?it's urgent.thank you

1st May 2006, 07:07

Destiny says:

hie, could anyone tell me, if i try to convert avi format video, to 3gp format, what type of stats i should put, such as bitrate and frame rate, for the sound too, what is the best for w800i, thanks!

29th May 2006, 06:57

souch13 says:

if you want to play mp3's on the walkman without using disc2phone there is a way.. just drop your mp3's into the audio section of your 'removable disk' then go into the walkman and select, tracks.. alas.. all your mp3's will slowly appear, if you don't do this you wont be able to play your mp3's from the walkman. only from the file manager

5th Jul 2006, 13:08

philip shiel says:

an easy way to convert my wma's to mp3 is to use nero. you get a program called new wave editer with it. open the wma in that then go to save as and save it as mp3 format. hope it works for you.

2nd Sep 2006, 13:07

phil agen says:

to convert your mpg's to 3gp i use a pvauthor. i managed to donwload it for free. it works great on my w800i and once converted the file is very small yet hight quality when watched. if you are using it i find the best settings are to have 128,000 bps. and keep the screen size at 176 x 144 . works well with me.

2nd Sep 2006, 13:15

Ross says:

Hi does anyone know how to change the cover on the W800i ?

16th Sep 2006, 13:01

Amin(vahid_trans-at-yahoo-dot-com) says:

please tell me that how ican format my w80(flash format)(because of virus!!)
i think that it has a special code!
please mail me
thanks a lot!

23rd Sep 2006, 08:08

.x.jordan.x.(jordan-dot-t-at-hotmail-dot-com ) says:

well i am lukkin fo ma sunbed phone i carnt find it nywere it white nd it has dots on it n it luks like a sunbed!!!!well me josh brads,kaymee n lukee is in tech reet now chizzlin on compeeez wooowww lmaooo xxxxxxxxx

5th Oct 2006, 13:14

steve.p says:

i'm having trouble transfering my music files from my p.c. to my phone. I am using the disc to phone software, but when i transfer files, sometimes only 1 of the tracks from a whole album will make it to the phone. Also, other tracks already stored on the phone will also end up corrupted by the new tracks being added by being overwritten. Anybody else had this problem or knows how to fix it??

17th May 2007, 16:31

Daniel says:

Is there any way to take the cover off a w800i - as the buttons are sticking -



4th Aug 2007, 16:25

Draaz says:

Taking a cover off the w800i..easy. Whats complicating is when changing the camera side of the really have to put yo back into it as the shatter is to minute en sensitive where installing it onto a new cover is concerned.

24th Sep 2007, 09:42

danny(dany-dot-boi-at-hotmail-dot-co-dot-uk) says:

is there another way to make my w800i louder except 4 the equliser

20th Nov 2007, 11:48

gavin(ladiesludiz-at-aol-dot-com) says:

ur player fucking gay nuthin i do will put fucking videos on this shit

14th Jan 2008, 03:22

amar anwar(ammar_200919-at-yahoo-dot-com) says:

i love my w800i

2nd Jan 2010, 09:02

bitbull says:

Use these fmpeg settings to put videos on the w800i:
-s qcif \
-r 15 \
-vcodec mpeg4 \
-b 128kb \
-acodec aac \
-ar 22050 \
-ac 1 \
-ab 128kb \

It means: 128kb/sec qcif (176x144) mpeg4 video at 15 frames/sec and one channel of 128kb/sec 22,05kHz aac audio.

2nd Mar 2010, 00:34

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