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Something a little different: Sony Ericsson W380 Phone

November 8, 2007 in Other Mobile Phones

The W380 ain’t your typical Sony Ericsson middle-of-the-road handset. This flip phone (and how many SE flip phones do you see around, anyway?) comes with some intriguing features: Gesture Controls, a cleverly hidden OLED external display, and the TrackID (similar to Song ID) application. And it actually looks decent, too.

Sony Ericsson W380

The Sony Ericsson W380 supports newfangled Gesture technology but still has a crappy camera.

Sony Ericsson W380

Sony Ericsson’s W380 is the company’s latest in the Walkman music series, and one its few flip phones. Let’s get the technical details out of the way first: at its core, the W380 is a tri-band 850/1800/1900 and 900/1800/1900 with EDGE, expandable memory stick micro, and A2DP.

The inner display is a measly 1.9 incher (176×208), which is a disappointment. On the flip side, there’s a slick OLED (organic LED) external display and some dedicated playback buttons that come eerily close to resembling some sort of Braille. The external display is more or less invisible unless it’s actively displaying something – that’s neat.

One of the funkier things to come out of the Sony Ericsson labs is a feature appropriately called Gesture Control. By simply waving your hand, you can achieve some fun effects like activating the Silent profile or snoozing the alarm clock. Interesting, but I’ll have to reserve judgement until I actually try this out. But it’s refreshingly different.

TrackID is one of those applications you wish came standard with your car stereo. Like Verizon’s Song ID service, TrackID identifies a song by listening to short snippets of songs from the radio or elsewhere. Of course, after it IDs the audio, the software will try to shove the song in your face as a quick impulse purchase, but that’s a different story. Which makes me wonder: how come this feature is quickly moving to become the next standard on mobile phones, yet (most) car stereos and radio stations STILL can’t work this out?

Moving on, it’s too bad that SE couldn’t improve the woefully underpowered camera (1.3 megapixels). Not impressive. Then again, battery life IS impressive, with the phone cranking out 7 hours of talk time on a single charge.

You can expect the Sony Ericsson W380 to hit stores sometime in early 2008 (Q1).

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