Everyone may be waiting to find out just how good the W960i is going to be, but for now Sony Ericsson's W910i is the phone that looks best equipped for music on the move thanks to its large screen and quirky motion controls.
The handset is available for free on most contracts, or can be picked up for around £260 SIM-free or on pay as you go.
The first thing that strikes you when you initially grab hold of the W910i is the screen. It takes up most of the real estate available on the front of the phone and is much larger than those that have graced other Walkman phones such as the W880i. It's a joy to use as the colours are vibrant and text and icons look very clean and sharp. Despite the large size of the display, the handset itself actually feels very slim and light.
As you would expect from a higher-end Sony Ericsson phone, the menu system is very easy to get to grips with stuff like texting and adding a contact to the address book is very straightforward. It does differ from other recent Sony Ericsson phones in a few subtle ways.
One change is that the Media menu has been updated with graphics that look much closer to those used on the Sony PSP and in the Walkman music player there are now entries for podcasts and audio books alongside your music collection. Thankfully, the easy-to-use Walkman player remains as good as ever and the sound quality via the supplied sound-isolating headphones is first class.
Like the iPhone, the W910i has an onboard accelerometer so it senses which way you turn it. This has been linked into the Walkman music player, so when you switch the phone from portrait to landscape, the display follows suit. Also, if you hold down the Walkman button at the top of the phone and flick it to the right or left, it'll skip forward or back through your tunes.
The phone's connectivity is good, too. It supports HSDPA for high speed data downloads and also has twin cameras for video calling. Battery life is impressive as you can expect to get around nine hours of talk time out of it. We can't fault its call quality either and there's Bluetooth onboard for using it with a wireless headset or for beaming music to a wireless speaker system.
The W910i's camera is rather basic for a phone in this price range. It has a relatively low 2-megapixel resolution, so although the snaps it takes have natural looking colours, they're short on raw detail. The camera also lacks a micro mirror for taking self portraits and there's no flash, so it's pretty useless at taking photos in dingy pubs.
Our other bug bear is to do with the controls. Although the accelerometer is a neat feature, the phone is slow to respond to changes in orientation. Also, to use the motion controls to flick forwards and backwards through your tracks you first have to hold down the Walkman music button at the top of the phone and this is way to small and very awkward to get at.
One other small point is that the phone uses the M2 Memory Stick format for storing tunes and these are more expensive than the microSD cards used by most handsets from rival manufacturers. However, the W910i comes with a 1GB card as standard, which is plenty to get you started.
The W910i, free on contract or available for around £260 SIM-free or pay as you go, really is a first class music handset. It's a got a large, beautiful screen, support for high speed downloads and a first rate music player with cool motion-sensing controls. If you're after a phone for listening to tunes on the go, it really is hard to beat.
Edited by Jason Jenkins
Additional editing by Jon Squire