It is hard to believe now, but the Sony Ericsson W200 was released in January 2007, at a time where mobile phones were really coming into fashion. With the tie-up between Sony and Ericsson now in full swing, the company had previously been very successful at pushing out top-range, colour screen phones. The tie-up with Walkman also gave greater credibility to the brand being used as a music device.
The W200 didn’t push any new real ground on the technology front, but it was not intended to and was a cheaper model of mobile phone predominately meant for the PAYG networks. It derived many of its looks from earlier premium models such as the Sony Ericsson K750i and the Sony Ericsson W810i, both hits from previous years. Although not as punchy tech-wise, the phone still featured many decent aspects and as a compensatory note, an even smaller form factor.
The Walkman series was an interesting tangent for Sony Ericsson, and there were a raft of models released under the generic ‘W’ prefix, all of different types of phone and price point. Perhaps some of the more notable ones were the Sony Ericsson W800, but also the Sony Ericsson W300 flip phone, Sony Ericsson W900 slider and the Sony Ericsson W880 micro-phone. The Walkman brand is forever enduring despite cassette tapes dying out a long time ago, and even made it as far as the newer Sony Ericsson Android phones until the dual brand disappeared.
Pros of Sony Ericsson W200:
The price. Available as a standalone handset instead as a contract, the phone offered a compelling price point. Coming up against more expensive models such as the Nokia 6300, this wasn’t too far behind.
The phone also offered Sony’s proprietary memory card slot, the Memory Stick Duo. The placing was handy, on the side of the phone instead of under the battery, so cards could be exchanged on the fly. With a capacity of 2GB this genuinely did allow the phone to be a music player unlike previous models which were constrained by storage.
The operating system was stable, and Sony Ericsson had put together an OS which pretty much equalled Nokia’s system in terms of ease of use.
The phone was focused on audio, and there was a dedicated MP3 app on board as well as software making it easy to transfer music to the phone. Included as well was a set of premium in-ear headphones, which were far ahead of other brands who relied on the user to purchase a decent pair.
Cons of Sony Ericsson W200:
There was no bluetooth on this handset. Whilst this may be a premium feature for the time, this was a technology which was featuring in many other phones at the price point and would have proven handy for picture swapping.
The screen here was much less premium than previous models. With a resolution of 128 x 160 it was made clear that this was a cut-down version of previous phones and compared unfavourably to others.
The camera was also a disappointment. With only VGA resolution this was behind other models and perhaps the trade-off was for the music.
Future Prospects and Current Pricing:
The Sony Ericsson W200 was a pretty popular phone as were many in the Walkman series. There are no real rare features about it, however and looks-wise it is fairly generic. It did come in a variety of colours and I would imagine that a non-black colour would hold better interest. This being said, I don’t expect them to become very collectable for a while.