Sony Ericsson W850 Review: Released in May 2006, the Sony Ericsson W850 was another mobile phone in the Walkman series to feature the slider function. The Walkman family of phones had no real definitive phone type and the brand was used across different styles. As such the phone can be considered not only a sequel to a few phones: to the older Sony Ericsson W550 (also a slider phone) but other phones such as the Sony Ericsson W810 (a popular candybar) and the Sony Ericsson W900 (a high-end slide phone, but very heavy and large).
Arguably the slider and flip mobile phones provided the best solution as far as music was concerned. The area for the keypad was bigger on these phones, and as such there was space for dedicated music buttons. These were also included on previous models such as the W810, but on the candybar phones these buttons were very small and hard to press. This was done without sacrificing any screen size or camera function.
The W850 was a large jump over the W550. For a start, the W550 only had 256MB of internal memory. Whilst this was a creditable enough size for the time the lack of memory card slot really limited the amount of songs that could be put on the phone -perhaps less than 50. The W850 featured the new Memory Stick Pro Duo slot, which allowed up to 4GB of storage. It also outrumped the W810 by offering a front-facing video camera.
This phone was popular but never quite got re-used again. The W-series slides began to be split up: the Sony Ericsson W580 was a mid-range phone, whereas the Sony Ericsson W910 was a upper-range phone. Both had aspects of this design.
Sony Ericsson W850 Review Pros:
- This phone had a nice design. While previous sliders were heavy and unwieldy, this had now become slimmer. Whilst still heavier than a candybar phone, the difference had become much smaller.
- The screen on this phone was upgraded and superior to that of the W550 and W810. Coming in a 240 x 320 resolution, this was definitely among the better phones at the time.
- Music was well catered for and a reason to buy the phone. There was the previously mentioned memory card. The phone also had Walkman software with TrackID, the phone supported Bluetooth audio and like other Walkman models a 3.5mm adapter was given for the headphones, of which a nice pair was bundled. A radio app was also included as well as other music-related apps.
- Imaging was not left out either: the phone featured a standard 2MP camera and also had a front-facing one for video calls.
Sony Ericsson W850 Review Cons:
- A slightly odder keypad navigation design was in this model. Designed to be used with the benefit of the lighting, its buttons were hard to press and much priority was given to the music app.
- The screen size was smaller than the older W900; possibly could have been made larger.
- The headphone port was still proprietary; unlike other phones which had the 3.5mm port built straight in to the handset.
- The camera lacked the autofocus of the W900 model and also recorded video in very low resolution.
Current Pricing and Future Prospects:
The phone sold in large numbers, which means that many should still be available. A popular model, there should be decent interest although prices may be volatile.
Where can I get one?
Interested in more phones? See a list of phones I own here.