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Sony Ericsson W980i review

 Review: October 2008  
 

Last updated May 2009

Rating: 3 stars

In a nutshell: Sony Ericsson's flagship Walkman phone offers a best in class audio experience, but it's let down by a poor camera, battery life and software glitches.



 

Review

The Sony Ericsson W980i is Sony Ericsson's latest flagship Walkman phone, and is the upgrade to the W960i. The guys at Sony obviously read our review of the W960i, because they took our suggestions on board and added HSDPA and quadband!

The W980i looks completely different to its predecessor, because its a clamshell phone - an unusual choice for a music phone, perhaps - but SE have made the best of the design by placing touch-sensitive controls on the front for accessing the music player when the phone is closed. When you tap the touch-sensitive controls, orange lights appear and the controls become active. The largest circle in the centre works a little like an iPod's click wheel, and is used to select artists, songs, etc. Very groovy, and it works fine. You can also use the shake control to change tracks if you're really hip. A slide control is used to lock the controls, for when you put the phone in your pocket. Personally, we'd have preferred something a little less cool, and more practical. Open up the flip, and you'll find a large display and a retro-looking keypad with rather spaced-out keys. Again, we wondered why SE were determined to do things differently "just for the sake of it", but on balance the keypad is a lot better than many that the company has inflicted on their users recently. We did find the phone rather bulky when opened, and we have to say that having to open the clamshell to use the camera was a bit of a pain too. Overall, we feel that the clamshell design isn't really working - it looks like the head honcho at SE's design team walked into the office one morning and said, "Make it a clamshell!" and then the rest of the team scurried around trying to make the best of a bad job.

Alright, let's move onto the strengths of this phone. It's SE's flagship music phone, so it's brilliant at music right? Well, yeah, it's pretty damn good actually. Once you've got used to the touch-sensitive controls, you'll find that it's as user-friendly as a dedicated MP3 player, and the audio quality is simply outstanding. Sony have brought together two new technologies called Clear Stereo and Clear Bass, together with a premium quality headset to make this the ultimate Walkman phone, at least in terms of audio quality. You might complain that there's no 3.5mm audio jack, so you can't use your own headset, but really the one that Sony provides is a real beauty, and we're quite happy to live with it. In addition to the music player, the phone also has an FM radio with RDS.

There's plenty of memory built into the W980i - 8GB to be exact, which is enough to store 2,000 songs. That's a lot of memory, and is as much as most rival phones can offer even with memory cards added.

Now, this phone is a Walkman phone, so we shouldn't expect it to have the best camera. And it doesn't. In fact its pants. And the clumsy way of accessing it doesn't help either. So don't buy this phone if you really want a good camera. It does do video calling though, but again you have to open the clamshell to do it.

Good features include HSDPA and quadband, plus the large LCD display. The battery life figures that SE provide look really impressive too, but don't believe them. In reality we found the battery life to be rather poor. Also, like far too many SE phones these days, the W980i is subject to software glitches including random freezing and shutting down.

So, the W980i is a bit of a mixed bag. Brilliant audio quality (phrases like "best in class" really are appropriate here), but a cumbersome design, rubbish camera, sub-standard battery life and occasional software errors. You pays your money, you makes your choice ...


Sony Ericsson W980i features include:

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Sony Ericsson W980i user reviews

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Average rating from 126 reviews:

Reviewed by caz from england on 22nd Jul 2014
I have had this little w980 since 2009 and its been amazing just starting to get niggles with it switching off mainly but I don't want to part with it !!!! Even has original battery !!! I think 5 to 6 years is pretty good going !!!
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Reviewed by h.s. from uk on 20th Mar 2013
had this phone since late december 2012 stopped working 1 month ago going round in circles trying to get a fix but sony ericsson advice although they do try to be helpful am having no joy battery life when working was abysmal so onwards and backwords.
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Reviewed by nilesh dutt from fiji island (679 on 7th Jan 2012
its vry gud 2 use w980
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Reviewed by Tom Wright from UK on 2nd Jun 2011
I did not buy my w 980 for the camera but it does make you wonder whether the SE people ever have used one in practice. I find the sound facilities absolutely excellent and the quality uncanny for the size. But the camera is nuts really. In order to use it you must open the flap but if you happen to remember you must make sure that your hand is nowhere near the lens which is placed in the crook of the unit as most exposures will be bungled because you hve masked the lens. How daft is that. If you do remember to hold the unit further down you will get a less steady picture and as most of us use the phone one handed it makes holding it insecure. So I do not recommend it for photos even if you intend to take rubbish. I love the phone but as I said the guys who have designed this must have a something against their customers. Why SE? do tell!!! Meanwhile I give you 5 stars on account!
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Reviewed by ameya from UK on 30th Apr 2011
the phone has all facilitys but it has a rabbish camera and it always have software problems and i have to update it after 2 days but it has almost all facilities but i would advice not to buy this phone because of software problems
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Reviewed by max klingue from UK on 6th Dec 2010
really great phone....best phone ever...the only little bad thing is that it doesnt hav wifi but that isnt so importand...music player ...HOT!!!...but take care of it cos its very breakable...u guys should really get this phone..and if u take really good care of it..it works like totally damm good......damm damm damm good.....camera isnt that bad..keys...wow..ur fingers doesnt hurt when texting cos buttons are far appart and really smooth...another great thing is that it has a lcd screen just like those flat screen monitors....buy it...u wont regret..trust me
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Reviewed by Lee Zhi Hao from UK on 27th Nov 2010
Hi I have been using this phone for two years. And it just spoil yesterday. After droping it repeatedly countless of time. And because it is build in internal memory all lost all my songs. All in all this phone is good except for its headset which spoil in a few time. For those who are having problem with this phone. I guess is because you got a bad quality one or you are a really bad user. Or you may just happen to have high expectation.
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Reviewed by ollie from UK on 15th Nov 2010
DO NOT GET IT! it brakes constantly it has broken about 4 times in one year; not turning on
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Reviewed by Sergio from UK on 20th Oct 2010
It's a great phone. Nice build quality, useful walkman thingie. It just has a "small" flaw: it has a tendency to brick itself. Had one, and a couple months later it died. It didn't turn on, didn't charge, nothing. I got a replacement from Sony Ericsson, and this replacement died again after 6 months. I think I made an error buying this phone.
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Reviewed by marjorie jackson from UK on 23rd Sep 2010
i have had this phone for almost 1 year and i love it very much but of late the screen goes dark for a few moments and then it is alright and i am a bit worried. it is a great phone and the 8g memory is the real getter for me
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Reviewed by Jon P from UK on 18th Sep 2010
Very good features if you can get the damn thing to turn on. Would give it 5 star if it was reliable but any Sony Ericsson phones I've owned has done stuff like this!!!
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Reviewed by Treece Stephens from UK on 23rd Aug 2010
I loved this phone but mine just died for absolutely no reason and then a few months later my ex's w980 died too, we both bought replacements but obviously it might happen again, i think its harsh that we cant trust sony ericsson as this is our first ever sony ericsson mobile.
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Reviewed by David Martin from UK on 15th Aug 2010
Two major crashes in eighteen months!!!! I'm one of those 'wrinklies' who uses a mobile phone to make calls of 90 seconds MAX and sends texts in perfect grammar, spelling and punctuation. I've been a loyal fan of ALL Sony products for the past 40 years but my patience and loyalty are wearing very, very thin.
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Reviewed by Jess from UK on 23rd Jul 2010
Bought this phone over a year ago and it was fine for the first say 11 months but then the screen went completly black, it wasnt turned off the screen had just packed in, then 1 month later it would just turn itself off randomly about 8 times a day, which is well annoying so you would have to turn it back on everytime! The camera is rubbish but the music player and memory are brill. I do like the phone but it got pinched so going to get a new one...
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Reviewed by Gary from UK on 12th Jul 2010
I got this phone for a cheap 100 (brand new from carphone warehouse) around a year ago and seeing that it was once over 250 i didn't want to lose out on a bargin. I should've known something was dodgy... the 8gb is one of the best things about the phone, you never have to worry about the memory. the camera is poor, awkward position and not even a flash. the front side (touch screen) is very prone to scrathces although i do take credit for that. battery never lasts and I'm constantly recharging it. headphones that came with it are very good. one of the features that make this phone so unique is that it has a fm transmitter, which comes in handy when you want to listen to your own songs through the radio, but recently it keeps freezing and having to reboot the entire phone. the buttons are one of the most easiest to use but the clamshell design is an effort to open. i once dropped this phone on the pavement with and it landed in the headphone socket with the headpones still in and ever since that day i haven't been able to listen to my music without having to tug at the wires. alltogether there are much more better phones available in the market that offer are a better value for money.
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Reviewed by Abi from UK on 3rd Jul 2010
I've have mine for a year and 1 month and think it has a great memory, the camera's pretty good and the battery life's good too. The only thing wrong with it is that it turns off randomly and turns itself back on again. Also, took my phone out of my pocket to find that the external screen has gone completely white and I have no idea why. Other than that, its a good phone.
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Reviewed by Tracey from UK on 1st Jul 2010
I have just got my phone back after it packed in which i was not happy with, but and this is a big but, i love this sony ericsson and i love their walkman phones. The capacity to store music and pic's is brilliant and i've never run out of space for txt msg's. This is the longest i've had a phone and i think the only way i will get rid of is if i can suddenly afford an iphone, which wont be anytime soon!
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Reviewed by sok chhorn from UK on 16th May 2010
my phone is c902.it has the good camera if we compare to other brand. but if we compare to other cyber-short phone it is not good because its flash just led flash.I love music phone. if you know music phone please tell me.
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Reviewed by A. Williams from UK on 14th May 2010
I have had this phone for 2 years now and have absolutely no problem with it. It has been the best phone I have had since my se t68i which I still use! I love this phone - admittedly the camera is not very good but everything cannot be faulted
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Reviewed by Lizzie from UK on 3rd May 2010
This phone still works despite me accidentally throwing it into the bath! I have had the phone for over a year and the only thing that really irritates me about it is when you're typing a message and go to press c to delete a letter and you also press about 3 other keys at the same time and it asks if you want to save message, continue writing etc... And mine doesn't remember stuff which i have spelled countless times like "bbq" and "dont". On the whole though, a great phone.
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Reviewed by smudge from UK on 1st May 2010
I've had this phone 18 months, it's been very reliable. The walkman is brilliant(better than my ipod), the camera is so-so but i don't care. You need to be careful to avoid scratches. If you don't use internet turn off the 3G the battery will last longer. If you find one at a good price buy it.
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Reviewed by D from England on 16th Apr 2010
I'm surprised to how reliable this phone has been ever since I got it, which was 18 months ago. I've never had to replace it or anything, also, I have to admit, it has been through a lot, hence the scratches, which is obviously totally my fault. Overall, I've over 700 songs in it and also loads of pictures despite the crappy camera. The sound quality of the original headphones is AMAZING!! Although I lost my first pair, I got a new pair off Amazon and they look identical + the sound quality still remains superb! I've really enjoyed having this phone and do strongly recommend to anyone - the 8GB allows to store lots of music and one does not have to worry about getting rid of txt msgs as there is enough space for them!
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Reviewed by Beth from Uk on 14th Apr 2010
i didnt have any choice when it came to my phone breaking but to get this phone, all i can say is i have had it for 2 years now and it has been a great phone, the phone has great advantages to it for instance the memory is brilliant cause i had over 1000 picures and 500 songs on my phone and it still had a hell of a lot memory left considering it doesnt use a memory card! i will admit i had some probelms with the phone but nothing that a bit of patience what fix, i dropped mine in the bath and got water in it so sadly had to get a new phone and i miss the qualitys of this phone :) So ignore the crapp people say and buy it if you want it cause like i ahve said i have had it for 2 years now and hardly any problems wiht it :)
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Reviewed by Alison from England on 27th Mar 2010
I've had this phone almost 18 months now and I still love it! Im coming to the end of my contract and I am due an upgrade but I think im going to keep this phone and pay less on my contract instead. :) Havent had any problems with it, very occasionally shuts itself off and resets but im ok with that. The camera isnt that great but I have a proper camera to take proper photos! The best thing is the walkman and the space, ive got almost 1000 songs on it and the sound quality is outstanding, especially with the SE headphones. And it still looks stunning, my friends say is the best looking phone they've ever seen!
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Reviewed by mark ford from england on 26th Feb 2010
I bought the phone so i didn't have to carry a phone and mp3 player at work. I have to say it's the best phone i've had. the 8gb internal memory is brilliant and the sound is superb. the camera is rubbish though which is a bit of a disappointment. the keys are good for me as i have fat fingers/thumbs which makes it easier for texting. the people who have had p[roblems with freezing are just unlucky i think because mine's been perfect. had mine a year got six months to go no problems. The only reason i'm on my second is because i lost the first and was quite happ to pay for a replacement. On my experience i would recommend to anyone who wants a phone and mp3 player in one it's brilliant good for internet too.
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Reviewed by asante akwasi wiafe from Ghana on 12th Jan 2010
on my part i think it is the best among other ericsson phones becos of its storage capacity and the walkman attached to it
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Reviewed by Becky from England on 11th Jan 2010
I love this phone. I haven't loved a phone since my Pink Razr in 2005. I went to many shops asking for a flip phone with big buttons (my nails are too long for the cramped up buttons you get) that looked good. I was told there was no such thing these days, however I found this at Carphone Warehouse. It was sold as soon as I looked at it, I do not care what it can do as long as I can phone and text. So if you are old school like me and resisting the touch screen generation, liking flip phones but still want your moby to look nice, this is for you. I have been assured by my other half that I have an amazing MP3 player but I have never got round to downloading. The camera is pretty poor (no flash) so you probably wouldn't buy this if you like taking pics on your phone. I have had it for about 6 months now and it has started turning itself off occassionally, but it always comes back on fine straight away. I would be most disappointed if I can't get the exact same phone if it does ever break down and if it doesn't I will keep this phone for as long as possible.
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Reviewed by stevie whitton from scotland on 10th Jan 2010
ive been reading some of the reviews here and felt i had better let everyone know of my experiance with this phone,ive had 3 replacements so far and my latest one has just frozen and wont come back on whatever i do.i loved the look of the phone but thats the only good thing i can say about it,all my sonny w980 were in exellent condition,not even a scratch on screen,i take good care of my phones but after having 4 of these crashing in 6 months i think its time to get a replacement,a diffrent phone or a refund which wont make up for the music and time lost each time these models pack in,take my advice stay away from this model it will end in tears
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Reviewed by Julian from Sweden on 8th Jan 2010
It freezses all the time. Rubish!!
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Reviewed by Luca from England on 26th Dec 2009
This phone is effortlessly goood. The display is extremely clear and its vivid colours make it fenomenal. Great for music and video and with an internal storage of 8GB its a great deal. I was lucky to grab mine for 110 but even for 200 I would have bought it. The internet surfing and general navigation on the phone is also extremely clear and the motion sensitivity comes into play on a few games and applications. Overall, an outstanding piece of technology! would reccomend to anyone!
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Reviewed by Sarah from UK on 22nd Dec 2009
I had this phone for a year contract and i am now due an upgrade thank god! A week before my upgrade is due my front screen broke, and now it's just white. However, i have never had one problem with it in the year.It's a good phone for music of course, but not for photos and such.
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Reviewed by Emily from England on 11th Dec 2009
I adored this phone when i purchased it, however now i am slighly regreting it! the glass top of the phone is completely scratched it turns its self off all the time, i am on a 24 month contract, still another year and 2 months to go! i would seriously advise to anyone wanting this phone to get a short contract! the camera isnt as good as i expected, i have the phone in red, which is the only thing i like at the moment aout it. its a very unique phone. The music player is very good, and has a very high memory. overall ok phone. the features are what is making me give this phone 4 stars. cannot wait to upgrade in 2011!!! :)
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Reviewed by bob from japan on 8th Dec 2009
it's a really good phone, but it does not let it self (music and video) with a mac :( ALso it is an mp4 player so you add movies etc.
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Reviewed by shuevo from england on 22nd Nov 2009
this is the best phone for music ever it has the clearest phone speaker ever i will rate it 10/10
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Reviewed by E Taylor from UK on 16th Nov 2009
Love everything about the W980i BUT after 9 months it has died! The connection point for the charger and earphones will not work, a battery change has resulted in it not recognising anything. The only way it will charge is to clamp it with pliers but that is starting to not work The supplier will only replace with an inferior non walkman phone - NOT HAPPY my contract is 18 months so have another miserable 9 to go!
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Reviewed by Richard from England on 16th Nov 2009
DONT BUY THIS PHONE. had it 9 weeks buttons started to come off. took it back to shop said it was wear and tear. dont buy going to get a nokia xpress music fone now. built alot better
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Reviewed by Katie Smith from UK on 24th Oct 2009
Do not buy this phone!!!! I had it on contract and am now on my 3rd replacement, unfortunately my contractor will not give me another handset, so I am having to deal with the constant shut down, freezing and various other issues! DO NOT BUY!!!!
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Reviewed by stevie from scotland uk on 17th Oct 2009
battery life very poor ,camera poor, audio brilliant. i have had no problems with glitches eg. shutting down.better than the nokia n95 and the samsung tocco although the nokia had very good camera
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Reviewed by muthu from india on 15th Oct 2009
fantasic
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Reviewed by Ricky from Philippines on 14th Oct 2009
Pretty sleek phone. Don't argue with the camera because this IS a walkman phone. But... Design, performance, audio quality... the best!
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Reviewed by Billy Boy from England on 9th Oct 2009
The features on this phone are good as is the design, however it has broken 3 times every time it goes in for repair it breaks within a few weeks, this is clearly not an isolated case reading the other reviews. I have always bought sony ericsson phones in the past but will reconsider next time Should you buy it? Probably not!
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Reviewed by Jerri from USA on 1st Oct 2009
I got this phone just before the summer.. I love it!!!! yes, it is not that flashy of a phone, however, it is user friendly and works great on-line.. It does what I want it to... Camera is great and video! Has not let me down!!!
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Reviewed by Peter from Uk on 28th Sep 2009
Had this phone for 5 months and never had a problem with it, though i admit its a pain if you recieve loads of texts (flipping it open every 5 minutes). Average camera but very good music player, and, as a phone it works well. Just seems a bit out of date for a music phone.
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Reviewed by chrissy from england on 26th Sep 2009
a thought it was a great phone at first then after 2 month it turned itself and now when you turn it on the screen wont cum on......rubbish phone dont buy it
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Reviewed by AG from uk on 21st Sep 2009
HATE IT. its ugly and has a rubbish camera
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Reviewed by George from england on 15th Sep 2009
GOOD PHONE ITS SOME TIMES SWICTH IS SELF OFF. IT DOSE GET ANOYING AFTER A WHILE I WOULD RECAMEND A DIFFRENT SONY ERRICTON
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Reviewed by JohnMichael from UK on 13th Sep 2009
Great phone! Had it for 2 weeks now and cant put it down. I would defiantly recommend this phone!
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Reviewed by meena from Newzealand on 8th Sep 2009
i have had this phone for more than 3 months now and it is the best phone i have ever had .i haven't had any of the freezing or turning its self off and the phone is real good i had problems with my other phone that was a Sony ericssion k800i that turned off by its self and the screen was blurred when it was turned back on.
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Reviewed by Dave from UK on 7th Sep 2009
Had this phone just over a month when it crashed & wouldn't start up again, so sent it in for repair only for it to happen again a week later losing all music and data in the process. fairly good phone aside from software problems which seem to be quite common
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Reviewed by Tony from England on 2nd Sep 2009
1st one went back as it had awful signal reception on this one is'nt much better. The battery life is appaling even with very light use. Music through built in speaker is very quiet. I wished i'd stuck with W300 although the keys are better spaced out.
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Reviewed by Richard from Wales on 1st Sep 2009
Ive had mine about 6 weeks now. Its nice looking and Im quite pleased with it though I would have to say in wouldnt recommend it or any Sony Ericsson phones as it does switch itself off. This seems to be quite common. Its not as if it crashes when your doing something, you just look at it and realise its not on! I'll persavere with it but i am a bit dissapointed with it. I just dont understand why they cant make a phone that doesnt switch itself off!
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Reviewed by Sufina from Uk on 29th Aug 2009
This phone is allright if you like what of looks like the camera is rubbish it's a scratch nightmare the rubber back dents very easily it crashes alot which is very bad if you have no patience it has a motion sencore which is good for games the front part is really cool just a cool when you play a song and you see the w press the down button many times and just bubbles of colour it looks really fun every time you get a different colour well it's a really cool device and you should consider buying it
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Reviewed by Chris from England on 24th Aug 2009
Great for music and very simple to use. Looks great, love the orange light that beats to the bass. 8GB memory is extremly good. Camera not bad unless you plan on taking good quality pictures alot (which i dont). only let down is that after about a month it looks like my cat has clawed the hell out of the front, even though 90% of the time its sitting in a empty pocket!!!!! Apart from that its worth the money and im glad i have it.
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Reviewed by Mike Dusitalai from BKK,Thailand on 16th Aug 2009
Good phone!!!
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Reviewed by hayley from england on 16th Aug 2009
i have had this phone for more than 3 months now and it is the best phone i have ever had .i havent had any of the freezing or turning its self off. but there is one tiny thing that happens sometimes when i am listening to my music through the head phones ,sometimes the music goes quite then loud again but this might be because i hadnt plugged them in properly but nothing else has gone wrong. i find the camera good quality even though it is a music phone . overall really impressed with this phone, battery life is also very good . anyone who is looking for a music phone should go for this one .
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Reviewed by chazer from UK on 15th Aug 2009
i have had the phone for like 5 weeks amazing loads of memory cameras great butons easy 2 text a must buy
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Reviewed by Luke Littler from England on 13th Aug 2009
I have had the phone for 3 week and the front of it has scratced to pieces!! just by being in my pocket! it turns it self off all of the time on its own this phone is the worst phone available !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DO NOT BUY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Reviewed by SAM from England on 13th Aug 2009
I think this phone is good but i would recommed it to teenagers beacuse oof the accersory and that.
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Reviewed by daniel from united kingdom on 12th Aug 2009
this phone is rubbish!!! camera is shocking, music player is useless and the screen is too small. plus mine turns itself off all the time.
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Reviewed by Klass from u.k on 8th Aug 2009
The phone is a very good phone and therfore i would reccomend it. It has good music and a good camera with nice handy touch feautures which have been included in the device. it however has got less battery and is quite big when opened. The design of the phone is exxccellent and has got a large memory for songs etc. At such a good price you cannnot really go wrong for this because it is competing against such higher priced phones. Overall a superb phone
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Reviewed by robbie the pict from scotland on 8th Aug 2009
was going to buy one of these butas soon as i saw it ,changed my mind looked cheap and nasty.
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Reviewed by Deepak from India on 30th Jul 2009
Fantastic phone! My 2nd walkman and 3rd Sony Ericsson phone. I had the w550 earlier and this is way much better. I was waiting for a stylish clamshell walkman and this was perfect. Sound quality is awesome. The speakers are not as loud as w550, but quality is much better. looks very stylish and i like the look of the keypad as well. I don't multitask with it, so has crashed only once so far. charge lasts for 3/4 days with 2-3 hours of music and an hour talk time daily. Camera is good for use in day light. I liked the fm transmitter and it works beautifully with my car stereo. Will get some screen protector for it. At 200$ this is outstanding!!
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Reviewed by m from inglang on 24th Jul 2009
poor
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Reviewed by Dan from UK on 9th Jul 2009
I have the black blob as well (actually 3 of them but 2 are quite small) at first i thought it was dead pixels and worryingly it was getting bigger. then 3 weeks ago, just before it fully engulfed the last pixel of the text message symbol, it moved! i got my phone out of my pocket and the blob had moved across to the left and now blocks my 3G symbol, which is much less of an issue. other than my blob, i've not had any other issues and it's definately my best SE phone yet.
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Reviewed by Risha Aneja from India on 6th Jul 2009
Beautiful, sleek, 8GB memory, sound quality is amazing, much better than overrated iPod's. That's all I need! I truly love this phone...
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Reviewed by Ken from SG on 4th Jul 2009
I got the black bob thingy too! and the earpiece, i dont' know how to fix the black bob, its growing in size 0.o. But It doesn't take much time to transfer files into it?, well when i transferred a 6 gig file into it it took 1 hour but yea... a 200 mb file took a few minutes? My phone doesn't freeze at all though, and if i use it wisely, i can go up to 3-4 days, 2 days if i keep listening to music. I've even tried plugging it and playing warcraftIII it worked pretty okay to me.( I found out i'm killing its ram though) Mabi it doesn't crash for me cause i keep it off for a while, and 8 gig of internal memory can be pretty killer for the ram if you stuff it. Just be careful what you do with it i think this phone isn't half bad, first thing you do when you buy the phone is buy a protector =P. Then it'll look super stylish for the rest of the time you have it. This phone is only for those people who keep their things in tip top shape.(not me)
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Reviewed by Steve from UK on 3rd Jul 2009
The first thing I'll say is that I personally rate the clamshell form, seems to me to be the logical design for a mobile. It allows a fairly compact design when closed, but with a nice big screen and keypad when open. Used a 980 for two months now and overall I'm fairly pleased with it. Realy nice big bright screen, very spaced out keypad (which does take some getting used to) and pretty lightweight overall and nicely balanced when open. Very plastic build quality though, with high gloss surfaces that look ace for about four days.....! Then it's micro scratch and fingerprint hell! Operating system is Sonys finely honed best, BUT it does run slow, especially in the music player and typing a text message slows to a crawl if the internet is open in the background and music is playing. Not a good multi tasker.... I've also experienced about five random shut downs/re-starts, which is not good. But it does sort itself out pretty quickly and even saves the text you were in the middle of writing. Music player is great (8Gb built in memory), and sounds brilliant but again, runs a tad slow and 'sticky'. Camera is not great for a phone, ok for occasional use though. Battery life is rubbish, same as 98% of modern multi media phones. To sum up: Very plastic, creaky build. Great music player. Very good volume on ear piece and speaker. Op system runs slow with some random re-starts. Not brilliant Mr Sony.
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Reviewed by Rachel from UK on 22nd Jun 2009
I think basically what dngn_rdr from Australia thinks :) Some crashing but if nothing comes off it, just that happening an odd time, it has good quality sound, grand camera, great screen size, handy little organiser and looks good too!!
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Reviewed by dngn_rdr from Australia on 27th May 2009
I love this phone and the only reason I don't give it 5 stars is the periodic crashing (just had one moments ago but it's been over a month since last one) or turning itself off - paper or thin card against the battery does help, not a great fit. Otherwise it's a sensational phone.
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Reviewed by fireguy from uk on 22nd May 2009
Had this phone for a couple of weeks absolutely love it.Yes the camera is not the best but.. its a walkman that is why, if you want a camera buy a nikon! no problem charging no probs with battery life ,no freezing. Yes its a fingerprint magnet but it looks sooo good.I am 52 this is the first phone I have really enjoyed to text with, the keypad being more spaced out,well done S/Ericsson.I love the menu system so easy to use have not needed the manual up to now. I agree with Dr Smith turning off your mobile once a day does help.The camera lens is in a stupid place but with time you can adapt to the way to hold the phone when taking pictures.For me the walkman is fantastic great sound and bags of memory,what more do you need.
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Reviewed by Lewis from UK on 16th May 2009
My mates one keep's playing up he has had 10 in 11 months, touch buttons suck, rubbish camera, SLOW the only OK thing is the music player (witch is slow) and the battery is useless
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Reviewed by Scooper from UK on 10th May 2009
I have died and gone to heaven! Having been in a mobile phone mid-life crisis for the last 6 months, I have finally found the phone of my dreams! The thing that sold this phone to me - IT HAS AN FM TRANSMITTER!!!!! Not much is made of this in any of the adverts / reviews but it is the thing that makes it stand out from all the other phones for me. Not only does it have 8GB's of built in memory, but I can actually play my music in the car by transmitting it to my car stereo. I have all of my large CD collection stored on it and it's only just over half full - room for lots more! Yes - it sometimes doesn't acknowledge it's being charged, so I simply take out the charger and then put it back in, and all is fine. Yes, I'm often filming my fingers coz the camera lens is in an awkward place and I have to hold the phone in a weird way to clear the lens. But not much of a price to pay, considering it has an FM TRANSMITTER!!!!
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Reviewed by Dr.smith from England on 5th May 2009
For those people who say that their phone freezes then you should turn your phone off for about an hour a day to reset the ram like in computers otherwise your phone will crash also to the people who find that their phone turns off by itself then place a small bit of paper hn next to the battery so that fits nice and snug in the back
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Reviewed by Valentino from indonesia on 4th May 2009
i'm sill using it for 8 months until now. i love this phone because it is the best clamshell walkman phone and has touch control also has a great music player(if using headphone), but same like provious comment it's often switching itself, the battery is not good( i always charge it minimum every 2days), has slow respond if i opened application or playing games or when transfer data to pc, some times it breeze itself, the headset some time is not recognise when i connect to phone, camera also is'nt good in 3.2m class. it just has better resolution than other walkman phone but the quality is suck
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Reviewed by Daniel from UK on 3rd May 2009
Like many other people on here, it's around the nine month mark of be having the phone (so mid-way through my 18 month contract), and not only does my phone freeze, fail to recognise when head-sets/chargers have been plugged in (to the point that it is no longer a walkman phone because I can't listen to music on it), and also The front screen has developed some kind of black blob on the display, without me ever having dropped the phone or anything! When it works, this phone is pretty good, but unfortunately it's let down by the fact that it has so many design flaws that let down what COULD be a pretty solid phone.
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Reviewed by Sharon Queen from Scotland on 29th Apr 2009
I am used to sliders and previously had w850i and moved onto this. At first I missed the previous one but soon liked the flip function and especially love the keypad. The main reason I bought this is for the music feature which is great, could be better when played on loudspeaker but still better than most. Had it 9 months now and have had to send it back for repair/replacement as it is switching itself off and now does not recognise when charger/headphones/speakers/usb are connected. I don't think battery life is too bad - I use it frequently for the music and charge it every 3 days or so which I think is fair considering how much I use it. All in all I love this phone except for the fact it is now faulty after 9 months - not like Sony Ericsson!
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Reviewed by Anna from warrington on 22nd Apr 2009
As with all Sony Ericsson phones this is very useable and has a great quality walkman. However it is prone to screen freezes and often doesnt recognise its charging, I have had this phone for 7 months now and the problems are still existing
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Reviewed by Vince from Canada on 20th Apr 2009
I'm never listening to the reviews on this site again; they're biased as hell. So despite ignoring certain reviews down here and only reading the main review up there, I figured "meh, need a new phone, lets go buy". In the half year I've had it this phone has frozen many times. During data transfers it freezes. Load speed is MUCH slower than my old w850i. As of right now, 350MB file transfering to it is taking 24 minutes+ and is probably going to freeze. I've updated firmware, gotten a new one, done about everything except take it apart. Oh, and battery life? I'm sure we all know about that. BAD PHONE. STAY AWAY.
Rating:

Reply by Mobile Phones UK from UK on 20th Apr 2009
Thanks for taking the time to write a review, Vince, especially considering your low opinion of us. Hey, we're sooo not biased we even printed your review :) We did mention the poor battery life in our review, plus some other bad stuff that you haven't complained about.

Reviewed by shuevo from england on 6th Apr 2009
this phone is the worst it broke down lots of times and its camra is rubbish but lovley sound . batttry life poor
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Reviewed by danielPx from Portugal on 26th Mar 2009
Very nice phone! Very stylish and slim, nice to use, great value for your money and excellent build and sound quality! Love the walkman function. Hae mine for 3 days and allready love it, just one thing, When will sonyericsson move the space key to zero and no in the #? Don't like that... evreything eles, excellente as allways with SE phones.
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Reviewed by Daf from UK on 19th Mar 2009
Had the phone for a year,its great for texting as i have large hands, music sounds good camera is fine so is video,never had dropped calls battery is good too, BUT of late i have had it turning itself off now and again and a slight delay/freeze? but all in all a good all round phone.
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Reviewed by Sha from UK on 7th Mar 2009
Great phone but the sound quality on calls lets the phone down.
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Reviewed by balu from India bangalore on 16th Feb 2009
Nice phone but no walkmate... No landscape mode for pictures in file manager and no speaker quality compared to c902.. . I have used almost all the sony ericsson phones but w980i is the best for music lovers and it is class in design but gu wants to be slim. :). Superb display clarity.... And so 9/10
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Reviewed by Magby from Singapore on 15th Feb 2009
THIS PHONE IS RUBBISH. I JUST FINISHED CHARGING IT FOR 8 HOURS AFTER I BOUGHT AND CONNECTED IT TO MY COMPUTER USING THE NEW USB PROVIDED AND BOOM! IT GOES OFF AND CAN'T BE ON
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Reply by Mobile Phones UK from UK on 15th Feb 2009
So, Magby, yours seems to be broken. Why not get it fixed, then review it again?

Reviewed by raynolds a gusbuch from ghana on 12th Feb 2009
I LOVE USING IT.(RYNGUSS@YAHOO.COM)
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Reviewed by Colin@Rush from Wales UK on 7th Feb 2009
I agree with most of the review except i find the camera pretty good... I bought it for music and it is a superb music phone so for me 10/10
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Reviewed by Daniel from Hull on 27th Jan 2009
just got this phone an d love it
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Reviewed by louise from nottingham on 16th Jan 2009
had this phone from santa very nice man indeed.the phone is THE BEST had the w910i which woz pants.i can now talk text &lisnen to good quality sounds with out freezing and going blank on me.even my husband has the same phone and he loves the 8gig memory.
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Reviewed by zohair from u.k on 26th Dec 2008
This is a very good designed phone and the sound quality is very very good,& the cam,era is excellent
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Reviewed by gargoyleprotected from UK on 16th Dec 2008
I couldn't wait to get my hands on the W980i. I love music phones & especially flip phones. I got my W980i on contract in Sept. Well I have to say the W980i is very disappointing. It is very slow & freezes often. I even updated the software but the slowness has not improved. When ever you close the phone after a call or reading/sending texts it automatically reverts back to the music controls. So unless you keep the phone lock on you are constantly starting the music player by accident, which is pretty annoying esp when you are at work. The polished finish looks good until you touch it coz it constantly looks dirty & scratches far too easily. The camera is pooh!! Not only are the pictures not as good as you would expect from a 3.2 mp camera. But also the lens is in such a silly place that it is almost impossible to keep your fingers off it when trying to take a pic. Although it sounds promising this phone just does not live up to expectations.
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Reviewed by angst from uk on 8th Dec 2008
i love sony ericsson phones but unfortunately the negative reviews in regards to this are correct, the phone constantly freezes, and shuts itself down for no reason at all. better luck next time sony
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Reviewed by Mabs from UK on 14th Nov 2008
Recently upgraded to this phone, and had the usual excited rush to open the box, but once I had put the battery in and set the phone up it took me very little time at all to begin to hate it!! I am afraid that the only good aspect to the phone is the sound quality and volume, and the storage! Other than that I was incredibly disappointed with the phone! The UI was sooooo slow and buggy it was unbelievable, the keypad seems to have been designed for people with deformed hands, and the web browser was absolutely terrible! Perhaps inevitably, the phone is now back in the very incapable hands of vodafone...
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Reviewed by mia from United Kingdom on 3rd Nov 2008
i have this phone, and its amazing...... i dont know what these people are saying, it has NO flaws at all. i think the clamshell design works really well, but i have to agree that the camera is quite annoying. ROCK ON, W980i!!!!!!!!!
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Reviewed by Phuong from Viet Nam on 27th Oct 2008
I love my phone so much,the sound quality is amzing,and camera phone is good if shot in the day,ang ok in the night.Sometims lag.The touch screen led is cool.So many app can do with it's shake control
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Reviewed by Mirza from Macedonia on 20th Oct 2008
I have the phone for a month and it is pretty good i am surprised by the sound quality a satisfying camera and an easy to use interface but i defiantly recommend the new iphone 3g it's simple the best.
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Reviewed by tomo from UK on 13th Oct 2008
Upgraded from the w880i, At first glance you think what have i done! but after a little while you realise that this is a special walkman with internet and phone capabilities. I have 35 albums and an audio book already, and there is still loads of memory left! Its not ment to be just a phone and it's not. Plus the camera with night enhancement is a mile ahead of the w880i and alot of other phones. all in all i'm very pleased and give this phone 8/10
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Reviewed by Jax from UK on 11th Oct 2008
Ok I am another one who never writes reviews on these sites but i felt compelled to this time round. I have to say I fell in love with the phone when I saw it and wanted it right away.... Even paid extra to have it early.... days after its release. I had it all of a month and it died.... fully charged would not turn on and I had done nothing to it. All I had done was the same thing I have done with my other sony which still works perfectly fine. That was number one.... I am now on my third in a month because the phone is terrible.... Now, the phone is meant to be an MP3 phone and you should be able to fill it up with all your music via your PC.... Fat chance of that happening. I plugged it in via my PC and I put some music on it and then it started restarting itself all the time and is still doing it now. And has been for hours and it is the second one I have had do it... They either die completely or they keep restarting for no reason at all. I loved sony after my W880i now I am going back to Nokia... Its safer.
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Reviewed by Jax from UK on 11th Oct 2008
I don't write reviews often but I felt compelled to.... I have had this phone since its release in the UK in the end of July and I have to say the thing is rubbish compared to its predecessor the W880i. I had the the phone all of a month and it broke.. died completely wouldn't turn on at all with full battery. I got it replaced and surprise surprise that one didn't work either... after putting a few songs on it the day I got it (which is what you are meant to do) it began to restart itself constantly. So I took it back AGAIN! And low and behold it is doing the same thing again. It updates the media and gets to about 80% and restarts.... I recommend Sony recall the whole line. It is a beautiful phone but obviously looks aren't everything.....
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Reviewed by Richard from England on 8th Oct 2008
I thought this phone was great for the first week, even though i was advised on forums and from friends to avoid getting it do to issues regarding the build 'quality' and the battery life. The camera isn't as good as the K800i, although i wasn't expecting it to be. The sound quality is great through the supplied headphones, but quite poor when you attach a 3.5mm and used my own headphones. Some reviews have suggested that the audio quality is excellent, but what they don't point out is that the excellent headphones serve a compensatory purpose to make up for the poor audio signal quality. In other words, there is STILL no improvement in the poor audio quality of the walkman range. Battery life lasts me about 1.5 days with light usage. The only good thing i've found about this phone is the UI (when it isn't freezing and rebooting all the the time) and the headphones provided. Other than that, this phone is rubbish.
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Reviewed by Pete from UK on 3rd Oct 2008
This phone looks the part and is nice to text on etc. But the earpiece quality on calls is dreadful - very muffled and when you put the volume up it is very distorted, so that you cannot hear what the other person is saying. It is all but useless when used outdoors or in any kind of semi-noisy environment. It was not that my model was faulty, as I took the first one back and tried another handset. Why none of the professional reviews bother mentioning this is beyond me. Avoid at all costs.
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Reply by Mobile Phones UK from UK on 3rd Oct 2008
Well, Pete, we didn't bother mentioning it, because in fact we found the audio quality to be exceptionally good. I think that both the handsets you tried must be faulty.

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