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Sony Ericsson W980i

 Sony Ericsson W980i Discontinued
13th February 2008

Bear with me for a moment.

Some of our UK readers will be familiar with the BBC TV show Ashes to Ashes, a retro police drama set in the 1980s. One of the entertaining things about the programme is the portrayal of utterly naff eighties fashions that I personally used to think were quite cool.. at the time.

 Sony Ericsson W980i Now, probably most people will remember the following scenario from when they were teenagers, one day I was going to go out to some function dressed in a checked zoot suit, blue and white striped shirt, narrow white tie and pointy two-tone shoes. I got into a blazing argument with my mother who insisted that "you're not going out dressed like that" because presumably she thought I looked like some kind of idiot. Of course, she was right but I ignored her. As a result there are some particularly hideous photographs of me looking like a complete twonk that we won't publish here to avoid embarrassment.

The point to this anecdote is this - someone really should have said you're not going out dressed like that before the Sony Ericsson W980i left the design lab. It's not as if there's anything wrong with it technically, but the W980i is trying too hard to be fashionable, and consequently it won't be to everyone's tastes.

On the outside of the W980i's glossy case are some black-on-black multimedia keys with just a hint of orange. Open the handset up, there's yet more black. Except someone appears to have stuck some buttons out of a lift in where the keypad should be. All the keys are round, which is completely at odds with the otherwise quite wedgy design. There's a nifty transparent part of the case that shows the "W" logo on the inside.

 Sony Ericsson W980i It might well be that you like the looks of the W980i, and intend to listed to your entire Cradle of Filth collection on as soon as you can, but we find that the looks are a bit hard to take.

It's not really a fashion phone though - the Sony Ericsson W980i is a Walkman branded music phone with a lot to offer.

Inside the W980i is a huge 8GB of internal memory, although this is not expandable. It's a HSDPA 3.5G device which means that it is capable of high-speed music downloads. The W980i supports stereo Bluetooth, and it comes with a pair of stereo wired headphones in the box. Because it is a Walkman phone, it comes with an enhanced music player plus a set of tools to help you transfer tracks from CD via a PC.

In addition to the W980i's music player, there's an FM radio with RDS. There is also an FM transmitter - so you can interface the W980i with a car stereo or hi-fi system without using wires (legal restrictions apply in some countries).

On the outside is a 3.2 megapixel camera, although the digital photography capabilities are not as good as a Cyber-shot phone. Inside is a 2.2" 240 x 320 pixel display, with a smaller 176 x 176  pixel panel on the outside along with the external media control keys. The Sony Ericsson W980i also has a web browser, email client, shake control and a number of other features.

Physically, the Sony Ericsson W980i measures 92 x 46 x 17mm and weighs 100 grams. Talktime on 3G is about 3.5 hours with up to 9 hours talktime on GSM. Standby time is about 12 days and the W980i can manage about 16 hours of music playback.

Sony Ericsson say that the W980i should be available from the third quarter of 2008, in any colour you like as long as it is Piano Black.

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Sony Ericsson W980i at a glance


Q3 2008


GSM 900 / 1800 / 1900 + UMTS 2100




240 x 320 pixels, 262k colours (main)
176 x 176 pixels, 262k colours (sub)


3.2 megapixels


Medium clamshell
92 x 46 x 17mm / 100 grams



Memory card:

No (8GB internal memory)









Battery life:

3.5 hours talk / 12 days standby (3G)


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