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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Phone, with a few quirks...
I bought this phone to replace my previous walkman phone (a w300i). That old phone was trusty and has served me well for over 2 years but I felt that I needed to modernize a bit. The 518a is the first reasonable walkman flip to come to att in a while. And I have to say that its a pretty good phone.
Design: Excellent, the battery cover is a matte black that appears to...
Published on July 24, 2009 by S. Thangada

versus
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Steer Clear
There are only a very few things that I like about the phone, however there are just too many negatives that the few positives are negligible. I will tell you about the most annoying, but there are more.

You will absolutely miss calls with this phone. Why? There will be many times this phone will:

Just not ring. The person will hear it ring on their...
Published on February 17, 2010 by M. Mcgill


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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Steer Clear, February 17, 2010
This review is from: Sony Ericsson W518a Phone, Mineral Black (AT&T) (Wireless Phone)
There are only a very few things that I like about the phone, however there are just too many negatives that the few positives are negligible. I will tell you about the most annoying, but there are more.

You will absolutely miss calls with this phone. Why? There will be many times this phone will:

Just not ring. The person will hear it ring on their end and eventually be sent to voice mail.

Freeze, and the only way to get it back is to remove the battery.

Ring but will not respond to the answer button.

Upon touching it, direct the person's call to voice mail. Because if you use gesture control once, it never turns off, even if the display says so. Gesture Control is a feature that allows you to silence the phone when you wave your hand over it. Gesture control doesn't just silence rings, it hangs up on the person and sends them to voice mail. The bad thing about this feature is once you hear the ring and touch the phone, it will terminate the call. That's because it has an optical sensor, and the slightest change of light will activate it.

Let's say you don't want to hear from a particular caller. You should just be able to turn off the ring for that caller. Well, not with this phone. Instead, you have to make a longer list of all the people you'll accept ( which in most cases is your entire phone book ) in order to exclude maybe one or two. But that's not even the worst part. The phone has a software bug where creating the list is impossible. My son has the same phone and it happens with his also.

Now after 30 days, the phone is completely inoperative. It doesn't last an hour before freezing. Sometimes it will freeze when it rings, so answering is impossible. It will freeze during a conversation. It will freeze just sitting still on my desk whether I'm using my blue-tooth or not.

Last, but not least is AT&T's return policy. They want to replace the phone with a refurbished unit. I asked the rep, "what do you mean refurbished? It's not 30 days old, can I get a new phone?" She said that it's AT&T's policy to replace a customers malfunctioned phone with one that has been returned within 30 days. "In other words" I said, "You're taking my problem and sending me someone else's."

I told the rep that the internet is full of bad to horrible reviews of this particular model. I reminded her that I'm experiencing the exact same problems that I've read about, and if you send me a "refurbished unit" I'm most likely going to experience the same thing all over again. Is it possible that I can have another model phone?
Well, the answer was short and simple, "no."

I should mention that AT&T sent me this phone under thier so-called "Insurance Policy" after my original V3 was stolen. The AT&T insurance policy is a ripp-off, and should be avoided at all cost, and it will cost you big, but that's another review.

Like I said, there are just too many things wrong with this phone, and unless you like frustration, stay away!
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Phone, with a few quirks..., July 24, 2009
By 
This review is from: Sony Ericsson W518a Phone, Mineral Black (AT&T) (Wireless Phone)
I bought this phone to replace my previous walkman phone (a w300i). That old phone was trusty and has served me well for over 2 years but I felt that I needed to modernize a bit. The 518a is the first reasonable walkman flip to come to att in a while. And I have to say that its a pretty good phone.
Design: Excellent, the battery cover is a matte black that appears to be pretty scratch resistant and the front cover is black although changeable to various styles (just switch up the covers). It is quite glossy and picks up some fingerprints, but they really don't show as the black is a not piano finish (i.e. ipod touch). The top has 3 touch sensitive buttons which aren't the most responsive buttons out there, but I guess that's good to avoid accidental hitting.
Construction: Not bad. The battery cover is mind bogglingly thin. Almost paper thin. The phone hasn't been dropped yet, but I do believe that its quite well built. The hinge doesn't wobble like my old w300i's. (finally sony got this hinge issue fixed). The keypad feels sturdy although there is a little creak to the keys. But overall, I don't think its the actually covering of the phone that is keeping this thing together but rather the slim compressed factor of the phone itself.
Reception and Call Quality:
I've had no problems thus far with this. The 3g works well in Hartford County, CT. I haven't had any dropped calls or issues on my end so far. The speaker isn't as loud as the w300i's but its adequate. Overall, calls have been loud and clear (near Nokia deliverance quality).
Interface:
The menu, with flash backgrounds unactivated is responsive enough. I did feel that there seems to be a periodic lag but its quite minimal. The real issue is when flash themes are activated. The phone lags like a mother. Hopefully sony ericsson will release a software update to rectify this.
Walkman player: There is a dedicated walkman key on the 4 way rocker (up). I felt that the interface was well designed with the player updating and integrating with my memory stick media files effectively. Again, the issue that always seems to come up with this phone is the lag. I'm not sure if this is software related or simply a limitation of accessing the memory card files, but the walkman interface seems to lag incessantly. ITs not terrible, but it certainly isn't responsive as my old w300i. There also seems to be a lag between hitting the external walkman controls (3 touch sensitive buttons) and a response from the walkman player. Again, this phone just released so hopefully sony gets its act together and issues some software udpates. Some other notes on the walkman player, I've had no issues with music playback thus far. Audio quality has been excellent through the fastport to 3.5 mm headphone adapter I'm using. Megabass isn't as good as clearbass, but it does the trick for us bass heads. I would say that the actual menu system of the walkman player is actually superior to sony's dedicated walkman mp3 players( i.e. we get on the fly playlists, delete controls, you know... simple things that sony has a knack for screwing up usually). Right... one more thing... I have a hunch that some sony engineer decided that if they provided us with quality keys on the keypad, they had to skimp on something else. I think there was a definite cost cutting on the loudspeaker for this one. My w300i's speaker is much better than this. The 518's speaker distorts and seriously lacks some clarity when playing music. I'm not sure if my unit is defective. But if I change the volume, the music fade out feature seems to have the effect of distorting the speaker with some kind of crackling noise. I think this is again a software issue...
Other issues:
Now that I'm on issues... I don't know why the heck Sony insists on using their garbage fastport for charging and headsets. Its 2009 Sony! Get with the program and ditch the proprietary jack and give us a 3.5mm headphone jack and microusb charging port. Honestly, when other manufacturers are ditching their proprietary garbage, sony insists on using fastport. Maybe they have a warehouse full of adapters to get rid of and that's why they insist on fastport?
Battery life: No issues, looks like its lasting as per Sony's specs. For those of you on EDGE phones nows, anticipate a reduction in battery life when upgrading to 3g devices.
Camera: No autofocus, no flash. Pictures with light come out well but seem to have a some contrast and sharpening issues. At least its not vga. Just be prepared to hold the phone really really still if you want a clear shot.
Navigation: CNET's review noted that the key were flat. Yeah... they're flat as heck. I honestly had a lot of touble using the 4-way navigation pad simply because some idiot at Sony forgot that people without child sized hands would be using this phone. Try the phone out. Some people with fat fingers will seriously have issues using the navi pad, to the point that they may have to return the device. I personally got used to it, but it would have been nice if sony sometimes focused on practicality more than style.
My verdict: Great phone overall, I've been a fan of sony ericsson phones and this phone for 50 bucks (I'm a continuing customer) is a good deal. (gps, 3g, walkman player, fm radio... ) I'm giving this phone 4 stars. 1 star deduction for the menu interface lag. I really wonder if manufacturers even bother with product testing sometimes... I'll update this review as I use the phone more.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this phone!, July 22, 2009
This review is from: Sony Ericsson W518a Phone, Mineral Black (AT&T) (Wireless Phone)
This is a great phone. It reminds me somewhat of the Motorola Razr that I bought 3 years ago, but it is operates much better. The Walkman feature is wonderful, although the jury is still out as to whether it will support an 8 gig or 16 gig memory stick M2. Same with the talk time--Sony Ericsson says 10 hours, AT&T says 4 hours. The audio clarity is superb.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Ulcer-inducing, July 13, 2010
This review is from: Sony Ericsson W518a Phone, Mineral Black (AT&T) (Wireless Phone)
This is my first review ever. I felt so utterly compelled by the grief this phone has caused me.

I purchased it because I was seduced by all the nice features this phone has, as I'm sure you're considering at this very moment. Even now I must admit that the camera is superb. But that's probably the only thing good about this phone. I believe the positive reviews were written once their cell phones were out of the box and with only a few minutes of tinkering. I've had this phone for maybe 4 months now, and I will never purchase a Sony cellphone again.

It freezes. All the time - as in, several times a day. You will miss all calls to you during that freeze time, which will probably have been a while unless you check your phone constantly. It doesn't unfreeze, so you're forced to take the battery out and put it back in. To add insult to injury, it's impossible to silence the phone's rather loud welcome tune, which can be a problem in classrooms and such. I've also experienced problems with the phone recognizing it's being charged, but that pales in comparison to the freezing issue.

In the name of Consumerism, save yourself the immense frustration and don't buy this phone.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly unresponsive, January 27, 2010
This review is from: Sony Ericsson W518a Phone, Mineral Black (AT&T) (Wireless Phone)
I purchased this phone to replace my RZR and it's terrible. The biggest problem is that the keys are very unresponsive. While texting or entering a phone number the phone will freeze, and then either input the letter/number or leave the letter selection box open. Often it will read that I pushed a key twice, namely when I try to enter the menu. From the main screen the 'menu' button is the same key as the 'back' button once you enter the menu. So I will try to enter the menu and it will enter and then go back. When I reply to a text message it frequently defaults my selection to 'audio recording' and I have to go back, delete the audio draft it made, and then try responding again. Also, it does not have auto-complete text which makes it very difficult to send someone a number. Even though I followed the instructions the battery has never fully charged #best it will do is 96%#. I do not recommend this phone to anyone who texts at all.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Bad at All, December 27, 2009
This review is from: Sony Ericsson W518a Phone, Mineral Black (AT&T) (Wireless Phone)
I got the W518a for free when AT&T bought out Unicel. I asked for a replacment for my Razr phone and this is what they offered. First phone they gave me had a bad lack of volume problem. The replacment was fine. Phone has stereo bluetooth, for music and hands free calls. Music through my bluetooth headphones is good, mega-bass for my bass loving. Camera is 3.2 mpixels, and only so so quality. Takes video also. Tried the voice commands with very mixed results. One thing about this phone is the documentation is absolutely terminal. Nothing is explained, either in the manual or online. How stupid. Phone buttons are flat and small, a bit of practice is needed to use. Another feature I grown to love is the FM built in radio... use it all the time on the treadmill. Don't know of many other phones that have that feature.

One thing I will soon be trying out and excited about is with the PC Suite software you can download, after linking my laptop to the W815a with a separately purchased USB cable (buy it on the internet, MUCH cheaper) I can browse the internet from my computer via the cell phone. Now I can use my laptop anywhere I can get a cell signal. No more searching for free WiFi. AT&T has a $15 p/m unlimited data fee or $2 per mgbyte fee for data. If this works, it will solve my "on the boat" internet access. Most wireless cards for laptops have a $60 p/m fee, Here I get a phone and "wireless card" in one package.
One Con: the menu screen is practically uncustomizable, another "dumb" feature.

On the whole, I'm happy with the W815a, not perfect, but certainly worth what I paid for it. :-)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not a good phone for me, March 21, 2010
This review is from: Sony Ericsson W518a Phone, Mineral Black (AT&T) (Wireless Phone)
This is the worst phone I have ever owned from day 1. I have worn the back off of the phone because it constantly hangs and the only way to continue is to remove the battery. I don't know how many calls I've missed because the phone is hung and I don't know until I'm ready to use. I've updated the software from the company website and still same problem. Requires special adapter to listen to FM radio which also requires headphones with a 2.5 mm jack. Would not buy another Sony phone.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars problems..., January 25, 2010
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sony Ericsson W518a Phone, Mineral Black (AT&T) (Wireless Phone)
I've had this phone for less than 2 months and the inside face--a plastic piece that surrounds the key pad--began peeling off this past week. I called AT&T and their warranty department said this was a "cosmetic problem" and not covered by the phone's warranty. I suggested that this was not an acceptable response and a very gracious manager replaced the phone out of her discretionary budget.

This could be a quirk--but who knows?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just right for me..., September 5, 2012
By 
chris (pittsburgh, pa United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sony Ericsson W518a Phone, Mineral Black (AT&T) (Wireless Phone)
I don't know if any of the previous reviewers even know how to work this phone... I've had no problems with it and it serves its purpose just fine. It's a simple phone, not a frikken iphone!

If it freezes on you, then just delete all old convos/msgs stored on it. Don't expect a simple flip-phone to perform as well as a smartphone. They are 2 different classes and meant for different usage types. It holds my MP3's, plays them great with enhanced sound and it sends & receives text msgs lightning fast. Easy to delete old msgs to keep space free.

Bottom line is, don't try to compare this phone to a more modern smartphone. This is a simple phone for the simple user... If you want a smartphone, then just get an iphone or android (and stop complaining)!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars VERY Dissapointing, July 16, 2010
This review is from: Sony Ericsson W518a Phone, Mineral Black (AT&T) (Wireless Phone)
SONY used to mean quality at some point but apparently this is not the case anymore. This phone died after being near some condensation...not even next to it. I would recommend stronger phones like my tiny little Pantech that can survive an accidentally dunk in water... and my friend's i-Phone that spent the whole night outside in the rain. So clearly a small amount of moisture should not be a challenge for a well made phone. I used to be a SONY fan, but will not be any longer.
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