on September 20, 2009
Lately, I have tried over 10+ phones to replace my 2 years old W910 as I wanted AT&T 3G support along with Wi-Fi on my phone. Initially, I wanted to move towards smartphones even though it was not clear to me what I am going to get additionally with a smartphone which the so called dumb-phones lack. Tried, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, Xperia X1, HTC Fuze, Nokia's N97, 5800, N85 and N79, and Sony Ericsson's (SE) C905a, W995a. I decided I am not yet ready for big phones. They are just too big a device for me to be carrying around and then worry about having chargers in car, office, etc as they all seem to run out of battery pretty fast. Maybe, someday soon I will be able to accept their big size but knowing what the tiny dumb phones do these days, I really don't find a value in carrying those bricks.
With Sony Ericsson featured phones like C905a, W995a, and now W705a I am able to connect to my office Exchange server to check emails, calendar, Google email, Wi-Fi, etc. So, I decided to get back to smaller candy-bar/slider form-factor phones.
I tried very hard to love Nokia N-series phones as they seem to have incredible number of options to mess around with the phone and I loved their multi-media capabilities. I lived with N79 for over 3-4 months and finally decided to give up on S60 for now. S60 interface is not sleek and clean like SE's. Moreover, I randomly lose all my SMS, email setups, etc on N79. Also, making calls is so much better implemented in SE phones that made me want to come back to them. SE Smart dialing is just as good as the one we find in Windows Mobile and Blackberries. Also, there are several little things so well thought out in SE phones that really started to matter to me a lot. For example, if you go to call logs you will be displayed All Calls by default. I can click OPEN on the call log entry and see additional numbers of that contact including e-mail them or SMS them.
So, once I decided to stay with SE phone I decided to get their flagship model W995a. I tried the phone for a month. I even reviewed the phone here on amazon. I liked everything about that phone except SE not coming up with smaller font option for a nice 2.6" screen and the battery cover issues I ran with both the phones I tried. I would probably would have kept the phone if it didn't have the battery cover issue as I would have figured my way to install smaller fonts on the phone with a simple google search and A2Uploader. So, I used Nokia N79 as a stop-gap for me until I found a better phone. Finally, bought W705a after seeing how well it felt in hand while playing with it at a Sony store.
W705a is almost very similar to W910 in styling but has better build quality and AT&T 3G, along with WiFi and much more internal memory and better performance. It didn't have the wobbly feel of C905 or the battery cover issue I had in W995a. Also, I find it sleeker in hand compared to W995a even though in dimensions it's only .7mm thinner. Also, I prefer rubber back to metal black as I don't have to worry about scratching my phone. It even has 2MB more internal memory compared to W995a (it doesn't mean much :-) ). With slider closed the phone feels solid like a gold biscuit. When it's slide out it kind of feels little wobbly on the lower half of the top piece. I guess that is a design decision SE made as I notice C905 feels solid while it's open and wobbly when closed. I prefer not to have phone that wobbles when closed as that's the state it will be mostly. Both the W995a's I owned felt very similar to W705 slider. The dialpad on W705 is pretty decent even though I can say the one on W995 is perfect while C905 is very good as well. Still, there is good amount of tactile feedback on key press on W705. So, it's really not an issue. Especially for me, after using N79.
Things not to expect in W705.
2. Great pictures. Especially, indoors. C905 is too good in this space.
1. Smart dialing
2. Excellent Call-logs
3. Conversation style SMS/MMS
4. MMS interface with animation icons, smileys, audio recording, video recording, etc.
6. Style and build quality
7. Brower. Even better if you install Opera Mini Beta 5. It takes browsing to a whole new level even on 2.4" screen.
8. Support for Exchange Active Sync to connect to Exchange server for emails and calendar. Also, you can sync with Google to get contacts/calendar with Push enabled.
9. No battery cover wobble which is so common with SE phones lately.
11. Java Application as wallpapers. Wish someone makes an app that can get the phone active Standby screen to show emails, calendar entries, etc.
1. No GPS
2. Single LED light. Use it as flash light.
3. No support for multiple inbox's. Need to make one active at a time. I need to confirm on this though.
4. When I used Exchange ActiveSync to get my contacts from Google account it wouldn't get pictures of contacts.
5. Slider could have been better in open position. Time will tell how well it will hold :-(
6. No 3.5mm audio jack.
I personally like W705 more than W995 for it's thin form factor and the rubbery(plastic actually)back cover of the phone. Also, I hated the back stand on W995. It had a terrible design. It doesn't snug in tightly when locked. The only thing I miss on my W705 is the 3.5mm audio jack. It's high time SE give up on this fast-port interface to their phones and go with standard inputs like mini-USB and 3.5mm audio input. If they do that they can save themselves by not including the headphones and fast-port cable with all their phones.
on March 6, 2010
Well I am updating this as Just over a year on and my phone has failed. Reason: flex cable. ALL Sony Ericsson phones will suffer this situation and unfortunately it would only be a matter of time before it does... to say I am disappointed is putting it mildly: I loved this phone. But it is the third failure of a slider and the second one to fail on me in 1 month (other failed phone is a W760i). I have lowered this star rating to 3 simply because it is something that unforunately is inevitable.
When looking for a phone people tend to overlook basic things such as ease of use and how a phone feels in your hand. Sony Ericsson has done pretty well in that department with the 705a. So let me get to the nitty gritty. At first glance, the phone is beautiful... silver with gold trim, which really gives it a more expensive look. It comes with all the basic walkman type items... memory card (4gb in this case) and the headphones.
The good: One of my recent reviews with the w395 I stated that the phone was a bit small and too smooth for my liking or comfort... the w705a in far from that. What you will first notice after that shiny silver is the backing plate which holds the battery etc is a little rougher. While it still isn't as gripps as I would like, it feels secure in your hands... no feeling of it sliding out. The buttons are individual rather than a flat smooth pad with numbers again like the w395 and it allows for more comfortable dialing/ text messaging. If you're into the screen quality this one is quite good with a nicely sized 240 x 320 screen resolution. The camera is another brilliant addition, at 3.2mp it takes good pictures for a camera phone in that range with flash and select modes. Also you can download your themes and most any other thing you wish from various websites.
The bad: There really isn't much that I can say bad about this phone, but unfortunately there are a couple that I find a little disappointing. Firstly is that speaker. This phone is a walkman and is intended to have a nice, loud sounding speaker. Unfortunately this isn't the case. While it may not be an issue for those who will more use their headphones it is a bit disappointing for those who wish to listen to their music loudspeaker (pardon the pun). Another disappointing thing is the fact that the speaker is small and to the bottom of the phone, so wen you rest it down it isn't very loud while ringing... at least in the w395 it is so loud that the fact that is also has speakers (yes 2 speakers) below it doesn't matter. As we're in the back of the phone earlier I mentioned the fact that the backng plate was a more comfortable one, but unlike most other sony ericsson phones the plate covers the entire rear of the phone and is held with a lock. Not the most inspiring thing should it drop. Also the menus tend to be a little jerky from time to time and you would notice it in the some of the wallpeper animation when browsing through the pictures... perhaps that may be fixed by a simply software update.
This is a great phone. While there may be a few things that could have been improved, it isn't somethng that should keep you from purchasing it. But if you are just looking for a blast your music phone without much care for the screen quality and features, then have a look at the w395. But all in all this is a phone that will keep you smiling everytime you look at it and use it.
on October 27, 2011
This phone died on me within 6 month of usage. I couldn't charge the phone or make any calls. The screen kept saying "no network available" and when I switch the sim card to a different phone, it works just fine. The technician said the internal antenna might of been damage. I never dropped the phone or anything so I might of just gotten a defected batch, but overall it was a decent phone to use with a stylish built. If all you need is texting, music, calling, and all the basic then this phone is for you.