I’ve been using the SE W810i now a good Month and a half with “stoppage time” for the V3i and D606 reviews as well. So it’s about that time for the W810i review.
I am running a Rogers Branded W810i that came from SE with R4CK003. Oddly enough, at the time of writing this, the retail W810i’s are running R4CE.
So, let’s get this party started right>
The W810 is a very good little phone. It’s RF is exemplary similar to that of it’s Walkman Brother the W600. During my testing of the D606 I was talking to Analogtrail on the D606 and it kept dropping the call right at the track of Bayview and 19th ave. Having the W810i with me as well and another line in it I decided to run an impromptu test. I called Analogtrail on the W810 and drove again through those tracks and had absolutely no issues on the W810. Nor did Analogtrail complain of any audio squiggles. This right there pretty much seals the deal for me in saying the W810 is a little RF pig. While many have said the W600 is still better I myself havn’t come across any situations where theW810i failed and the W600 worked. I can’t say for certain if the W810 is exactly on par with the W600, but I can say the W810 didn’t fail me once, like the W600 before it.
Of course, I ran the W810 through the cantina test and like a little baby hitting a boxer, the phone looked at me almost to say “what, did you want something”
It clearly passes the Cantina test, and proceeded to enjoy some delicious sausage with me since I had made the trip there anyway (I ate the sausage, W810 captured the moments with it’s excellent 2.0mpix cam.. more on that later)
The Driving test* also went off without any hitch. The audio was clean and clear and decent for my liking. While the W810 isn’t as loud as the W600, that’s for sure, the W810 has good sounding earpiece and is very “sweet spot” based. Ask Huck Guai as to where the spot is as it only took him 2 months to locate it.
Of course, it’s safe to assume that the AMR codec is of great value in the driving test, since it would have the ability to dial down the sound bits and dial up the error control bits. Not having access to a Generic W810i running only EFR I was unable to do a back to back test but I have seen AMR in full effect and it’s most certainly something you’d want. With all the flashers out there now having the ability to flash firmware’s with AMR definitely consider going that route if you’re one to buy then flash.
Howard also reviewed the W810i and found the RF to be excellent
In summation the W810 has fared me well in my daily travels and has been, and will continue to be my main phone until something comes along to knock it off it’s pedestal.
*The drive by test is:
Yonge and 16th, east on 16th to woodbine. North on woodbine to 19th. West on 19th to Yonge. North on Yonge to Bloomington. East on bloomington to Bayview. South on bayview to Stouffville sideroad. East on Stoufville sideroad to Leslie and Leslie back to the Hill.
The W810is incoming sound quality is good. The W600 is clearly louder, and cleaner though. The W810 also suffers a bit from the Transmitter buzz from GSM850 when you’re in weak areas and the transmitter is cranked up to 2W of power. The transmitter buzz is very faint though and only the most discerning ears would pick it up. It’s not an annoyance to me and not something I would complain about.
The tonal balance to me is perfect. Just enough treble, just enough bass.
The W810 also has the beautiful loud Bluetooth like the W600 making most BT headsets almost to loud when on max. I really like this headset implementation a lot and find myself turning the BT headset volume down which is something I never do on most other brands.
The Outgoing sound quality is also very good on the W810. Even when I went outside to test the phone on busy streets like Yonge I could still be heard. I also stood over my AC fan outside and talked and there were no complaints either. You can hear the background noise, but it’s not loud enough to really cause an intrusion into your conversation.
Aside from the Walkman branded music abilities of the W810, the Camera itself is quite good. Featuring a 2.0mpix cam with auto focus and Macro you really get it all with the W810. if you want to have a phone that has a decent camera for those spontaneous pics/vids the W810 comes highly recommended. I have numerous pics and vids of me and my friends going out and laughing etc etc. The W810 is a great device for this type of thing. I have recorded numerous vids of clowning around, as have others. Such classic titles have been filmed on the W810 such as:
Treatz vs Wasabi
Hucks vs Sausage
Evilgabbie vs Ice cream
Evilbaggie vs Wasabi
Spic vs Nemo
Death to Logitech
All filmed and captured on the W810.
I was always of the mindset “meh, I never use the camera” but I actually find my self using the W810’s camera for the odd shot here and there because I know he pic will most likely come out decent enough to look at on a PC. Not only that but the Xenon flash attachment MXE-60 actually improves pics that need a flash to the point where only the most picky will know it came from a camera phone.
Here are some random images in different sizes from the W810i camera.
Being that the W810i has a macro mode, I took a few pics to test it out. While it’s not nearly as clean or close as my Canon SD200 EPPH it sure hold it’s own when you need it to.
shoot mode & effects
The W810i, like the W600, has several shoot mode and fun effects
Since they’re pretty much identical to the W600 I’m gonna pull that section for here:
The W810 camera also has a few fun shoot modes & effects which you can use to spice it up a bit. I'll run through these quickly
*Normal: single shot normal pics
*Panorama: Allows you to take 3 shots and "lace" them together into one huge one
*Frames: 13 frames to shot your images in. Such frames are Cartoon Elvis, Singing lady etc etc etc
Burst: Burst is a 4 shot burst. pretty straightforward
*Click picture for larger image
The Effects are black and white, Negative, Sepia, Solarize.
You also have the ability to set a picture timer, change pic quality from normal to fine, change your shutter sound (but not slience it) and time/date stamp
Standard issue really. Takes clips for MMS sending or you can set it to maximum and run it till your memory is full. You can use the LED light as well during filming
Led light assist
Similar to the W600 the W810 also features a LED light assist which can be used for picture taking, fim taking or as a light to illuminate you way (set in shortcuts)
The led light itself bursts stronger as the pic is being taken and is decent. However, if you’re serious about taking pics with the W810
MXE – 60
The MXE – 60 is a great little add on for those who are serious about the Pics and need to use the phone for various “stealth missions” and other picture taking. It drastically improves the quality of low light and night time pics. And if you have a steady hand, night mode + the MXE – 60 can take some great shots.
Here’s a pic using the W810, night mode and the MXE - 60 Taken by Chopz Wireless:
Add on Accessories
What makes the W810 especially fun and customizable are the add on accessories that have come out, or are coming for the SE fastport connector series of phones. Above you saw the MXE – 60 flash.
MMR – 60
I used the MMR – 60 briefly. This is the FM transmitter that you get free with a coupon when you buy a Rogers W810 from dealers. The MMR – 60 allows you to broadcast the music stored in your W810 over FM radio, to a car radio or any FM radio for that matter. It makes for a great cottage phone experience since you can load up your fav tunes and broadcast them via the MMR – 60 to the Radio. Makes for some great Dock Rock experiences. (watch out for that water damage!!)
MPS – 60
I also got to play with the MPS – 60 portable speakers.
They are powered off of the W810’s battery and actually work quite well.
They easily filled my store with music. For those who use the W810i as a media player you may want to invest in these units or the MDS – 60 as they do the job quite well.
The W810i features:
Bluetooth 2.0 (no A2DP)
262k 176x220 TFT screen
2.0Mpix camera with autofocus
Walkman application / functionality
Email client with SSL compatibility
SE PCSuite to sync contacts/calendar/notes/addresses
The battery life on the W810i is excellent.
Leaving my Logitech Mobile Traveller connected all day isn't a problem. From 9 am till 2 am, with the BT headset connected I'll be at about 20% battery left. This changes for the better, of course, if you have Bluetooth turned off. Using the same time guide 9am till about 2am and having bluetooth off I'll be at about 45% battery life left.
The W810's battery performance is excellent, as was the W600
The camera lens itself has a UV filter, and it’s very easy to scratch that filter off when cleaning the lens with a shirt. I know, cause I did it myself. Apparently the filter itself has no visible effect on the pics so not to worry but it’s a good thing to know if you’re looking to pick up a phone like this.. Don’t clean it with your shirt
One issue I have with the W810 is the call handling of 3 way or hold/resume.
When you place a caller on hold, logically there should be a quick way to retrieve that caller. On the W810 you have to press more then move 5 slots down to retrieve. I think putting retrieve up at the top of the list would speed things up a lot
Flash based themes
The Rogers branded W810i has Flash disabled. This means that all the cool flash programming themes that are out or are coming out will not display the flash programming. You will se a standard SE menu interface. This is not a big deal however as the marketplace flashers already have a solution for this anyway so contact them
The W810 has a clean and classic look to it. It’s very understated and isn’t one of the “look at me” phones. The small touches of orange on the walkman button, Walkman branding and camera mirror are nice svelte touches that indicate a W phone.
One thing I really appreciate about the W810 is it’s matte black finish that doesn’t pick up fingerprints like a glossy black would
The Screen on the W810 is very good. It’s a significant amount brighter then the W600’s screen as well. The W810 on 50% brightness is significantly better then the W600 on 100% brightness. However, the W810i’s screen isn’t as easily readable as the W600’s in direct sunlight which leads me to believe the W600 possesses a transflective screen where the W810i possesses a transmissive unit. Basically, inside the W810’s screen is leaps and bounds better then the W600’s but outside the W600 will shine.
I’m a big fan of the W810i’s keypad.
Truth be told when I got my W810i after transitioning over from the W600 I actually caught myself saying “ahhhhh” as the keys were so much better for my needs and wants. The Keys themselves are spaced intelligently and offer just the right amount of tactile feedback letting you know they’ve been pressed in. Some have complained of the multi taking button and the walkman button placements. Truth be told it literally took me 10 minutes to “re train” my thumb so I’d avoid those buttons when not needed so I suspect a novice user will pick this up in what, 30 mins?
Menu / Walkman controls
The meny / Walkman buttons are also very well laid out, offer good response and work well. Again, some may not like the placement of the walkman / Multi task buttons but I find them well placed and it doesn’t really take much to not hit them accidentally.
Menu setup / Multi tasking button
The menu system itself is classic SE nowadays. Clean, works well, offers numeric shortcuts if you like that and navigates quickly and easily. The SE OS is one of the best I feel because it offers you the graphical experiences of the Samsungs/Motorola’s with the ability to use numeric shortcuts like the Nokia’s.
Building on this is the Multi tasking button.
The Multi tasking button groups 3 key areas together under 1 roof for quick access:
New events is pretty straightforward. Any missed calls, SMS, calendar notes, notepad info or anything really requiring a user’s intervention will pop up here so you can quickly get to these things instead of having to go several meny layers deep to get at this information.
My Shortcuts is similar to that of the W600 but now is grouped on the multi task button intead of the Dpad up arrow. This frees up the Dpad up arrow to be assigned to something else you like. For me, it’s my sms inbox
Bookmarks is just that. Your wap bookmarks. It’s a great place for them so you can launch instantly to that page, bypassing the Rogers wap portal if you don’t need anything from there.
Not much has really changed in the way of SE’s SMS. They’re still the King of T9 in my opinion, and they still lack a “clean all” or “cleanup” type of command so you can instantly clean out your inbox/outbox with 1 shot.
I’ll just borrow from the W600 review for your reading pleasure
It's really no surprise that in the T9 implementations, SonyEricsson is tops.
SE, quite simply is The king of T9 sms
SE T9 rules the roost for ease of use. It allows custom words, it allows custom alphanumberic words, IE, Z500, 6230b GSM850. It has a list of words as you're typing which can be turned off if you don't like it. It guesses the word even if you're not done writing it, IE, I type Snowe and SonyEricsson pops up because I've saved it in the dictionary. It has the ability for you to go into your custom dictionary and see the words you've entered and delete some that you no longer want or need which is amazing for when you slip while entering a custom word and enter it wrong, like Fidm instead of Fido... whoops!!
the SE SMS system is the smartest, easiest, most powerfull SMS system that I have EVER used. Ever.
One key thing that the SE W810 is still lacking is something like moto's cleanup. You can set it to automatically delete inbox/outbox every X days or X messages. The SE is still lacking a delete all command also, which would make my life easier instead of having to go into inbox/sent and issuing the delete all commands. however, these issues are very minor and are quickly and easily over-shadowed by the SE T9 implementation.
I'm please to say, that in my personal tastes, SE T9 is still by far #1
Another really nice addition to the W810 is that it will send SMS in the background, immediately taking you back to the main screen. This is excellent if you want to compose 1 message to a group of people.
The SE also allows you to build predefined SMS groups of people you want to send the same message out to
Is a welcome addition when you want to spam a group of people, but they're not in a predefined group. It's great for on the fly SMS group sending.
speed dialing / Profiles / call listings
Nothing new here, still excellent and logical. revisiit my W600/S710a/Z500 reviews for more detail on these things
The power button itself can now be used to quick access your profiles, silent mode and the key lock. Although the Keylock itself has a physical switchon the side which is much easier to use.
The Build Quality of the W810 is excellent. The battery cover isn’t loose based on it’s design, the phone doesn’t really creak or moan when pressure is applied and the fit and finish is very good.
Like the W600 before it, th eW810 is by no means short on any connectivity option.
IR, Bluetooth, USB cable. Pretty much anyway to get media on or off your W810 is covered by Sony Ericsson
The W810i’s Bluetooth is 2.0.
However, it does lack A2DP for those of you interested.
The benefits of 2.0BT are numerous, but in short form:
Up to 5 simultaneous connections
The W810 comes packaged with a USB data cable which is 2 fold.
The 1st feature of this is the ability to connect it to a PC to send/receive media, sync and USB charge the phone
The 2nd feature is for SW downloads using SE’s excellent do it yourself SEUS updater available for download from www.sonyericsson.com. It basically will apply the latest approved software onto your W810i phone, if one is available.
The W810 is a class 10 EDGE device which would be capable of a max of 236.8kbps as a BT modem with a laptop of pocketPC. EDGE is also a factor when sending or receiving MMS or using the Email client. Basically, and GPRS data usage will use EDGE on this phone
The W810i features Sony’s Memory stick DUO and is packaged with a 512meg card out of the box. The W810 will apparently support up to 4 gig cards and I’ve even heard of an 8gig card coming out or just being released as well
Walkman / Radio
The W810, being walkman branded, features the walkman sw. Nothing much has really changed from the W600’s walkman app so I’ll overlay it here. Look for a new improved 2.0 walkman interface coming soon with the newer batch of SE’s
Being a Walkman branded phone, you instantly realize that the W810 is about media, and it most certainly delivers. It supports MP3 and AAC formats as well.
The media player app itself is excellent and straightforward. You can view all your tracks by artists, title, or as created. You can make playlists, you can view your Video's in a full screen mode
The included earbuds are decent, but if you don't like them you can swap out any pair of 3.5" headset since the included headset has a standard 3.5' connector available
The disc to phone software is straightforward and doesn't require a degree in programming to use.
When you first press the dedicated Walkman button from the standby screen you are prompted with
From there you have several options:
You can browse by artist:
or by individual tracks:
or by a playlist which you can setup:
and for good measure SE throws in Video so you can watch them while in the Walkman menu system
The W810 also has a few tweaks for sound:
you have your standard shuffle/repeat:
And of course, an equalizer for optimal sound:
The Radio is also a great. It's a full featured radio supporting RDS radio text which will get you the station name, if it is being broadcasted.
Features for $.......................10
The W810 takes everything that I didn’t like about the W600 and build upon that. While the earpiece and ringtone volume aren’t as loud as the W600, the removable media, screen, and for me, keypad more then make up for it.
The W810i is clearly the value leader on Rogers. It’s the most feature packed phone available on Rogers today and is without a shadow of a doubt worth its $299.99 price of entry. Consider that with a receipt and mail in coupon from a Dealer you can get the FM transmitter for free you have yourself an unbeatable value.
For the $299.99 price point you get yourself a media player, a phone, a decent camera you can actually use, a BT modem, a BT remote control, excellent battery life that doesn’t leave me stranded at the half day mark
The W810 is now, in my opinion, the overall mark of what next gen phones from all manufacturers should strive to attain. I really like it that much.
*Very good 2.0mpix cam
*Multi tasking button
*fastport accessories, flash, FM trans, Speakers
*Connectivity options coming out of everywhere
*Stellar battery life
*Decent incoming audio
*Great outoing audio
*Amazing Bluetooth implementation / management
*Led flashlight with bursting brightness
*SE’s Themes. 1 click customization of appearance
*Free FM trans on Rogers units w/ receipt and coupon
*Clean classic Black look that doesn’t pick up fingerprints
*Fully customizable keys and shortcut screen
*excellent MP3 integration. Access your music without even needing to be in walkman app
*dedicated Walkman key
*Voice recorder works (no FW update needed)
*Lack of Flash based programming in Rogers branded FW
*inability to disable popup menu and only use activity shortcuts
*lack of SMS font size
*netfront browser doesn’t display pics in webpages in native colour
*Lack of A2DP in a walkman phone
*UV screen on cam lens scratches off to easily
*Little bit confusing resuming a call when caller on hold or 3 way call ends and want to return to the original caller
Last edited by Treatz; 07-13-2006 at 11:40 AM.
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I wants one!
Excellent review Treatz.
Treatz your awesome man...great review...i wish i lived in toronto so i could idle you up close and kiss your feet and be your friend lol
GOOD LORD! 10
-I'm a little biased Treatz. I would've deducted .5 or more for no a2dp
-The FM Transmitter coupon. In all fairness I'm sure you know the coupon indicates "only while supplies last"..so just to be exact, it is a promo for first x number of submissions (fair ), not a permanent offer of the phone from rogers (until July 31st valid or supplies).
-transmitter buzz? (I will keep an "ear" out for this., I'm intrigued)
-ouch resume held call does suck I love Moto menus for that.
-transflective vs transmissive (learn something every day )
-surprised you didn't note the innovative battery entry design (I found it a very nice touch of "oh isn't that cool"-factor).
-Lastly, being somewhat of an avid photographer., I think it is truly an AWESOME camera for a cellphone. My wife (who is battling me to keep the 810 or relinquish authority and take the L7) was equally impressed with the autofocus, and it's versatility.
Way to Go SE, and Rogers for bringing this bad boy our way
Last edited by bubble.tea; 07-08-2006 at 04:31 PM. Reason: update.
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First of all, amazing review. Cleared up alot of misconceptions I had about some things and it's very clear, concise and detailed.
Yeah, I noticed that too. It's also on my Blackberry 8700r (when using the phone in my own room). Nokia has this over Sony Ericsson because I've never heard that on the 7610b, 6682, 6131, N80 or any other Nokia that I've used in my room. It annoys me dearly. But you've explained that well because I never knew why I was hearing it to begin with.Originally Posted by Treatz
lol, good inclusion, I've already ordered 2 pairs 2 days ago. I couldn't find the MDS-60 on eBay but I did find x1387 selling the MDS-70 (for $200). I was honestly considering it since I plan on sticking with SE phones for a while but I just couldn't justify it....yet. Lets see how the MPS-60 go first...Originally Posted by Treatz
Guilty as sin. I was wondering why I had that purple film scratched up on my lens and stopped cleaning it at all. The k790i, my next SE, has a lense protector but it protrudes so much it kinda turns me off of having one.Originally Posted by Treatz
How does the lack of a UV film effect the final picture?
Last edited by JP; 07-08-2006 at 04:22 PM.
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Have to agree here (about lack of A2DP)Originally Posted by bubble.tea
The fact that it lacks any audio through bluetooth other than an engaged call is kinda bunk. Whether you're playing a game or playing music, all the sounds will always come through the phone and not a BT headset. I hope SE fixes this
Another awesome review. Makes me want this phone even more...
I am glad I made the right decision in buying it. :P
good lord a 10 lol good review man
10? I disagree. Nice review however.
Feb 2006 - April 2007
I addedd a battery section
Great review! I agree, the w810i is an awesome phone...it really is an all-in-one gadget!