There are many, many Android handsets available now and choosing which to buy is becoming increasingly difficult. It gets even more difficult in the budget sector and the Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman is one of the latest entrants to attempt to offer lots of features for little money.
It looks great from the outside and has a distinctive look that will appeal to the majority of potential users. Possibly more tuned towards younger people, possibly teenagers, the plastic body and angled shape lends itself well to those who want something a little different.
This phone can now be bought for less than £100 and comes with a decent pair of headphones and a USB sync/charger cable plus the expected AC plug. There is nothing unexpected in the box and the entire setup makes you feel as if you are getting more for your money than you deserve. There is a sense of consistency throughout the hardware, software and included accessories that offers confidence from the moment you start using the phone.
The build quality is above average and the large buttons below the screen are perfectly position for quick use. Of particular benefit is the centred home button which feels as natural as possible and this aligns well with the corner shortcuts that Sony Ericsson has employed to make navigating Android easier on a smaller than average screen. Talking of the screen, it works well in all conditions apart from the very brightest of days and feels tough enough to survive the knocks of daily life. The touch sensitivity is set just right and once again this feature feels like it should sit within a more expensive smartphone.
The legendary ‘Walkman’ branding has been used in the name of this phone and so you would expect excellent sound quality. As it happens, this is exactly what you get and the clarity, particularly from the external speaker, is excellent. Indeed, it feels louder and fuller than the phone should be able to produce given its diminutive size, but we are not complaining. This phone produces sound that is comparable with some high-end Android phones and with a high quality set of headphones plugged in, the quality is incredibly impressive.
General performance was better than we expected as well with no slow-downs or freezes and every app or game we through at it ran without any problems at all. This again goes against the budget label and lifts the phone higher in our estimation. There is no part of this smartphone that feels or works like a budget handset and this makes the price even more remarkable. Consider also a capable 5 Megapixel camera and you start to get a picture of a phone that is capable in every area.
There are many budget Android handsets on the market, but few as capable or complete as the Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman.