I’ve been complaining lately (so what else is new) about the quality of the MP3 players designed into the latest generation of handsets. I can’t come up with a good reason why the quality of the MP3 player on a handset should be any less than what’s in a stand-alone MP3 player. The storage should be equal or close, the audio quality should be the same, and the user interface should be just as good. The only area I may give a little is in the form factor. If you have to go a quarter-inch thicker, or a half-inch longer, I can live with that.
Here at the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona, Sony-Ericsson announced its latest MP3 player handset, scheduled to ship in the third quarter. They almost got it right. The model that I got to play with, the W950, had 4 Gbytes of flash memory and wasn’t much bigger than a standard phone.
Where I take issue with it is in the UI. They replaced standard click keys with some kind of a touch interface. When I tried to dial a number, the wrong numbers kept coming up. I guess I was inadvertently hitting multiple keys.
Almost there. Close enough to think that they’ll get it right with the next generation. And if not, someone else will.