the search for the next phone
October 9, 2012 6:40 AM   Subscribe

What is the lay of the land of with Sony Ericsson phones these days? I used to have their Walkman phones up until five years ago, and they were fantastic, with features I miss almost every day since I transitioned to the iphone. I could do video editing on those things, even adding a soundtrack from songs I had on the phone! Plus, I could leave messages to myself on the front screen, and other super-helpful things-- and that was all before they even had micro SD slots, which sound great. Now that my iphone is almost kaput I thought I'd investigate a bit, but I can't find a good overview of the different phones.

I see there is an Experia, and Walkman, and some don't connect to 3G, etc. I am in the US, so 3G network is important. This may be a shot in the dark, but if anyone has some info on the subject, I'd be very thankful! This is not Pepsi Blue, I just really loved those 3 phones back in the day.
posted by thegreatfleecircus to Technology (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The Experia S is considered one of the best android phones on the market. If I had to buy a phone tomorrow that wasn't a Nexus, I'd get one of these.
posted by damn dirty ape at 6:44 AM on October 9, 2012

I loved the SonyEricsson Walkman phones of around that time, too, and using my tiny w890i GSM phone on a recent trip where my current Android CDMA phone wouldn't work was a joy. It was remarkable how clean, easy to use and powerful they were, as phones, music players and Internet devices. Why they didn't catch on in America - at around the time everyone was obsessed with the dreadful RAZR - is beyond me; when the iPhone came out, everyone acted amazed that the iPhone could do things the Walkman phones had been doing in a user-friendly way for years (albeit without a touch screen).

Alas, it is not the same anymore. The awesome SonyEricsson featurephones of yore are gone - the few still on the market will be gone soon - lost to a wide selection of Sony phones which are just Android phones in fancy cases. The last holdout appears to be the Mix Walkman phone, which doesn't have 3G and looks clunky and cheap compared with the elegant designs of the old Walkman phones. I think the era you're looking for is long gone.

If you loved all of the little features of the old SonyEricsson phones, though, an Android phone is likely a better match for you than iOS. While iOS has more apps than Android, the number of customizations and add-on features for Android greatly outnumber those for iOS, since much of the iOS interface is closed off from developers. Not so for Android, which is generally tweakable to be something that has all the little niceties we used to have. The conventional wisdom is that if you're looking for a quality phone that's tweakable with everything that Android has to offer, the Nexus series is the clear choice.
posted by eschatfische at 7:37 AM on October 9, 2012 [2 favorites]

Inevitably, phone's hardware and software capabilities are now separate.

GSMArena do good, in-depth reviews which include a test of the phone's audio quality. The site also has a good phone finder which will help to identify other hardware criteria.

Software is now non-proprietary; have a browse of Google Play to get an idea what editing/playback packages are available.

It's not as simple as it used to be, but there's a lot more choice and device capabilities have evolved into a whole different world from what you are used to!
posted by BadMiker at 8:51 AM on October 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

I liked my WalkPhone a lot, esp. the FM radio. Not streaming Internet radio, plain old FM radio (you're soaking in it). My Droid has FM; one of the reasons I chose it. Curses on whoever found my phone, called to say they'd return it, and were never heard from again. Sheesh. Leave it on the floor of the parking garage next time.
posted by theora55 at 4:41 PM on October 9, 2012

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