The Live with Walkman is an Android 2.3 'entertainment phone', touting a bunch of built-in music focused smarts
Editor's Review of the Live with Walkman
The Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman, as its name suggests, is a smartphone aimed at music-lovers, and the first of Sony's Walkman-branded smartphones to arrive equipped with Google's Android software. However, with its mid-range features and pint-sized touchscreen, can this phone woo music buffs from their beloved iPhones and iPods?
Design & Build
The Live with Walkman is good-looking smartphone, and borrows the refreshed Xperia styling of the new Xperia Ray and Xperia Mini handsets. At just 106 x 56.5 x 14.2 mm it's just as compact as its similarly-specced siblings, and it boasts the same glossy plastic casing, which feels just as sturdy and comfortable to hold.
In contrast to its Xperia brothers, the Bravia screen of the Live with Walkman is one of the handset's ultimate downfalls. At 3.2-inches with a 320 x 480 resolution the screen is quite average even by budget Android standards, which really becomes a noticeable issue when browsing text-heavy websites or playing games. The pint-sized screen struggled when used in direct sunlight too, which proved quite a hindrance when using on the move.
Under the hood of the Live with Walkman you find a 1GHz single-core processor, backed up by a fairly-average 512MB RAM. However, given the compact size of the handset and its low-resolution screen, the lackluster-on-paper CPU offered an all-round slick experience.
OS & Interface
Android 2.3.4 is the Live with Walkman's software of choice, which as one of the most recent iterations of Google's Gingerbread platform, equips the phone with videocalling via Google Talk and Skype. The phone's up-to-date Android software comes skinned in the latest version of Sony's Timescape UI: Timescape 4.0. As per, you'll find the same Four Corner interface onboard, which lets you add a shortcut to each corner of the 3.2-inch screen - making the most of the compact display.
Sony's Timescape widget also comes as standard, an app which aggregates your social networking updates and texts into a stack of scrolling cards. However, we've never been a fan of this proprietary application, which can often take an age to load.
We do like the custom skin overall though, and find features such as the 'pinch-to-zoom' overview mode and Sony Ericsson's customization options on par with HTC's Sense user interface.
Multimedia & Storage
The Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman is all about media, its selling point being its built-in Walkman player. It's certainly a good-looking music player, and is laid our in four tabs for sorting options: all artists, all tracks, playlists and albums.
However, it's not about aesthetics. Once we'd replaced the poor included earphones, the Live with Walkman lived up to its name when it came to audio, and we were surprisingly impressed with the built-in equalizer, which lets you select from a number of presets.
Timescape 4.0 also equips the phone with xLOUD audio enhancement, which boosts the volume of the built-in loudspeaker. However, this feature isn't exclusive to the Live with Walkman, and can be found on all Xperia-branded smartphones.
Music fans may also be disappointed to hear that the handset is sold with a 2GB microSD card, which will no doubt be insufficient for even the most casual of music fans. However, this can be expanded up to 32GB, although you'll have to fork-out for a microSD card.
Other media smarts arrive in the form of a 5 megapixel camera on the rear of the camera, which arrives with a huge array of impressive add-ons, such as; panaromic sweep mode, smile detection, autofocus and an LED flash. Although it lacks Sony's Exmor R sensor, the camera managed to produced fairly detailed and colourful photos, and it also managed to produce HD video of a reasonable quality.
If you're not put-off by the small 3.2-inch low-res display, the Live With Walkman's web browser manages to do a pretty good job. Thanks to the onboard HSDPA and WiFi connectivity pages manage to load in an instant, and we were equally impressed with the multitouch gestures. However, we were ultimately dismayed with the small display, which often made text-heavy websites difficult to read.
Taking its price into consideration, the Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman is a decent Android smartphone. It runs the latest version of Gingerbread software, and packs a 1GHz processor, a decent music player and a fairly-good camera. However, the handset failed to "wow" us on the music front, despite being the latest member of Sony's Walkman range. We won't be replacing our iPod just yet.
Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman News
Three has started selling the Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman, just two weeks after announcing itsÂ supportÂ for the handset. We predicted that the phone wouldn’t fetch more than £30 per month, but Three has gone and impressed us even further. The Live with Walkman is available for free from just £15 per month, including a decent [...]
Skype today announced Skype 2.5 for Android, adding support for 14 additional handsets. Devices including the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Motorola Xoom are now supported, alongside dual-core devices including the LG Optimus 3D and Motorola Atrix. Skype 2.5 brings the number of supported devices up to 41, although handsets such as the HTC Shooter [...]
Sony Ericsson’s Live with Walkman will soon be available at Three, the UK network has confirmed, ahead of its release towards the end of this month. Spotted on the network’s jam-packed Coming Soon page, the handset has been slapped with a ‘September’ release date, although there’s currently no details on the Live with Walkman’s pricing. [...]
The Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman has today got official, a cheap Android smartphone boasting ‘a rich and social entertainment experience’. The handset’s certainly not short on the music smart front,Â touting a dedicated Walkman key for instant access to Sony’s entertainment software. As well as Sony’s Walkman player, the phone comes with; QriocityÂ music and video [...]
Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman Specifications
56.5mm x 106mm x 14.2mm
Full capacitive touch screen
Type: TFT LCD
Size: 3.2 inches
Resolution: 480 x 320
Interface: Timescape UI
External: microSD up to 32GB
A-GPS with maps
Audio: 3.5mm stereo jack
Data: Standard microUSB
GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
A2DP for wireless stereo headsets
5.0 megapixel camera
Auto Focus and LED Flash
720p Video Recording
Front facing camera with video calling
Battery Capacity: 1200 mAh
Talk Time: 855 minutes
Standby Time: 850 hours
Radio: FM with RDS
Audio supported formats
Video supported formats