Slim-line slider form factor with light effects
The W580i measures only 99 x 47 x 14mm, and weighs less than 100 grams. The handset also has coloured LEDís built into the top slider section, that light up when a call or message comes through. The colour sequence can be changed through the settings menu.
2G: GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz network compatibility
Sony Ericsson have dropped 3G connectivity (which most other Walkman handsets support), and instead packed the W580i with GSM 850, 900, 1800, and 1900MHz connectivity. This will keep you covered all around the globe on any 2G network.
GPRS and EDGE data protocols
For packet data access on 2G networks the W580i provides GPRS and EDGE connectivity. Installed on the handset is the Access NetFront browser for Internet browsing, and an RSS reader that is built into the Messaging application.
262,144 colour TFT LCD @ 240 x 320 pixels
The W580iís display is the usual 262,144 colour TFT LCD with a 240 x 320 pixel resolution. This is the stereotypical display for most low- to mid-range handsets, as the majority of high-end handsets are now moving to 16 million colours.
SMS/EMS, MMS, and e-mail messaging with T9
Keep in touch with friends and family with SMS/EMS, MMS, or e-mail messaging Ė straight from your handset. The W580i supports all four protocols, and includes T9 predictive text dictionaries for quick and easy message composition. Using the integrated camera images and video can be captured and sent off in a matter of seconds.
2mpx digital camera with 4x digital zoom
The W580iís 2mpx camera is located on the top section of the slider, and is hidden from view when the handset is shut. The camera is a run-of-the-mill 2mpx (1600 x 1200 pixels maximum resolution) camera with 4x digital zoom and support for video capture. There is no flash or auto-focus, which means the images arenít anything to rave about.
For more on the W580iís imaging capabilities, browse to the camera performance page of this review.
12MB internal shared memory
A mediocre 12MB of internal flash memory is provided for user files. This is nowhere near enough if you wish to pack the handset with audio files (which is the intended purpose of Walkman handsets) or any other file format for that matter.
Memory Stick Micro support (up to 2GB)
Thankfully, the W580i does support Memory Stick Micro cards. Only 2GB cards are supported, although 4GB cards are currently being produced.
Most users will find a 512MB Memory Stick Micro card in their W580i sales package, although this may differ based on region.
Walkman music player with shake control
The W850iís uses version 2.0 of the Walkman music player. Supported audio formats are MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, WAV, WMA, and M4A. Unlike other manufacturers music players, the Walkman player supports files with variable bit rates (VBR). ID3 tags are also supported.
The W580iís integrated motion sensor can be used to change the track by simply holding down the Walkman button and flicking your wrist. The W580i vibrates to let you know it sensed the flick, and then picks a random song in your play list to play.
The W580i supports OMA DRM 2.0, so the handset is compatible with most online music shops. The handset I received had three skin options: white, orange, or off. The off setting is plain black.
FM stereo radio with RDS technology
If your own music is getting boring and you want someone else to play DJ, just plug in the HPM-70 headset that ships with the handset and launch the radio application. The radio can tune into FM stations and can store your favourite channels in its memory.
RDS, which displays the currently playing artist and track name, the radio stations name and other info, is supported.
Bluetooth and USB connectivity
Connecting the W580i to a PC or other device is easy using the high-speed USB protocol, or extremely popular wireless Bluetooth technology.
A USB data-cable is included in the sales package, and the W580i (like most Sony Ericsson handsets these days) supports the USB Mass Storage Device profile for easy access to the memory card. For some strange reason the internal memory isnít accessible in this mode Ė usually itís the other way around.
PictBridge is also supported for direct printing via USB without the need for a computer - with a compatible printer.
A motion sensor is built into the W580i to provide sports-based functionality. The motion sensor basically counts how much you walk, jog, or run. Entering personal information (height, weight, sex, and age) will provide more personalized reports.
The application can add a step counter to the standby screen, and can also calculate how many calories you have burnt each day, your average distance travelled, and other pieces of information some may find handy.