Sony Ericsson W810i Impressions

by Derrick Story

SE W810i

After much investigation, I settled on the SE W810i handset because of its impressive array of features, OS X compatibility, and similar form factor to my SE T637. Here's what I've learned in daily use.

As you may recall, I asked Mac DevCenter readers their thoughts in my post, Time for a New Phone. The ensuing discussion was wildly helpful and led to me choosing the SE W810i. After a few days of use with Cingular's GSM/EDGE network, I'm happy with my choice... for the most part. Here's how it shakes out.


2006-07-19 16:24:48
How are you able to play the AAC files purchased from the iTunes Music Store?

2006-07-19 16:31:42
I suggest you try this technique from

It worked perfectly for my k750i, and according to the comments in there, it worked for users of the K600, W600, etc so unless your w810 is very different (software wise) im sure you will be able to use dialing, SMS and the other address book goodies :)
Let us know if you manage!
Bruno L

2006-07-19 16:57:10
"I can play [...] AACs purchased in iTMS"

How? Pray tell!

2006-07-19 17:24:36
About those iTMS AAC files... My iTMS test album that I *thought* I had purchased in the store was really a CD I had ripped. My bad for getting your hopes up (and dashing my own!). So, those files do have to be converted. I usually use iMovie to do that... Sorry about the misstep!
2006-07-19 17:30:09
I currently have a newish T630 with Bluetooth. I've never had a problem sending a SMS from Address Book via Bluetooth. Just turn on Bluetooth on the phone and enable BT from the Address Book toolbar. Maybe this is a difference in the firmware on our T630s.

I've also found that iSync using BlueTooth mucks up my phone's Address Book. It adds a dash to people with a single name, clears the default number and rington for every person.

I'm also surprised that the phone can play the Protected AAC files.

Mike Scott
2006-07-19 22:43:30
You should NOT be on GMT-8 (assuming you're on PDT). PDT is GMT-7. GMT does not change with daylight saving, so the US west coast is GMT-8 in winter and GMT-7 in summer.

2006-07-20 00:37:14
have you folks nothing better to write about?!? MEDIOCRE
Todd Ogasawara
2006-07-20 01:42:40
Photo quality 5x7? Really? Can you post samples, please?
Ben Reilly
2006-07-20 02:34:34
Forget Address Book for sending/receiving SMS - what you want is BluePhoneElite
2006-07-20 16:51:48
A few things... first, thanks for the clarification on GMT. Looks like my workaround was the way I should have been doing it in the first place.

As for using Address Book for SMS messaging... It still doesn't work. And I've tested it on two computers that always work for this. So I took Ben's advice and tried BluePhoneElite, and it does work. In fact, it's really cool.

2006-07-20 20:18:25
I love BluePhoneElite too - I couldnt get the address book to work with my Razr SMS and BTE was a perfect solution, I have been using it for months now.
2006-07-21 09:50:12
Why not use the SMS widget, which grabs all of your Address Books contacts automatically - to send SMS messages for free? No need for the phone either..

2006-07-23 12:38:59
I've got to second (third? fifteenth?) the recommendation for BluePhoneElite. The wonderful built-in SMS functionality is obviously nice, but the additional features - such as proximity-based actions to pause/play iTunes, start/stop the screen saver, etc. when your phone leaves/enters the range of your computer- are where it really shines.

And: The comment in the article regarding iTunes-purchased songs (which canNOT be played on the SE W810i) appears it is confusing a lot of people. While you clarify the situation here in the comments, this mis-statement really should be corrected in the article itself.

me myself
2006-07-24 03:11:20
How do you find "ABDeviceCommandSets.plist" in your package?
There is none in mine (ab 4.0.4)
2006-07-27 00:49:18
Great to see this article, since my w810i should be arriving tomorrow!
2006-07-28 01:06:16
Photo quality? Oh please, could someone who knows something about cameras review one of these phones. It isn't just the 2M pixel sensor that would make this high quality. The problem with most camera phones is the lens and in a number of camera phones the quality has actually gone down with the upgrade from 1M->2M pixel as noise becomes an issue. If camera phone manufacturers were prepared to teach consumers that it's not just the pixel-count that matters, but the lens too (and processor and other bits), and to spend money on the lens - then we might get better camera phones. I'm prepared to believe that you could get an *OK* 5x7, but a "very good 8x10" - give me a break.
2006-07-30 09:42:13
One thing that is disappointing about the SE 810i is that it (like built-in BT on Macs) does not support stereo streaming to stereo bluetooth headsets, like Sony Ericsson's own HBH-DS970. Look out for this. Also, I'm wondering how you put music from iTunes on the device. I've tried using Dreamsicle, but it crashes when transferring music. I could put it on directly, but this is labor intensive, since it requires creating folders to organize the music.
2006-08-02 11:19:31
Derrick. Any elaboration on how you use iMovie for converting iTMS files? and for those without Bluetooth on their PowerMacs... will iSync not work with the USB cable? I am assuming that the phone will show up as a drive on the desktop for pics, tunes, etc. thanks all!

2006-08-03 01:39:13
Does anyone know how to convert, (either), divX files or vob files down to the required MPeg4 size of 176 x 144 res?
I have a 2Gb card and would love to rip some movies/TV programs to this great piece of kit.
I bought the phone two days ago and a brand new Mac mini the day before. But I could use a Windows based machine if need be.
2006-08-04 05:40:36
I have the w810i too - and it's great. I've even put on a OS X theme, and it sure makes this phone even greater. I just have some issues; how do I remove the built-in sounds?? When in normal-profile, the phone makes sounds
- after end call
- after syncronization
- reminders
- camera

And maybe other events that I have yet to discover. Does anyone know how to delete / disable these sounds?



Doctor Mantis
2006-08-04 07:37:00
I loved this phone - for the 10 hours I got to use it before it died! I had it connected via USB. I properly ejected the mounted phone volumes from the computer, and waited for the phone to indicate "safe to disconnect." On the next power-cycle of the phone, the screen irrepairably flashed black and white!

So now I have to wait 2-3 more weeks while Sony Ericsson services (sic) the phone. In the meantime, are we doomed to never use the direct USB connecitvity of this phone, for fear that this same problem will recur?

2006-08-13 23:41:34
Day 12 and my W810i, (one of three that I bought for my daughters and myself), has gone belly up!
On day 11 it decided not to play any sounds, (music, ringtones... the lot). I had to turn it off and on again in order to get it to work. Now on day 12 it will play ringtones if the phone rings, but if I choose "walkman" then the phone locks up and I have to pull the batery to turn it off....!
See if you can guess what I'll be doing this morning when the store opens up for busines???
Shouri Chatterjee
2006-08-16 08:14:04
I just bought the W810i from amazon a few days back. And I am an avid MacOSX user. Here are my impressions:
(a) Internet connectivity: I signed up with T-mobile's internet plan - an extra $6 per month for unlimited usage. I get EDGE connectivity on the phone (there is a little E on the wireless strength bars on the phone display) at home and office. The Mac uses the phone as a modem quite seemlessly. You have to download the SE 3G modem scripts from Through the USB cable I get around 150kbps, over bluetooth I get roughly 100kbps.
(b) Camera: iPhoto pops up like a charm when I plug in the phone in disc mode. Absolutely seemless.
(c) MP3 playing: I used a script called "iTunesMyWalkman". It works fine and interfaces with iTunes nicely. The two drawbacks over the iPod are that the transfer rate is *slow*, and there is no sleep timer on the walkman. I read about USB2 connectivity on the W810 - but it took half an hour to load up 512MB on the walkman. And all the while the phone was off.
(d) iSync: For some reason, on every sync, iSync claims that "synchronization failes", although the sync seems to have been perfect. Wonder why...
(e) SMS management: I use "BluePhoneElite" - which works perfectly fine with the W810.
Overall, in love with the phone!!
That's about it! Sorry for the long post...

2006-08-20 16:23:39
To enable SMS support in Address Book for the W810 (and other recent Sony Ericsson phones) go here:

You'll also find iSync 2.3 plug-ins for the Sony Ericsson K610, K510, K800, W300, W700, K790, V630, Z550, Z525

2006-08-22 06:31:01
Does the w810i work with USB 1.1? Thanks.
2006-08-23 08:57:22
Can you use your mp3 songs as your ringtunes?
2006-08-28 06:13:21
I own a W 810i too and I did not succeed in putting things legally purchased via the i-tunes music store 'in the 'sounds'-map on my telephone. I have an OSX and tried it through i-movie too, but then it did not accept the file at all. Can anybody help me? Is it sensible to buy a card-reader or do you think it still won't recognise music store files as being sounds?
2006-08-29 17:10:15
I've been using this phone for about a month now and absolutely love it. I switched from a V3 Razr and wouldn't go back for anything. My only complaint is that there is no built-in headphone jack (you have to use an adapter that's included)... for a "Walkman" phone I think that having to use an adapter to plugin headphones is a huge design flaw. However, once you plugin the adapter/headphones combo the sound and function of the music player are great (it's taken the place of my Nano for workouts). Bluetooth works perfectly, syncs natively with my Macbook Pro, sound quality and reception are both superb... overall I think that it will be a long time before I find a phone that I like better than this.
2006-09-01 04:43:37
Could you please tell me how you "upload" and "read" podcasts on your mobile ?
I would be much interested
2006-09-08 11:52:56
go to Sony Ericsson and choose your phone so they can send you a text message that changes your settings for cingular MMS, so you can send and recieve pictures. Thats how I did.
2006-09-12 08:11:34
does anyone know how to change the format of the songs i bye on i-tunes so that i can play them on this phone?
2006-09-12 16:35:37
Just wondering if anyone knows how to use mp3's as ringtones on the w810i? The guy selling them from rogers said there are hacks and that i could find it by googling and i have had no such luck. any help? my own mp3s as ringtones. thank a bunch
2006-09-24 12:06:47
maybe the 1 hour offset is cuz of Daylight Savings
2006-09-27 01:09:37

I have always had nokia. Now thinking of SE 810i. Any major problems in the interface change from nokia to SE, please?

2006-09-27 11:25:04
You want to buy Accutane c31130dbe81a18d
2006-09-30 22:37:08
SCott- did you ever get an answer re: MP3s as ringtones????
2006-10-02 13:04:04
Can you tell me if the SE w810i works with iTunes? Does it show up on the playlist like an iPod does?
2006-10-06 04:54:44
Elliot if you know how to use mp3s as ringtones please explain. I have been trying with no luck on this phone. Thanks.

2006-10-09 13:47:37
Anyone know if the task list in ical is synced in the phone?
Ira Edelman
2006-10-10 11:17:17
Hi, thanks for a great article. It was the decisive one!
2006-10-10 11:44:15
More on AAC files...

I posted a comment a while back that corrected my statement in the post that you could play "protected" AAC files on this phone. You cannot. So iTunes purchased music will not work on this phone unless you rerip the files.

You can, however, play "unprotected" AAC files on the phone. I think the easiest way to transfer the music is via Bluetooth. The files are placed correctly on the phone's media card via BT. You can use a media card reader too, but sometimes it's hard to figure out the exact file structure you should use.

General user update: I am still very pleased with the phone. I actually listen to music and podcasts on it without the earbuds -- just play through the phone's remarkably good micro speakers. Battery life, radio reception, and overall performance have been outstanding. And to top it off, it takes very good pictures.

2006-10-10 11:47:40
Further Clarification on AAC files.

I commented earlier that I had made a mistake in my original post that you could play "protected AAC files" on this phone. You cannot. So music purchased via iTMS cannot be used here unless reripped. That comment has been pushed down the stack, so I thought I should restate it.

The good news, however, is that you can play unprotected AAC files. And the best way to transfer them to the phone's media card is via Bluetooth, IMHO. You can use a memory card reader, but you might not get the folder structure right.

Overall phone performance has been outstanding. I'm really enjoying the other functions too, such as good reception, long battery life, great photos, and FM radio to augment the music. And one cool tip, use the micro speakeres built into the phone when you can. They sound quite good for podcasts and even music.

2006-10-10 11:53:26
i dont know if this is relevent but i also have just purchased the se w810i and ive had no problem with it other than when i installed disc to phone to transer music files to my phone it only sends them to the phone and not my memory stick so it only has a small amount of memory to fit a few songs. i know im going wrong somewhere can you tell me where if you konw please a.s.a.p thank you
2006-10-11 20:06:23
Hey George, I purchased the SE W810i and when I connect my phone the the PC.. IF PROPERLY INSTALLED BY THE CD and Detected by the computer.. You should see 2 new removable drives on you my computer window (my case drive's H: and I:) the second drive should be the direct connection to you memory stick.. maybe it didnt instal coerrectly (try again)
Jacob Moses
2006-10-14 07:12:02
How can I use the ringtones that I have from my disc 2 phone as a contact ringtone because I did it on my W600i phone but not the 810i it bothers me

2006-10-23 10:06:50
thanks! i have been looking for mac info on this phone, and couldn't find any. Your comments help!
tara gilmore
2006-11-03 03:17:58
I am a technophobe, and am just having a nightmare with this phone and my imac G5 - can anyone tell me why the phone will fail to play any of the Mp3s in my itunes directory, they appear to have transferred, and are there in their full glory on the 810i, but fail to play. No explanation of course. Please help if you can - the gremlins have been knocking out any means of communication and i've just about had enough with things not working
2006-11-18 13:18:08
Hi all,
Has anyone used the W810i succesfully with t-mobile to send SMS? I can receive but not send - it's very frustrating!
Any and all comments welcomed
lauren hall
2006-11-19 02:56:44
overall i think the phone is really great and the camra is excellent and the sond is all so really cool i love this phone and i wuld recondmend for everyone else to by it and loads of people can get a little jelouse over you having it so watch out!!
lauren hall
2006-11-19 02:56:47
overall i think the phone is really great and the camra is excellent and the sond is all so really cool i love this phone and i wuld recondmend for everyone else to by it and loads of people can get a little jelouse over you having it so watch out!!