Supertest-Music Mobiles

11 mobiles from five brands with the best music players-brimming with both a test new models updated classics.

Just as the cameras have audio player at a little over five years has gone from being a fun sophistication with questionable benefit to a must for many mobile buyers. Although most mobiles come with some kind of music player today, the actual music mobiles often many benefits-more onboard memory, better trick and more thoughtful interface.

Memory and file formats

It is difficult to get too much memory in a music phone-somehow it always expands the indispensable part of the music collection at least as fast as the capacity of memory cards. As expected, dominates the flash memories in the test and Nokia N91 is the only mobile who bet on hard drive. Hard drives, even the minimal variants that fit into mobile phones, is down 50% cheaper per GB than flash memories. The current version of the Nokia N91 has a hard disk of 8 GB to compare 4 GB in the W950 Walkman ™, the mobile phone with the largest flash memory. Music in mp3 format with a quality that allows the CD need 1-1.5 megabytes per minute, so with 8 GB memory can hold your phone up to 2500 treminuterslatar. Memory is fixed and is not to pick out or expand in the N91 and the W950 Walkman ™. It also applies to Samsung X 830, which has 1 GB of memory. For other phones, manufacturers focused on memory cards. The largest memory card you get with the Nokia N73 Music Edition. It comes with a 2 GB miniSD. 2 GB is the maximum size SD technology allows. Sony Ericsson W850 comes in second place among memory card phones. The included card has a capacity of 1 GB. Format Memory Stick Duo Pro whose maximum size is 4 GB. Sony Ericsson music phones use smaller Memory Stick Micro card, currently available in sizes up to 2 GB. 2 GB is the maximum size of the microSD cards used in mobile phones from the Qtek, LG and Nokia with the exception of the N73. For the Nokia 3250, and the Sony Ericsson W710 holds the included cards are 512 MB. For Nokia 5300 and Sony Ericsson W300 is 256 MB. Qtek mobile phones from LG and is delivered without memory card.

Regarding the file format is mp3 still the first choice for many who buy music online or compresses the own record collection. In the higher quality levels, e.g. 192 kilobits per second, while the more modern works best as mp3 format, aac +, eaac + and wma provides better sound quality at lower bitrates like 96 or 128 kilobits. The music collection in your system may consist of mp3-files with high quality while the carrier’s music store offers music in one of the new formats, support for many different file formats is valuable. The lowest rating in this category goes to the Sony Ericsson W300. The memory card is in and the cell phone is capable only to play mp3 and the usual aac format. Other phones can support many of the new file formats, and a majority are delivered with considerably larger memories. Top rating in the category goes to the Nokia N91 which can handle most formats and has the greatest memory.

Winner: Nokia N91

The player

LG U890 3Player using the music player. The player is very well integrated with both streaming 3 g radio and carrier’s music store. Besides 3Player is LG’s own music player. They sound just as good, but 3Player has more features. Unfortunately, none of the music players to minimize, ie you can not listen to music and surf the Web or write messages at the same time. Nokia 5300 are different from the other Nokia mobiles by not being a smartphone, but the music player is not inappropriate in any way. Both the music player and radio is easily accessible from standby and functionally, the player can compete with Nokia’s more expensive mobiles. Auto playlists for the recently added and most played music like good search capabilities and features to create your own playlists. On the edge of the cell phone are good and clear buttons to control the music player. Nokia 3250, N73 and N91 are all Series 60 phones. The player in the Nokia 3250 is activated by the bottom part of the phone is rotated so that the music buttons on the front of the phone ports. The player is the same as that found in most Series 60 mobile phones. It has the same great features as the Nokia 5300, but the design is a little easier. N73 Music Edition, N91 both have a little more fun music player that can display pictures on album covers and visualizations-various graphical effects in time to the music. The player in the N91 is very simple to use thanks to the large buttons on the front of the phone. The Qtek 8500 is called music player, Windows Media Player. The Player handles playlists of both music and video better than the competition, but the interface is a bit boring. When the phone is closed, the player still useful with music buttons and the outer screen.

Sony Ericsson is the brand that focused mostly on making music pillars graphically appealing. Top models W950 Walkman ™ and W850 have both very good looking interface in orange and black with animated menus and the ability to view pictures from the album cover of the player. The W710 and W300, the player has a simple appearance-in addition to the Walkman logo, the differences are small against the music pillars of the brand’s range. Unfortunately lacks W300 music buttons on the outside of the phone. Just like with Nokia, all Sony Ericsson mobiles in test play music in the background while using other features of the phone. To enter your own playlists work well in the Sony Ericsson W950 Walkman ™ phones, but is the only one to offer automatic playlists. The W950 Walkman ™ also has a rating system that makes it easy to select and find back to favorite songs. Samsung Mobile has the most music playing equal format and the player interface is nice and rich in features-including automatic playlists. The round button can be used as a standard navigation button with five directions, but it can also be rotated to quickly locate the right song in long lists.

Winner: Sony Ericsson W950 Walkman ™

Audio

The audio quality is high, of course, is a must in a music phone. The differences are, however, large-especially between the different headphones which manufacturers ship with. Nokia N73 and N91 are delivered with ordinary cushioned earbuds that don’t look particularly impressive. The sound, however, surpassed my expectations, but when it comes to fit and the ability to shut out other sounds, there are better options. Headset for Nokia 5300 are also snails-but have a little flatter and more metallic sound than N-models ‘ lurking. Nokia 3250 comes with in-ear lurking that sits very well-three different sizes of rubber ear tips are included. Unfortunately leaves something to be desired sound, for example, reaches the appearance rather headset for Sony Ericsson W300 much further down in the base. All Nokia’s music phones will come with the ability to connect their own headphones with 3.5 millimeterskontakt. The easiest way is with the N91, which has the default connector directly on the cell phone. N73, 3250 comes with an adapter for the headset cable and 5300 has a stand-alone adapter. The headset cable on N91, N73, 3250 also has convenient buttons to control the music player. LG and Qtek comes with a little easier in-ear monitors and lacks the ability to plug in your own headphones. To do this, you need to buy an adapter accessory. The sound is a little better headset from LG than in those from the Qtek, but the difference is very subtle. Sony Ericsson’s earphones provide consistently high quality impression. The contacts are gold-plated and cords and rubber parts feels durable. The W950 Walkman ™ and W850 comes with the same type of headphones-black in-ear headset cord attached to lurk with standard plug. The headset cord is a remote control for your music player. The sound quality is very good with these fools. The base is about as powerful as in the headset to W300, but I feel that both the range and the higher frequencies, more details in the headset to W850, W950 Walkman ™. Music mobile W710 is also a sportmobil and original headset is therefore of a type with a jumper that will stay in place during jogging. The sound quality is almost comparable to the headset for Nokia N91, N73, but the base is not quite the same force. Samsung has the neatest trick of the worm-type. Sound membranes are protected by metal mesh and plug are gold plated. The sound does not match the aesthetic qualities and places it somewhere between LG and Nokia 5300.

The sound is affected not only by the quality of the headphones, but also of the signal that the cell phone is performing. To test it, I have recorded a testspår with tones and noise in all mobiles and measured quality by a professional sound card. The readings showed some interesting differences between handsets. Sony Ericsson W300 has a major problem with files with too high a bitrate. It plays without error up mp3 files encoded at 320 Kbps, but the result is severe interference on sometimes. At 192 Kbps sounds cell phone well and have a better relation between signal and noise than the brand’s top model W950 Walkman ™. The W950 Walkman ™ also had along with Nokia N73 worst output. To get up to normal line level (the standard for an input on your home stereo system) must signal screwed up 11 dB. The only cell which managed to deliver full line-level without extra reinforcement was Nokia N91. It also had the lowest noise levels in the test. Samsung X 830 and Nokia 5300 skimp a bit with the sound in the very highest frequencies, but get the ear perceives sounds. The outputs on the LG and Qtek could not be tested because they lack 3.5 millimeterskontakt.

Nokia N91 has by far the best audio output, but I’d rather listen to it through the Sony Ericsson wonder than with them that Nokia will send you with.

Winner: Nokia N91

Computer Association

All mobiles in the test are connected with usb cables, but there are a lot of differences in how well it works. To be able to add music without special drivers in your computer, your phone must support what is called “USB Mass Storage Device” or storage unit at Swedish. It does not make the LG U890, but since the memory card is easy to access a card reader can be a better altnernativ than connecting your phone to your computer. Sony Ericsson, Samsung and Nokia will let you choose if you want to run the cell phone in phone-or “Mass Storage” mode when you connect it to your computer. Samsung has the most advanced solution and help you to put the files in the right folders and warns you if you try to transfer a music file that your phone is not able to play. Nokia computer linkage works as it should, but Sony Ericsson mobiles, the computer will start looking for drivers, even if you plug it in as a storage device. Warning boxes can be shut down and it works nicely to transfer files even without drivers, but the constant question of whether drivers are a nuisance. Nokia 5300 and N91 are fitted with a standard mini-usb connector, and therefore works equally well with cable that actually belongs to the digital camera or external hard drive. Handy. QTEK 5300 uses the old, slower, usb standard and therefore need more time for file transfers.

Winner: Samsung X 830

Format

Two mobiles stands out when it comes to format-Nokia N91 and the Samsung X 830. Samsung cell phone is more reminiscent of a pure music player than a cell phone in its format and works well both in your pocket or around your neck. X 830 also has the lowest weight with its 72 grams. At the other end of the range we find the Nokia N91. It weighs 164 grams and measures is tangent to the upper limit of what can be considered as a ficktelefon. Sony Ericsson W950 Walkman ™ is nearly equal to the surface, but the W950 Walkman ™ is both thinner and lighter. None of the other handsets fit whether amongst the smoother mobiles on the market or among the bricks.

Winner: Samsung X 830

Miscellaneous

A very useful feature of a music phone is actually the wlan. Nokia N91 can connect to your wireless network at home or at work and download podcasts without having to have your PC up and running. The program required is available at nokia.com/podcasting. Scheduling is available so that your phone can automatically download new radio shows during the night. Besides over wlan, N91 download music via the 3 g network and 3 g is also available in Nokia N73, LG U890, Sony Ericsson W850 and Sony Ericsson W950 Walkman ™.

Bluetooth profile A2DP is a must if you want to be able to listen to music through wireless stereolurar. Nokia’s smartphones can add A2DP with the help of an add-in and it makes the Sony Ericsson W300 alone lack the feature. Another important feature of the music your phone’s FM radio. Nokia and Sony Ericsson invested in radio receivers in all their music mobiles while functionality is missing in LG, Qtek and Samsung.

Even if the test is about music, there are more features in mobile phones. Nokia N73 for example is a very competent 3.2 megapixel camera phone with Flash and auto focus. The simplest camera sits in the Sony Ericsson W300 while Sony Ericsson W950 Walkman ™ does not have a camera brand. Several mobiles in the test are smartphones and operating systems that is represented is Windows Mobile, Series 60 and Uiq. Sony Ericsson W950 Walkman ™ has the latter system and is the only one to offer a touchscreen and handwriting recognition. Other exciting features in mobile phones is MSN Messenger in Qtek 8500 and LG U890 and training capabilities with the step counter in Sony Ericsson W710.

Winner: Nokia N91

Box: The Winner

Top spot on the podium, go to the Nokia N91 8 GB. If you want a mobile phone that can hold quite a lot of music, sounds good and works with any headphones so the choice is simple. We also weigh the price and dimensions of assessment, it will be a bit trickier-N91 costs a lot, and I wouldn’t advise anyone to buy it without first having known on dimensions and weight in reality. Can you imagine carrying around over one and a half pound phone so you get besides the music player is an advanced 3 g smartphone with wlan and a wide range of programs to choose from. Unfortunately, not screen the sharpest in Nokia’s range. Sony Ericsson’s first smartphone misses top spot with just one point. Compared with N91 format is smoother and the interface is extremely well made, but the W950 Walkman ™ has a higher price in relation to the amount of memory.

Box-Audio Test

The graphic shows the frequency in hertz on the vertical axis and time on the horizontal. First comes the so called pink noise followed by four different test tones. The first tone is square wave with overtones while the last three are sine waves between 100 and 17000 hertz. Black color means silence-since the volume is represented by the colors of the Rainbow, where violet is weakest, and Red is the strongest. Clear dark space between test tones indicate low noise.

Box-memory card in music mobiles

  • Memory Stick Duo. A smaller version of Sony’s original Memory Stick cards.

oMått: 31 x 20 x 1.6 mm

oMaximal capacity: 4 GB

opris for 1 GB: approx. 450 kr

breakage in Memory Stick Reader with adapter

  • Memory Stick Micro. An even smaller version of the Memory Stick card.

oMatt: 15 x 12.5 x 1.2 mm

oMaximal capacity: 2 GB

opris for 1 GB: approx. 500 kr

breakage in Memory Stick Reader with adapter

  • miniSD. A smaller version of the SD card.

oMått: 20 x 21.5 x 1.4 mm

oMaximal capacity: 2 GB

opris for 1 GB: approx 300 SEK

breakage in the SD reader with adapter

  • microSD (Transflash). An even smaller version of the SD card.

oMått: 11 x 15 x 1 mm

oMaximal capacity: 2 GB

opris for 1 GB: around 400 kr

breakage in the SD reader with adapter