Review: SE P990i - A unique smartphone
Sony Ericsson was one of the first smartphone pioneers. Their first true smartphone P800 (we will not count Ericsson R380 which was not able to run 3rd
party applications) was a big success followed by P900 and later P910. Before Windows mobile devices emerged they had some sort of a cult status among power users.
New P990 which was released in August 2006 in Europe was one of the most anticipated mobile devices up to date. It was scheduled to come out at the end of 2005 but it was delayed many times. This device was made to satisfy techno geeks. It supports 3G networks, have 320x240 QVGA touchscreen, 2 Megapixel camera with autofocus, WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11b and runs on the UIQ 3 version of the Symbian OS. P9x0 fanatics have waited a long time for this baby to show up. Does it meet their expectations? Well let’s find out.
It measures 114 x 57 x 26 millimeters with flip and without it has thickness of 21 mm. It weights 155 g. It is powered by ARM9-based Philips Nexperia PNX4008 application processor in 90-nm CMOS technology, running at 208 MHz. It inherited more-less same looks like its predecessors P900 and P910. Only the first difference between P910 and P990 is that the latest one has QWERTY keyboard on its body instead of having it on a flip. The flip can be easily removed (like on the previous models).
Traditionally on the left side of the phone there is a jog dial, only in this case it has only 3 positions, scroll up, scroll down and press (instead of 5). Play button is next to it which obviously serves to play music and radio but you can customize it to use with other functions as well according to your needs, up to some level.
Also on that side there are back button and also lock/unlock button which is the smartest (and the simplest) way to lock/unlock keypad on the smartphones I’ve seen so far.
On the right side there is Memory Stick Pro Duo slot for Sony’s memory cards, internet and camera button.
On the back side of the phone you van find camera, loudspeakers and external antenna connector.
When you power on the phone you have the option to choose between normal operation mode, with GSM antenna and WIFI on and the airplane mode which switches the radios off. Wait a few moments and: - Voila, new Symbian 9.1 UIQ 3.0 version shows up. Immediately you notice the cosmetic and functional changes in UIQ 3.0 version.
The most functional change thanks to UIQ 3.0 is that now you can run the applications now in flip open or closed mode. Menu appearance is now animated with transitions effects which are cool but it slows down to some extent browsing through the menus.
It is much easier now to operate device with one hand then its predecessor. You can virtually do almost everything in flip closed mode and with one hand.