Interface:

The Sony Ericsson P1i is a standard Symbian 9.1 UIQ 3.0 phone so the review of the software will be similar to that of other phones using this combination of OS and UI versions. This means most positive and negative sides will be common for all those phones and not for the P1 only.

As a whole, the interface navigation is very similar to the one of the P990, but still there are some changes (some due to personalization). By default, the home screen houses a line at the top with service information (shortcut, reception level, WiFi, Bluetooth, internet connection, battery level, task manager and other system notifications), active homescreen with information about new events, time and date and line with 5 shortcuts. Unlike the P990, you can expand the shortcuts to be 3 rows with each housing 5 icons, or total of 15 shortcuts. At the bottom there are three additional shortcuts.

The main menu houses a big banner on the top and grid of 3x3 icons, or vertical list. Sub-menus are visualized as vertical lists which are big enough to be touched with a finger, instead of stylus. We actually rarely took the stylus out of its slot and used either the jog-dial or a finger.

The menu can be personalized with Themes that change the appearance or with custom wallpapers. The themes change the backgrounds and some colors, but not the icons.

Phonebook:

Managing your contacts with the P1 is very easy. They are displayed as a list, showing the name and the main number, but not displaying the caller id icon. Searching for a contact is done by direct typing of words, but unfortunately the phone searches in the first word only, and if you've entered First and Last name the contact would be displayed as Last, First and searching by the first name won't be successful. This is ridiculous for smartphone, and we think that even if a name (first or last) consists of more than one word, searching should be achieved by any of them. Most people using that type of phones have lots of contacts, and the system should offer excellent search mode. In this situation, a Windows Mobile Pocket PC handles searches much better and so does a Symbian S60 phone.




When adding a contact you can't make a mistake – everything's easy and clear, and the fields are divided into a few tabs, as it is with standard Sony Ericsson phones. You can easily add additional numbers and emails fields if you need some, and you won't experience any limitations (one type of field can be added as much times as you want). This is the same as with S60 devices and is better than the fixed fields of WM smartphones.

If you want you can also add personal ringtone or callerID image, and with the latter the phone allows you to capture the image at the moment with small window using the camera.

Organizer:

The Calendar is one of the icons in the main menu. Its interface is not very optimized and shows the whole month on about the half of the screen and the other space is left for showing the actual entries, added to the selected day. Days with entries are marked with small yellow sign in their down-right corner. Using the Week or Day view, the whole screen will be used. Previewing a separate day, you will see the time when an appointment is set, marked with different color, similar to WM6 OS, helping you to easily manage your spare time.


Adding an entry is very easy and the available types are: Appointment, Reminder, All day event or Anniversary. Adding an appointment, you can enter its description, start/end date/time, Location, Alarm, Repeat options (Daily/Weekly/Monthly by date/Monthly by day/ Yearly by date/Yearly by day), Folder. The other tab houses information for Chair and Attendees and you can also add text note in the third tab.

In the Tools menu are the other functions of the organizer. The File manager allows for browsing the files stored on the phone memory or the memory card and to copy or move them. The Calculator is nothing interesting and even lacks scientific option. Here also can find converter (distances, volumes, weights, temperatures, speeds, areas, and currencies), stopwatch (saving nine laps), countdown timer, and world clock with three alarms that can be programmed with separate times, alerts (including an option for FM Radio as an alert).


Notes and Tasks, as well as QuickOffice, PDF Reader and Business Card Scanner can be found in the Office Menu. The notes are just text notes with no options, while in the tasks you can set their priority and add an alarm to them. Using the Quick Office you can open documents formatted for Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. Opening a large Excel document with a few sheets is not a problem for the P1. The visualization is not the best as the zoom levels are Small/Medium/Large instead of the standard percents-of-real-size but still you can read it in most cases. The option to find word/phrase works well and pretty fast. A presentation in PowerPoint is also not a problem for the application.


A nice addition is that you can create or edit Word and Excel documents on the phone. The interface is not as comfortable as the one on a computer, but it still works if you have to do this and rely on your phone only. You can use Format toolbar for color options (font and background), bold/italic/underlined and even aligning.

For opening of Adobe Acrobat files, the phone comes with PDF+ preinstalled, which allows viewing in landscape and searching of text, but doesn't have the best visualization and reading a more complex file is not the easiest job. Although it can open larger documents, we would suggest you not relying on it, if the document is not formatted for phone usage. The fonts don’t come up as on a computer or on other smartphones we’ve tested, and a sample manual we’ve put is hard to read.

The thing that we found most interesting was the scanner for Business Cards, which actually worked! To use it, you capture a photo of a random business card and then process it for a quarter of the minute (about 15 seconds) to take the information out of it – then it saves it in a new contact, automatically adding its name, number, email, address, summing all the information up as a not, and putting the photo of the business card as caller id image. In is not sure that the program will work in 100% of the cases, but we found it very useful and well done!

The Sound Recorder takes voice notes without limitation in time. As long as you have free memory on either the phone or the card, you can record long voice notes. We like to find here the TrackID function, which uses “GraceNote” service to sample the music you record from the microphone and to give you information on the artist and name. As it was with other SE phones with TrackID, it works just flawlessly.

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9 Comments

1. Codelicious unregistered

I've been following with this phone for quite some time now. They used to name it P700 in China. I'm in the high-tech category, so wifi is a must for a smartphone :"]

2. praveen unregistered

like the p1 but wen will w960i be released in india and wat will be its price..want to wait for it for sure

3. GMoney unregistered

You said yourself that it's a tri-band phone, including the 1900 band. In the US, 1900 is the primary band used!!! Check out this page:http://intouchsmartcards.com/unlockedgsm.htm

4. ralph unregistered

i know this fone will be compatible for US....but will it be compatible for the 3G umts 850/1900 of AT&T here in US???

5. Sebhelyesfarku unregistered

Still no profiles, call recording blocked, no HSDPA/EDGE/quadband GSM. only 15fps video recording. This is another overpriced SonyEricsson.

6. eman unregistered

i don't like it..the menu is still complicated..no profiles..no edge in it not easy to use..sorry i wasted my money i guess :(

7. Pat unregistered

I do not share the positive points of this test and especially on the photographs which are catastrophic, open to the eyes my friends.

8. 007 unregistered

i'm disappointed that this phone is not a quad band. i'm surprised that Sony Ericsson is offering this phone when it doesn't eve support 850 mhz. Right now i have a triband phone without the 850 mhz and in certain spots i don't have reception here in california. i really like the phone but just missing the 850 mhz. sad!

9. Owner unregistered

Don't know how you managed the long hours but my P1i with phone ONLY with Wifi and other features turned OFF will only get my ~2-3 days before recharging! Phone is too bloated esp. for a PDA! SE tried cramming too much applications into the phone so it's really clumsy and a power hog and still very price! It's a good phone for talking as reception is quite good in my area with good call quality and the camera is also very good. Too bad nothing else was that good!
P1
  • Display 240 x 320 pixels
  • Camera 3.2 MP
  • Storage 0.16 GB
  • Battery 1120 mAh(10.00h talk time)

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