Sony Ericsson P1 Review
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.