Sony Ericsson P990 Smartphone Review


Messaging menu is as standard as you can expect: you have inbox for messages and synchronized email. Composing a simple TXT message (SMS) allows you to add multiple receivers, insert simple images or sounds, use BOLD for the text, three size options and insert emoticons (text codes - [ :)] for example), visualizing as animated faces. Composing a multimedia message (MMS) you can add real images and sounds, and even video clips; the templates in the phone may help you for faster composing.

Using the email client is a piece of cake: you set it up for a couple of minutes and can choose how to download your messages: you have option for headers only or to download only messages smaller than a set size (100kb for example).When you've written a message, you can choose if you are willing to send it immediately or save it to the outbox, where it will stay until you use “get and send” in convenient moment (when you have Wi-Fi nearby for example).


One of the main drawbacks of the P990 in our opinion is its radio: it is tri-band GSM (900/1800/1900) with single-band UMTS (2100) which makes it unusable in the States. As a high-end business oriented phone, a quad-band GSM and world tri-band UMTS that turn it into global-roaming capable smartphone will be much more suitable, as it is with the HTC TyTN that is also expected to launch soon with Cingular as the 8525.
For local connectivity the phone supports every single thing you can imagine: USB, IrDA, Bluetooth, and Wireless LAN. Connecting it with the USB cable (and the cradle) to a computer allows you for fast synchronization and backing up of the device. Similarly to other SonyEricsson software, you can compose Multimedia messages on the computer and install applications, as well as language packs, from it; they can be either JAVA or Symbian applications. The file manager opens in the standard windows explorer but it doesn't use all of its functionality and is definitely not the most comfortable way to access a device – we'd prefer if the phone recognized as mass storage device.

Copying a file from the computer through the USB cable from the box, connected to USB2.0 port and the cradle, we transferred 15.4 MB to the phone's memory for 15 minutes, which is a speed of ONLY 18kbps! or about eighty (80x) times slower than the N73! Ridiculous slow speed! We'd suggest you getting a card reader at the moment of buying the phone.

The supported version of Bluetooth is the latest 2.0 with multiple profiles including A2DP for stereo audio distribution – this can once again turn the P990 into a small multimedia center. The Wi-Fi supports 802.11b only and not the faster g standard, but is still a feature that is a must in high-end Smartphone. Using it you can obtain internet connection in short distances, but unfortunately drains the batter much faster than if it is off. We suggest you to turn it on only when you really use it … 


The phone's internet browser allows for surfing pages that are not specially designed for mobile phones without a problem – it renders them as you've used to see them on an ordinary computer browser with all the bells and whistles. Using Wi-Fi, we easily opened PhoneArena's home page in a few seconds and were able to read and see the latest news about mobile phones. One of the remarks we have about the browser is that you cannot use the scrolls while you enter a text in a field (search engine for example) as moving the stylus on the screen can also be used as text-input method. To scroll after you've entered the text, you have to press in other part of the site and then move left or right with the scroll.

An additional “RSS feeds” options allows you to get the information you need in just a few seconds, without the need of super fast (Wi-Fi or UMTS) connection and generating lots of traffic.

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