Sony Ericsson W890 Preview

Sony Ericsson W890 Preview

It was not long ago that Sony Ericsson announced a new Walkman phone model; now we have the opportunity to present it. It is the W890, a “successor” to W880 – now featuring a more stylish design and improved functionality. A testimony to the latter is the better camera (both as hardware and software), the new generation software – same as that of W910 and K850, as well as the availability of an FM radio, which was not present in W880. And so long as the new Walkman phone is now a Quad Band one, it can be used worldwide.

As the phone we are using is a prototype, we will do a preview instead of in-depth review. Expect one in future ...


It is the renewed style of the phone that will impress us from the very first sight. Its main characteristics are the rounded edges and a new material for most of the front and the back panels, which is aluminum instead of the ancestor’s plastic. As a whole, the changes in the unit’s design contribute to its much more stylish and simplified appearance in contrast to the aggressive and “youthful” looks of W880 – a feature that will render the W890 attractive to a wider circle of customers.

Sony Ericsson have managed to fit in a 2.0 inch TFT display with the same characteristics as that of the previous model - 240 x 320 pixels and 262k colors. The keypad is underneath, and its appearance has been altered so as to match the new concept. And yet, the new device will still remind us that it is a successor to W880 by retaining the good old design of its 5-way D-pad.

When we cast a glance to the left side of W890 we will see that the Walkman button remains unchanged and there is the huge and unsightly charger/connector opening, shattering the otherwise simplified new design. We reckon it should be covered by a small unobtrusive lid. There are also changes on the right side: the small volume slider of W880 has now been replaced by a much bigger and more stylish volume rocker, perfectly matching the elegant appearance of the unit.

We noticed an interesting solution for the back lid’s locking system: it now consists of two small lockers on both sides of the phone. What is inconvenient here is that you need to unlock and lock these separately every time you want to have access to either the battery or the memory card slot (which has now been mounted under the back cover). This might prove to be slightly annoying for those who want to use more than one memory card.

When we turn the phone and look at its back, we will find out that the aluminum lid reaches as far as the upper part of the unit, covering the both the camera and the speaker.


The W890 runs on the new generation software that is also used in the W910 and the K850. As this is a preview, we will not discuss all of its features.

This is Walkman phone, and the multimedia, especially the Music, is its main target. The W890 is supplied with Walkman 3.0, which is the upgrade to the 2.0 version. We can’t say the interface during playback has changed much – it still shows visualization and the set option on the top, and the track information below, with indicator for the D-pad functionality. You can also use the player in landscape mode, and one of the cool new features is that you can turn auto-rotation option on, which will rotate the interface when you rotate the phone.
Other new and cool thing is the Media menu, which you can access from the main menu or by choosing back, while during music playback in the Walkman player. This media menu houses Photo, Music, Video and Settings and has flash interface, which is different than the other submenus but changes (its background) with the change of themes.

The new Sony Ericsson W890 is now equipped with a built-in FM radio, with an RDS support at that, which is quite normal for a music phone. The lack of the above feature was surely one of the drawbacks of the W880.

Expect our full review when final, commercial samples are released.

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