Sony Ericsson W890 Review

Introduction and Design
This is an unlocked GSM phone which can operate in
the US on AT&T (without 3G) and T-Mobile (without 3G).


The stylish Sony Ericsson W890 is the successor of the first truly slim model of the manufacturer (W880) and it was announced in the end of 2007, 9 months after the first edition. In contrast to its predecessor, the new phone has few changes in the design, as well as in the functionality. Its appearance is no longer aggressive, but youthful and is characterized by a clear, stylish image. The interface has also been modified and it now uses software of a newer generation, identical to the one seen in W910 and K850. The new Walkman has an FM radio, the lack of which was one of the biggest drawbacks of the music W880. The phone is also quad-band, which makes it capable of global roaming and can compete with Nokia 5310 XpressMusic.

In the box you will find:

  • Sony Ericsson W890
  • Standard charger CST-75
  • Wired stereo handsfree HPM-70
  • 2GB Micro M2 memory card
  • USB cable
  • User guide
  • Manual
  • PC Suite CD

The good thing is that Sony Ericsson has decided to include a 2 GB M2 memory card in the set, which makes up for the insufficient integrated memory. Otherwise, it would have been very disappointing to purchase a new music phone and to be able to upload a few songs only.

The manufacturer has taken the time to design the stereo headphones in the same color as the phone, thus making them fit the overall look of the phone. Even though on the official site, there are only a black and a grey version of them offered, we got a mocha brown review unit.

The silver version of the phone, which is also available, looks more common and is less attractive.


In contrast to the previous model, the appearance of W890 has suffered many changes. We can hardly say that this is the successor of the W880. The most notable innovations are the rounded edges and the aluminum, which most of the phone is made of. The back panel of the device is fully manufactured from the material, unlike in the previous model, where it was made of rubber coated plastic. These changes result in the entirely different vision of W890, now having a more stylish and clear design, as opposed to an aggressive and youthful one. That is what makes the new entry in the Walkman series attractive for a larger audience.

With dimensions of 4.1 x 1.9 x 0.4 inch (104 x 46.5 x 10 mm) and weighing at 2.8 oz (78 g), W890 is slightly heavier and thicker from the previous model and its rival Nokia 5310 XpressMusic. Being so thin and light, the new member of the W-series is pocket friendly and sometimes you can even think that you have lost it. Listening to your favorite music while running, with the phone hanging on your neck, is also an option.

The 2.0" display on the front panel catches the eye. It has expanded a bit, in contrast to the W880's (1.8”), but it has the same specifications – TFT type with resolution of 240 x 320 pixels and 262K colors. Exposed to a direct sunlight, the screen turns into a perfect mirror and you can easily check yourself out and fix your hair if you have to. In a darker environment, the colors are well saturated, bright, and real without irritating the eyes.

The video calling VGA camera is located over the display next to the front speaker, the light sensor of the screen and the Walkman logo. Standard for a candybar, in the lower part we have the navigational buttons and a numeric keypad. The 5-way D-pad has the same unique shape, and the buttons surrounding it are more compact, in the form of a half-eaten moon. They are positioned too close to the D-pad and sometimes pressing them can be quite difficult.

The numeric keys also have a totally different design. They are not small, uncomfortable, and hard any longer, but are large and thick. Their new image fits the modern design very well, and they also have a good tactile feedback, making them very easy to use.

Looking at the left side of the W890, we can see that the Walkman button and the charger/connector are at the same place, as seen in the previous model, but the memory stick-slot is now located under the back lid. There are notable changes on the right as well – the volume rocker has replaced the small uncomfortable slider, but the camera shortcut key is unchanged. The most interesting innovation is that on both sides there are two lockers for the back lid. This new system holds it tightly, without any play and it will prevent it from self-opening in the future. The sad part is that you have to unlock them one by one when opening or closing the lid, in order to get to the battery or the memory slot. It would have been a lot more convenient if at least when closing it, the locks were automatically engaged.

The aluminum lid takes almost the entire back of the W890 with only the 3.2 MP camera, its light sensor, the speaker and the manufacturer's logo in the upper part. Under it, we find the battery, which we have to remove in order to put the SIM in place. In the bottom part of the device, we see a strap hole, where you can attach a piece of mobile phone jewelry or a neck chain.

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