Sony Ericsson W890i Mobile Phone - First Look

Sony Ericsson W890i Mobile Phone - First Look

When the W880i was first available, it was received with mixed responses. Its ultraslim profile, solid build quality, attractive design matched with a decent feature set may have been a hit, but the phone was ultimately "killed" by its tiny keys. When we saw the specifications of its successor, the W890i and, more importantly, the larger keys on the product stills, we knew we had to give the series another chance to redeem itself.


If you've used the W880i before, you'll find it's a pain to type with the grain-sized keys. So one of the biggest improvements on the new W890i is a keypad that's actually usable. During our brief hands-on with a prototype unit, we found the raised buttons more comfortably sized and providing decent tactility.

Sony Ericsson has recently started to include dedicated Call/End buttons on its new handsets. Likewise for this W890i. Simple, and sometimes taken for granted, tasks like jumping back to the standby screen by pressing End, or dialing a number with the green receiver icon, are now possible on this Walkman.

The W890i clocks in at 10mm and a featherweight 78g, which make it very attractive in terms of size and a worthy successor to the W880i. If you're worried the W890i may feel like a toy, don't. In fact, we found it to be a right combination of footprint and load.

Although this Walkman is thin, it doesn't skim on features. The quadband candy bar supports 3G/HSDPA in the 2100MHz spectrum and comes with a 3.2-megapixel camera. For your music listening needs, audio can be piped through Bluetooth stereo or via headphones connected to the proprietary jack.

Other features include a front-facing camera, a unified media-browsing interface, SensMe which allows you to create playlists based on the tempo and mood of the songs, and FM radio.


Although the W890i isn't of Cyber-shot pedigree, we can't help but feel disappointed that the 3.2-megapixel camera doesn't come with any LED flash or autofocus capability. By increasing the resolution, it may convince some consumers that the camera module is a better one, even if that may not be the case in practice.

Another point here is the omission of a 2.5/3.5mm audio jack, to allow users to plug in their personal earphones to the handset.

Lastly, the expansion card slot is located behind the battery cover and users will have to unlock two manual switches in order to remove the back plate and access the slot. The good thing is, a 2GB Memory Stick Micro M2 card will ship with the commercial set, according to the company's Web site.


Based on our brief hands-on with the W890i, the Walkman phone as a whole gives us a better feeling than the earlier W880i. The sleeker user interface, improved keypad and better connectivity features make the W890i more attractive. The phone is expected to be available in the first quarter of 2008.