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Review Sony Ericsson P900
Software or standard kit
When using the P900 you constantly compare it with the P800, and as a result you notice many new small improvements. I don’t know whether this is an influence of the new Symbian UIQ 2.1 or something else, but it’s much more pleasant to work with it.
Unfortunately, the P900 has “only” a 16 MB built-in memory, which these in days seem somewhat insufficient. On the other hand, the MS Duo slot partially solves the memory problem.
Let’s view the main applications and after that look at the main changes.
Let’s begin with Messaging. As in the earlier model you can create, receive and send SMS, MMS messages and e-mails. Several new templates have been introduced for MMS-messages. I don’t remember if it was possible to add a note scribbled in a notebook but in the P900 it is. It is also possible to add photos, video and sounds. So far, the realization of messages and e-mails is excellent.
You can use three different ways to input text. In the closed mode it’s the same as in a usual phone, and the P900 supports predictive text input T9 which the P800 didn’t. When you open the flip cover you can input data using CICs JotPro. It looks like graffiti but you write numbers in the upper part of the screen and letters in the lower one. The phone recognizes the symbols and inputs in the input zone. If you don’t like mistakes or this way feels too complicated for you, try to use the virtual keypad. It’s rather comfortable and allows to switch between different keypad layouts. It is possible to use a zoom function almost in each menu, and allows you to increase or decrease font size. Three font sizes are supported, which makes it able for you to adjust how the information will be displayed, according to you needs.
Contacts. Basically the same as in the P800, you can add 8 phone numbers, e-mail address, URL and a full home or office post address to each entry. You can also add your own notes about each contact in a specific text window. Like in the P800, it's also possible to associate an image or/and a ringtone with each contact which will be displayed when you receive a call from that contact, along with the possibility to add voice tags for voice dialing. There are different ways to search and to sort the contacts in the phonebook. The settings are flexible i.e. there is an option to display a list of names with main phone numbers, which you can expect today from a good PDA.
Phone mode. This menu is essential for the on-screen keys to appear. Here you have nine shortcuts for speed dialling, you can get access to the menu settings and the ringtone/vibration alert (don't believe those who claim that this feature is absent in this handset – it’s there!) The virtual keys have become bigger and now it’s actually convenient to dial a phone number with your hands, not having to use the stylus when dialling anymore.
A call list is available where the following info is displayed: phone number, if you made the call or received it, its duration and the date. It's possible to sort the calls (outgoing, incoming, missed, all). Everything is quite simple to manage.
Calendar or organizer. I don't want to describe all the possibilities in this application, since (in my opinion) this organizer is similar to those in PDAs. There are weekly, monthly and daily views of the calendar, and you can set recurring events and reminders etc. Even the most demanding customer will probably be satisfied with this organizer.
To-do list. In addition to the organizer, there is a task list: setting priorities, sorting and other features of that kind. In other words, it's a handy tool for getting an overview of the work ahead.
Video. It is possible to view usual video formats, including mp4.
Music Player. The main advantage of the player is that it allows creating playback lists, a loop feature and moving a file from one list to another – a typical mp3-player. Supported formats are: MP3, AMR (dictaphone records), AU, WAV, MIDI. The files can be sorted alphabetically, after filetype or several other features. You can create your own folders and arrange your files.
Voice memo. Not much to say about this feature really. As with all Sony Ericsson devices with this feature it has no time limits, only limits of dynamic memory space.
Calculator. Looks like an ordinary calculator. Unfortunately, it has no scientific mode.
Time. Here you can set and reset time, date and alarms. They can be set to sound once or repeatedly. All sound files are at your disposal to use as an alarm signal.
Viewer. This is an utility to view memory contents and contents of additional memory cards.
Remote Sync. Remote synchronization is a feature that enables you to sync your P900 with a corporate database, maybe preferably if you’re going to use this at work.
Control panel. From which you control the main functions of the P900 as: formatting of memory cards, selecting of screen wallpapers, display settings, changing of system sounds, mail/internet/bluetooth settings etc.
The ability to choose different menu themes is the other strong feature of the P900.
Published 1 October 2003
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