Sony Ericsson Walkman W890i mobile phone
Review Sony Ericsson turned heads last year with its ultra-slim Walkman W880i. Now its successor, the W890i, aims to play to an even wider audience with improved handling and upgraded features.
The W880i was a breathtaking switch into ultra-slim mode for Sony Ericsson’s Walkman phone range. It was admired not only for its bold design, but also for the relatively few compromises it made on functionality, despite being a 3G handset.
Sony Ericsson's W890i: just like the W880i, only better
The W890i reprises much of the swagger of the W880i while adding a few welcome changes. The W890i once again offers 3G connectivity, but this time with HSDPA for higher-speed data downloading and web browsing, although Wi-Fi is still not an option. The camera has been upgraded to a 3.2-megapixel snapper, but it’s not one of Cyber-shot quality and it doesn’t have a flash or auto-focus built in.
Of course, music rather than pictures is the Walkman buyer magnet. Sony Ericsson has included the latest Walkman Player 3.0 software in this device, and includes a hefty 2GB Memory Stick Micro (M2) card as part of the in-box package.
Sony Ericsson has certainly softened the sharp lines of the W880i, with the W890i sporting rounder curves. Along with a reconfigured keypad – using large, rectangular number buttons rather than the W880i’s super-slender, tricky-to-use ones – this gives the W890i a less edgy appearance than its predecessor.
Tell us about the basics too
Putting aside the issues with the camera, it seems common now for reviews to focus on the "additional" features of the phones, ignoring the more basic things, related to basic communications.
Having just bought one of these phones I'm dissapointed to find that the vibrator is so weak that I miss calls unless the phone is in direct contact with me - if it's sitting loosely with my season ticket in my shirt pocket I don't feel it buzzing so miss calls. I've also noticed that there isn't enough contrast between the keys and their backlights (silver version) so that, in many lighting conditions, I find myself having to tilt the device to see the legends, making texting more time consuming than it needs to be.
Both of these are simple things, which should have been picked up in testing, both by the manufacturer and reviewers but which obviously weren't. They also don't get picked up by the buyer until it's too late and they've actually bought the thing ! Having said that, this review did mention call quality and signal handling (and is correct; call quality is high and signal drop outs seem few and far between) - again things you need to know if you want to comunicate, not just listen to music or take pictures !
Also note that if you buy an O2 branded W890 Google Maps isn't installed as per the review - you have to fetch it yourself, but it won't install alongside the otehr locational related apps.
re: crappy camera
Well done to those who actually bothered to read to the bottom of my comment before jumping in. As I said, the cameras as fitted to the W800 and other S-E phones of that era were actually good enough as a "proper" camera for day to day use, which is indeed unusual for a phone, so I understand the prejudice even if it's unfounded. If I know I'm going to be taking photos, I'll take the Canon, but just because I don't, doesn't mean I want to compromise too much if the need unexpectedly arises, and the W800 does surprisingly well under the circumstances - apart from the lack of a real flash, but I'm talking landscapes etc not pubs. Furthermore, those who have read my other techno-fascist comments on matters photographic, will know that the rise in megapixels to 3.2 with this one is not necessarily the good news suggested by some above.
Still waiting for CDMA
I don't have a choice but cdma here.... only Alltel and uscellular work. Sure wish S-E would make one. I like the battery life and walkman sound... oh and I wish it were a flip phone....I don't like the idea of putting my mouth near the mic that's been sitting that close to my bum all day....especially after a big pot 'o beans...