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Sony Ericsson Walkman W890i mobile phone

Skinny perfection

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Not that the W890i is a conventional looker. It has an elegant brushed metal casing all round, with its slim 10mm depth belying a remarkably solid handset. Its overall 104 x 47 x 10mm, 78g body weighs nicely in the hand. Available in silver, brown or black finishes, the W890i is more subtly stylish than fashionably flashy, lacking the garish orange Walkman detailing seen on previous models. More mature, if you like.

Some people complained that the tiny, narrow numberpad keys on the W880i made for tricky pressing, particularly when texting. The W890i's keys are well spaced and finger-friendly and could hardly be more responsive and comfortable. Spot on.

Sony Ericsson W890i mobile phone

The 3.2-megapixel snapper lacks a flash and autofocus

The look of the circular control-key array under the display has been maintained, though buttons have been subtly rationalised to make operation simpler and more straightforward for newcomers. The regular call and end keys appear on either side of the control keys, arranged into circles with a further pair of soft-menu keys, a clear button and an Activity menu key. The music player controls are etched on to central the nav-pad.

Above the control pads, the display is a 2in, 240 x 320 screen capable of showing 262,000-colours. While it’s not the largest display around, it is sufficiently bright and clear for viewing content. As a fully-fledged 3G phone, the W890i also packs a secondary video-call camera above the display.

On one side of the phone, Sony Ericsson has deployed a camera button and volume/zoom keys, while on the other there’s a Walkman key and a regulation Sony Ericsson connector socket. This is where the chunky headphone connector fits, albeit with an adaptor mid-way along the lead for 'phones with a standard 3.5mm jack. The position of the connector makes it awkward to stick the W890i in your pocket when you're playing music, and it’s a shame Sony Ericsson didn't take the chance to shift the connector to either end of the phone. The slot for swappable M2 cards is now on the side, under the back panel rather than under a rubber bung.

The user interface on the W890i has been upgraded in line with recent Sony Ericsson Walkman models. A tap of central menu key takes you to a 12-icon main menu grid under which the W890i’s rich variety of features are categorised.

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