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Sony Ericsson Walkman W890i mobile phone

Skinny perfection

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Equaliser settings can be tweaked to your tonal desires – you can set Sony’s Mega Bass option to rumble in the background if added bass is required. Of course, stereo Bluetooth headphones and speakers work with the W890i, too. There is a loudspeaker, but the harsh quality of the sound is horribly at odds with the rest of the thumbs-up audio performance.

An RDS-enabled FM radio has been added to the W890i’s spec, while Sony Ericsson’s name-that-tune TrackID software – which identifies songs by listening to what's being played around you – is included too.

While Sony Ericsson has added more megapixels with the W890i, limitations present on the W880i – including the lack of a flash and an autofocus facility – are carried over into the new model’s 3.2-megapixel camera. Having said that, we were pleasantly surprised, within those limitations, at the phone’s imaging performance. Colour presentation was excellent in decent lighting conditions, and it captured a good degree of detail.

Sony Ericsson W890i mobile phone

Sony Ericsson's connector is still in the wrong place

The automatic metering system handles exposure pretty well, allowing you take some presentable and printable snaps without tweaking the settings. Inevitably when lighting conditions are poor, the picture quality drops significantly, with more noise creeping in. And with no macro mode, getting in-focus close-in shots isn't possible.

There are only a limited number of settings you can adjust, including the camera's white balance, how it operates in multi-shot and panoramic modes, and to add colour effects. It's not on a par with Sony Ericsson’s 3.2-megapixel Cyber-shot cameraphones.

Video recording has been improved a little over the W880i's basic 176 x 144 performance, but the maximum 320 x 240(QVGA) resolution footage won’t make you dump your video camera any time soon. Picture quality is middling. As with other recent Sony Ericsson models, you can upload images or video clips straight to online Blogger accounts.

Sony Ericsson has refined the general web experience given by the phone. The Access NetFront full web browser is set up with Google search at the top of its options, with a web address bar and RSS web feeds options directly underneath – a simple, practical and user-friendly layout.

HSDPA makes web pages appear more quickly, and the browser makes it easy to move around web pages, with a cursor to help. You can get a full-page view you can scroll around, or a reformatted scroll-down "Smart-Fit" version tailored for the phone's narrow display.

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