Sony Ericsson P910 review
15 July 2004
Sony Ericsson P910 is a successor of the P900 model. It is a triband phone supporting 850/1800/1900 MHz or 900/1800/1900 MHz bands depending on version (P910i for Europe, P910c for China and P910a for America).
The P910 looks almost exactly the same as the P900. The most noticeable change is the new flip. Keys are now much larger and they are made of transparent plastic with purple backlight.
The inside part of the flip now contains a QWERTY keypad. It can be used to enter text in all applications, with other options (virtual keyboard, handwriting in Flip open mode and Multitap/T9 in Flip closed mode) still available as alternate input methods. This makes the P910 the only smartphone with all three input methods available by default. The keys are quite small but their convex shape makes typing relatively easy and convenient. Of course, the keypad cannot be compared with full keyboards like 9500's but it can be considered a very useful addition to quickly enter short texts (e.g. SMS messages or emails) on the move and it makes it possible to input data without stylus also in Flip open (or removed) mode.
The flip seems to be much more solid and durable. It is slightly thicker and its spring mechanism is much better. It requires some force to both open it and also to close it, which is a very good thing as it keeps the flip in place when typing on its internal keypad.
The most significant internal changes are enhanced RAM and storage memories. The internal storage drive (disk C:) is now 64 megabytes (i.e. 4 times more than in P900). Operating memory (RAM) has been expanded to 32 megabytes, with over 21 MB free (which is over 3 times more than in P900). This finally makes the P series capable of running much more advanced applications, improves multitasking (by letting you run more programs simultaneously) and also boosts the performance. You are unlikely to see any "Out of memory" messages when working with Opera browser and you no longer have to care about limited storage for Messaging.
All silver parts of the casing are now more shiny and the material they're made of seems to be more durable.
The screen has been upgraded to 262k colors (18 bits). Colors are more vivid and the brightness and contrast are better.
The P910 finally supports Memory Stick Duo PRO cards, which means capacities up to 1 gigabyte.
The most visible change is new icons. They are much larger and more colorful.
P910 comes bundled with several valuable applications (some are trials, some are full versions): World Mate Pro, Opera Browser, MetrO, Wayfinder, HP Runestone (printing via Bluetooth), Media Viewer (direct access to news such as Financial Times), Promyzer (market quotes and stock handling), AvantGo (offline browsing) and QuickPoint. The unit I tested also had QuickWord and QuickSheet applications providing support for reading, editing and creating MS Office compatible documents and spreadsheets and PDF+ - an Adobe PDF reader. Storage Wizard helps to you free storage memory by uninstalling unused applications and removing files and documents.
The P910 offers several improvements of the operating system and system applications.
The "Divert all voice calls" option in the Flip closed mode has been replaced with a much more flexible "Accept calls" option. It provides quick access to a list of the following options: All callers, Listed callers only, Contacts, Speed dials, No one.
Messaging application is no longer restricted to four default folders (Inbox, Outbox, Draft, Sent) - now you can create own folders for MMS, SMS and email.
The email client now has a full screen mode and it fully supports HTML email. Other enhancements include: possibility to create IMAP server folders, marking messages as read/marking all as read and deleting email messages locally.
Sony Ericsson P910 finally makes it possible to adjust screen brightness. There are four separate settings: Handheld (normal), Handheld (dimmed), Car (normal) and Car (dimmed).
P910 provides T9 dictionaries and virtual keyboard layouts for a wider choice of languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Finnish, Portuguese, Turkish, Russian, Hungarian, Dutch, Czech, Polish and Greek. You can also choose between several layouts of the hardware keypad like QWERTY, QWERTZ, AZERTY etc.
Another new option is "Incoming call behaviour". Selecting it lets you stay in current application when incoming call is answered. "GPRS alert" option enables an alert when starting phone calls during active GPRS sessions.
The P910, according to its name and new features, seems to be a P900 update mainly aimed at new customers. While its thumb keyboard, extended storage memory and large RAM memory, improved 18-bit screen and support for large Memory Stick Pro Duo cards makes it a very powerful smartphone, it may be considered a bit too little for current P900 owners to upgrade. Let's hope another device with support for EDGE (if not 3G), Wi-Fi and megapixel camera is planned along with UIQ 3.0 and Symbian OS 8 commercial availability.