It's finally here. Announced back in November last year, the Sony Ericsson W890i has taken its time, but Mobile Choice is one of the first to get our hands on the new Walkman phone.
With its petite frame and supreme music capabilities, we were big fans of the uber-slim Sony Ericsson W880i and thankfully the manufacturer with the W890i has simply enhanced what was already a cracking handset.
Now with HSDPA, a 3.2-megapixel camera and a bundled 2GB memory card, the W890i packs more of a punch than its predecessor, while keeping its svelte appearance. Available in espresso black, mocha brown or sparkling silver, the metallic casing gives the handset a sturdy feel, despite only weighing in at 78g.
Housing a large two-inch screen, the W890i is great for viewing content such as web pages or photos. As the numeric keys are relatively short, some may find them to be a tad on the fiddly side. However, each key is quite wide meaning there should be enough key space to differentiate between each of them. Above the numeric keys are three clusters of additional buttons. On the left hand side of the front fascia is the call key, a selection key and the shortcut key. On the opposite side of the handset are the call end key (which doubles up as the back button), another selection key and the clear button. Sandwiched between these two clusters is the navigation key that doubles up as the Walkman controls.
Positioned on the left-hand side of the handset is the Walkman key. Press this to gain quick access to the excellent built-in music player. On the right-hand side of the handset is a similar quick access camera key - that needs to be held down for a sustained period - while situated above that are the volume keys so when in camera mode they allow you to zoom in and out of your shot.
Although there's no 3.5mm jack port, Sony Ericsson has been kind enough to bundle in a 3.5mm adaptor, while the W890i also supports A2DP (stereo Bluetooth), though be warned, to use the phone's FM radio you will have to use the provided headphones as these double up as the radio's antenna. Unfortunately as seems to be the trend with Sony Ericsson handsets, the manufacturer has opted to place the connector for the headphones (as well as the charger and USB cable) on the side of the headset, rather than more conveniently placed on the top - a real nuisance when you have the phone in your pocket. Despite this grievance, the sound quality is of a high standard and as has become expected from the Walkman series, the music features are all tidily laid out, from showcasing your music according to artist, album or even year, to the SensMe feature which allows you to allocate your music according to your mood.
Mobile Choice will be bringing you the full review of the Sony Ericsson W890i very soon.