Sony Ericsson P990i in-depth review -

Look and Feel

Measuring 114x57x25mm and weighing


The Sony Ericsson P990i is packed full of business features including push-email, over-the-air synchronisation, high-speed internet browsing via 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity. A two-megapixel camera and MP3 music player are also on board.

Ease of Use

The Symbian OS and touch-screen stylus operation make the Sony Ericsson P990i easy to navigate. The QWERTY keypad is somewhat small and makes fast typing a little frustrating. Managing music and photo files is easy thanks A2DP and Photoshop respectively.


The Sony Ericsson P990i is a powerful animal. 3G capability means that browsing and downloading a faster than ever, and push-email makes the whole business of mobile email a breeze.

Battery Life

A big business device needs big battery life, and the Sony Ericsson P990i certainly has that with a whopping 780 minutes of talktime. Well done, Sony Ericsson.

 Sony Ericsson P990i Review -

Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:48:42 PM


out of 10



out of 5

Look and feel


out of 5

Ease of use


out of 5



out of 5

Battery life


The improvements made to the P990i make it one of the most powerful smartphones around.


The design has not really changed that much for a few years, and it's still a bulky little number.

When first Sony Ericsson P-series phone, the P800, was launched it was more advanced than the majority of mobiles, and each successive model added yet more features.
But while the Sony Ericsson P990i is the most powerful model yet, there are signs that time is starting to catch up with the multi-talented business device. Contenders to its smartphone crown are appearing all the time, without the bulk and with similar feature sets.

QWERTY keypad

Like its predecessors, the Sony Ericsson P990i offers a flip-down numeric keypad. However, while the P910i carried the QWERTY keypad on the reverse side of the numeric keypad, on the P990i it's part of the phone itself. This is better for text entry because it offers a more solid base, but it does mean the touch-screen is smaller. That said, touch-screen benefits such as handwriting recognition and easy stylus navigation are largely unaffected.

3G and Wi-Fi

There can be no argument about the Sony Ericsson P990i's other improvements. This Symbian 9.1 OS handset is 3G-enabled, so browsing and downloading are far speedier and smoother. It's also one of a few handsets on the market to offer Wi-Fi, so you'll be able to pick up internet access whenever you're within range of a wireless LAN hotspot. For browsing the web, the P990i offers an Opera 8 full internet browser as well as WAP 2.0 and xHTML. Another application we really like is the RSS reader, which means you can get news links sent straight to your phone.  


The Sony Ericsson P990i features stereo Bluetooth (A2DP), which is a bonus if you're planning to listen to the tracks you've stored on your phone with a wireless Bluetooth headset. As with previous P-series phones, the P990i gives you expandable memory via MemoryStick Duo support and there's a 64MB card included in the package. This is fine for basics but we'd heartily recommend investing in a larger card if you plan to take advantage of the full range of applications on the P990i, and the downloading and streaming advantages that 3G offers.

MP3 player

Admittedly, it's probably not the first phone you'd consider for listening to music, but the P990i features a decent digital music player and comes with music transfer software, so it's easy to burn your CDs and transfer music from your PC to your phone. There's also an RDS FM radio on board.
One aspect of the P-series range which has long been criticised has been the quality of the camera. Thankfully, the P990i has remedied this with a two-megapixel camera with auto-focus together with a handy rotating lens cover. Images are good quality kit includes Adobe Photoshop 2.0 Starter Edition imaging software, which helps you organise and manage images and easily drag and drop them to your PC and back. A second camera sits just above the display for video calls.

Business phone

The real benefits of the Sony Ericsson P990i are its business strengths.
For messaging, you get push-email and can open, edit and re-send attachments. However, tapping in emails is a bit frustrating because the QWERTY keys are too small for comfort. Calendars, contacts and work schedules can be synchronised over the air, you can store digital versions of business cards in your contacts list.
If size is important to you but you still want a powerful business option, you should look at the BlackBerry Pearl or the Nokia E60. However, if you don't mind a bit of bulk to benefit from a powerful bit of kit, the P990i should be right up your street.