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back to article Sony Ericsson P990i smart phone

Announced almost a year ago, Sony Ericsson's flagship smart phone, the P990i, is finally making its way into the shops. Over four generations - the first, a larger device codenamed 'Pamela' never made it to market - the P series has become the single most popular smart phone design in the world, largely because Sony Ericsson …

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Update your Firmware

I have been using my P990 since August 15 and have been using it everyday (most days execpt when I use a TyTN) as my main Smartphone. I do not find the User Interface that confusing, I've not had any problems with wifi or 3G. Email and web browsing works well. It plays videos better than the current crop of Smartphones. The P990 has only 15.5MB of RAM from boot and this is the source of many issues encountered by owners/users. The problems that are mentioned with flip closed mode have a workaround - so why not use it?

In summary I agree the P990 has great potential, and I find the ergnomics of the hardware to be superb, but the software is not mature and needs a few more firmware updates. An update is due in the next few days - the Reviewer should review this device again once the firmware has been updated.

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Gave Up Waiting

I waited for about 6 months for the P990 to be released, but eventually gave up and got an Orange SPV M3100 instead. After my experience of using the M3100 and the reviews I have read of the P990 I think I have made the right decision. I owned a P900 and P910 and found them both reliable and usable (well, until dropped into a swimming pool), but the 990 seems to dropped many of the features I liked, especially the five-way jog dial. With the distinguishing features gone why choose a 990 over any of the other devices on the market?

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Too Late For This User

I got a P910i when it came out, and it was without doubt the best phone I have ever had.

You reviewed this successor almost a year ago, and I would periodically check sony's website to see if it had come out but it was always 'coming soon'

About 3 months ago my P910i finally died, seeing that the new model was still unavailable I attempted to get a replacement only to be told it had been discontinued, which idiot decided to do this before releasing the new model needs sacking.

A friend had received a razr v3x as a free upgrade which he kindly gave me, but just 1 day later I came to realise how much I had come to depend on my p910i and so off to ebay I went where I sourced a new one.

Then came your review of the HTC TyTn (?) and I knew that was the next phone for me, I pre-ordered with vodafone and true to their word they rang me last week when they released it, and it's a fantastic phone.

So sorry Sony Ericsson, too late for me, and reading this review thank god I was.

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Anonymous Coward

Firmware now updated

The 'bugs' reported in the review concerning the flip closed functions have been fixed in the firmware update released today by SE.

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The P990

I have to say on reading this reviewers comments on the impending release of the P990, as I for one am still waiting for my P990.

There are in my opinion to camps those who love viq, symbian sony ect and those who want a business devise.

I fall in to both camps and without much of the tech know how, however Sony Ericsson do one thing right as being a previous P800 and P900 owner.

They respond very quickly to the issues that are raised by the owners so much so that there have already been 2 firmware updates improving the phone no end.

My opinion is that the P990 is the best alround smartphone and to learn more about the phone a visit to http://my-symbian.com/ is a very good starting place

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(Written by Reg staff) Bronze badge

Reviewer's note

Some context here is important. Sony Ericsson considers this phone acceptable for sale to the general public - but won't release one for examination by journalists for professional review.

By all means use the comments here to vent your spleens, or declare your love for your favourite vendor. But we have a duty to convey accurate information on the site - so malicious and misleading comments will be removed.

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Future firmware updates

Have users actually been able to update their P990 firmware using S.E's cranky software, and is it now a straightforward user experience? I've been unsuccessful with upgrading my P910i to newer firmware ever since I bought it as an 'early adopter' - I still try every so often but it's too damn tricksy, and eventually give up.

I'd like a review of 'the other half' of P990 ownership - P.C. side. How well does the new S.E. updating software work, how many third party app's does S.E. install on your HD and where, how many irritating .Net Passport style hoops one has to sign up to just to fix your glitchy firmware, and how easy it is to control and remove the clunky icons that SE insist on splattering all over your nice minimalist Desktop, Systray, Startup, Logon etc., before parting with a week's wages.

S.E. haven't yet contacted me to say the P990 is available, so (ruling out sheer incompetence) perhaps numerous glitch fixes are impending. Is S.E.'s updating software up to the job, or is it not?

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Sony Ericsson Update Service

To reply to the above comment SE have updated there update service software to version 1.2.15 it now incorporates the firmaware upgrade service.

On reading the thoughts and views on the my-symbian site, the new version is an improvement.

However there is still some way to go with regard to all the issues with the P990 ram management being the most importiant.

Though I am not concerned , because with good 3rd party software ram control many apps can be run at the same time.

Not withstanding Nokia who in arecent firmware upgrade to an N series phone improved ram management by 3/5 ram.

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Lots wrong in this review.

Yes, I missed the jog-dial stuff a bit. But now I'm used to this new phone. But other things about this review are plain wrong: crashing adding a contact and opening the flip? Not me. Speaker phone? Press the middle key twice. It's the "More" key and it's the top option. No mention of the landscape mode in the browser! And the ability to turn off fit-to-screen. Pretty basic omissions I reckon.

Perhaps I'm just lucky and I've got one that works, or maybe the review was more interested in volume and weight ratios than actually reviewing it properly.

Stu

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