The advance of the Walkman army continues unabated with the W890i, a 3G phone that packs a great range of features into a small form factor. But is this little phone worthy of your attention? We give you the low down.
Measuring 104 x 47 x 10mm, the W890i is certainly small which makes it positively pocketable. The brushed metal casing demands an understated respect. The screen is a small 240 x 320 pixels, but considering that this is not a smartphone, it is an adequate size for normal mobile functions. The case sports the Walkman branding, letting you know that it comes from a stable of serious music pedigree.
As a music player it works very well and the supplied headphones are comfortable and actually will do your music justice. As is normal with Sony Ericsson phones, you have to use the handsfree dongle as there is no 3.5mm jack which is a negative point. However, the player does sound very good and control via the dedicated buttons is fairly straightforward.
On those buttons we have our only major gripe with the W890i. The design looks very nice, but for anyone with larger fingers it can be a problem to press the bit you want; certainly, it takes some getting used to. The edges also feel a little sharp – fusing the button designs of the W810 and W880 – something that could have been better crafted.
Slip the wonderful casing off the back and you’ll find a neatly concealed expansion slot for Memory Stick Micro, and you get a 2GB M2 card in the box, so you’ll have a modest amount of space for your tunes from the off.
As a phone it functions perfectly well, in fact it is a pleasure to use. The normal Sony Ericsson menus delivering options in an intuitive way within logical menus. There are dedicated buttons, for the Walkman, the 3.2 megapixel camera, and volume controls, so accessing and using the phone is a breeze. You’ll also find Bluetooth and an FM radio as you’d expect.
As we mentioned in our First Look review of this phone, Sony Ericsson aimed it at an "older" 25-40-year-old demographic. I’m not sure whether to take that as an insult or not, and I can’t see why this wouldn’t appeal to the yoof generation, afterall, it has a speaker for the 1800 tracks you might be carrying, as well as PlayNow to download extra content to your phone.
With negatives being scarce, it is difficult not to like this phone – a minor foible with the Walkman controls and headphone socket, but an otherwise great little package. Things just work here, the size is right and the W890i doesn’t go overboard with trying to complicate things.
In fact I’d go a stage further and say I’d be happy to have this as my phone as it is just a pleasure to use.
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