My cheap Sony Ericsson P990i

How it came about

I just realized I can live without a laptop of my own, but, without a PDA, no. And, since I am still forbidden from reuniting with my self-destructing Palm Treo 600, I scouted for a new companion. I feel so helpless not being able to write my thoughts in binary. Blog topics, things to do, things to buy and sell, song ideas – these are just some of the things that randomly pop in my head, and, without a tool to remember them by, I’ve lost forever that-which-might-have-been-something-special.

Like I’ve said in my previous post, I was torn between Nokia’s E61i and this Sony Ericsson P990i. The E61i is the better smartphone but temptation is a bitch, and budget is tight. Currently, the E61i sells for around Php 20,000 brand new. The P990i, get ready for this, Php 13,000 only. Not bad for something that sold for Php 40,000 when in first came out. And, to add to my already uber cheapassness, I bought a used unit for Php 11,500. The unit is complete, still under warranty, has zero body scratches, and the only aesthetic blemish is some wear on the menu button.

My take on the Sony Ericsson P990i

Reviews of this unit are already abundantly scattered all over the internet. I’ll add here some of the more useful links that helped my decision, then I’ll add my personal take. PhilMUG.PH has one of the earliest threads discussing the P990i. Then you might as well view the longer thread discussing the Nokia E61i (113 pages). A thread on MaPa1ad entitled Goodbye Palm… Hello P990i is a good read. And, a nice, short video review at YouTube for the lazy reader.

I came from a very primitive Palm Treo 600 so all these new features are just perks. Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, a semi-decent camera (2-megapixel), video recording, 3G, 3D games, a high-resolution screen (240×320 pixels, 256K colors) – are just some of the things I’ll try to incorporate in my daily life. Wi-Fi on a phone for me is just something to brag about. Sites are just so cramped and are a pain to look at. The 2-megapixel camera is a welcome addition to take emergency precious moments – it also comes with a built in flash and auto-focus. The screen is really nice and crisp.

I used to be able to do everything in my Treo without ever using the stylus, I can’t seem to do that now – there are just some things that are unaccessible with the jog dial. The qwerty keypad is a little cramped, although the addition of a regular phone keypad means I can do one-hand texting once again. The phone’s responsiveness (programs, overall speed) could be better, it’s not really that buggy, and I know there is a new firmware upgrade for the unit (which I haven’t done). Battery life, well, I’ve yet to drain my first charge – I’m only 6 hours in and only an eighth taken from the battery meter. For now I have to say I’m a happy camper. I’ll probably follow-up on this post once I update the firmware.

I recommend this phone and here’s why

I spent the same amount for my Treo 600 some 2 years ago. With so much more, at this price, you can’t go wrong. The only difference between this and the other smartphones (with the same features, particularly the E61i) is the responsiveness – and it’s something you can learn to live with (adjust to). By the way, I also took some close-ups of the phone, click on the image below to view them.


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