That W900i again…

I don’t know if I am obsessive-compulsive with gadgets or not, thing is, I own quite a few cellphones and quite a few PDAs. When it comes to phones, I am not pleased with *any* of them so I am constantly in search for new ones.

I am not interested in getting a full-blown smartphone at this time, so I had a long look at the current ‘high-end feature’ phones. Some Nokia phones are among them, and of course, the 3 best SonyEricsson phones to date, the K750i, the W800i and the brand new W900i.

The new W900i has a few new features over the W800i Walkman phone, including a QVGA 2.2″ screen, 470 MBs of storage and MemoryStick Pro Duo slot, two cameras (2 MP on the back and VGA on the front for videocalls) and UMTS 3G support. However, it has a few new crappy problems:

1. It’s freaking big! I don’t know what got into the SonyEricsson engineers (or managers), but instead of making the phone look even and have a sliding keyboard, they made the screen swivel around the keyboard, which adds to the bulk of the device. And if you see the phone from the sides, its shape is uneven. Check pictures here compared to the W800i:
http://se-community.com/album.php?image_id=6176
http://se-community.com/album.php?image_id=6152
Check for more pictures and info on the 2-page review here:
http://se-community.com/?s=141

2. Still no support for Bluetooth EDR or for the A2DP profile (which allows for Bluetooth *stereo* headphones instead of a plain bluetooth handsfree). What’s the point of having the BEST mp3 phone on the market today when it doesn’t support Bluetooth stereo headphones?

3. The freaking 2MP camera on the back is now completely uncovered, while both the K750i and W800i were securing the main camera!

4. There is *a lot* of empty/unused space around the LCD screen. They could easily have used a 2.5″ QVGA LCD instead of their 2.2″ QVGA. That would have given them the go-ahead to use smaller fonts and fit more information on a single screen.

5. No Wifi, despite the QVGA screen used. Ok, I might be asking too much here, but such a phone that would be used mostly by young people, I am sure that WiFi would be invaluable to them. And if WiFi was to be included, a native port of Opera would be welcome (in which case they should include more RAM to the device, as Opera requires 6-8 MBs of RAM instead of the phone’s 2 MBs). The current SonyEricsson browser is below par (for example, it barely renders gnomefiles.org but not gnomefiles.org/app.php which is only just a tiny bit more complex). If an Opera native port proves to be very expensive (also because it would require more RAM), then SonyEricsson should just license Openwave’s browser. Openwave’s browser is not as good as Opera’s, and only slightly worse than Netfront’s, but it runs on very little RAM (512KB to 2 MB, depending on the version/features enabled) and it’s much better than SonyEricsson’s own browser anyway. And it’s cheaper than Opera too (Openwave asks for just a few pennies per phone sold).

So, I am not going for the W900i that’s for sure, and so I have three options:

1. Wait for the W1000i, whenever that comes out, and pray that SonyEricsson will do it right this time.
2. Buy either the K750i or the W800i (they are both identical internally, the W800i only has a better included handsfree headphones and an updated UI with a better media player over the K750i).
3. Buy one of Nokia’s new Symbian phones. Maybe the E70 or something.

One thing is for sure: SonyEricsson fucked it up this time with their second Walkman series phone. Too bad, because their UI is really-really good, the phone is powerful, and they were going at the right direction.

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