The W890i is another of Sony Ericsson’s Walkman branded handsets and it’s a testament to the sheer number of mobiles coming along for review at the moment that it didn’t push its way to the front of the queue when it arrived in my hands. Something that wouldn’t usually be the case with a Sony Ericsson mobile as I can find them a little fiddly to get to grips with at times.
The reason I wanted to get my hands on this phone as soon as it arrived is simply that in the looks and ergonomics departments Sony Ericsson really hits the spot.
Cast your mind back to last year and my look at this phone’s predecessor, the W880i. You may recall I found that mobile fiddly to use, mainly because of its small number keys and other buttons.
It is all change here, with the number keys quite large and well raised from their surroundings. The stubby fingered brigade may still have trouble with the keys, but I found them fine to use.
The shortcut buttons between screen and keyboard remain small, but they are shaped so that the appropriate parts of the two rocker buttons and navigation key are easy to find. My only grumble came when using the three softmenus that characterise this handset.
The two outer softmenus are accessed using the top end of their respective rockers, while the middle one is accessed using the central button inside the navigation pad. This makes logical sense on paper, but it took me a while to stop prodding the top of the navigation pad instead. I suspect any users with this problem will get over it after a few days at most, though.
On the other hand I like the Sony Ericsson Activity Menu which features in so many of its handsets. Tap the bottom of the left side rocker and up pops a set of tabbed windows giving access to running apps, notifications, online services and a set of shortcuts. It makes getting around the phone really fast.