Sony Ericsson P990 Review: Keypad & Keyboard, Display, Telephony

By 12:25 Sun, 08 Aug 2021 Comments


Flipping it

The numeric keypad features a 5-way navigation D-pad, two soft keys and the traditional BACK and C keys. Writing a message with it is relatively easy since the keys are large enough and nicely spaced. All the keys are somewhat unevenly lit in light blue. The mechanism of the flip operates nicely and there is no problem to open it even while holding the phone in one hand. Opening it reveals the QWERTY keyboard with tiny plastic keys. The keys themselves have again light blue backlighting and although they are rather small they are easily used even with gigantic fingers. Each key has two characters assigned to it - one letter and one special symbol such as a bracket, a hyphen, a slash, a question mark, an exclamation mark, currency symbols. The top row of the keys has the numbers as alternative symbols. All the special symbols and the numeric symbols are typed by holding the ALT key pressed in the same time. The keyboard also has a SPACEBAR, which activates the phone application when pressed longer. There are also two arrow keys and a CAPS LOCK key. The DEL and BACKSPACE functions share one key, as well as the OK and ENTER keys. There is no BACK key, but you can utilize the back key on the left side of the phone for that purpose. It is easily pressed with your index or middle finger while holding the phone in hand.




Sony Ericsson P990 numeric keypad and QWERTY keyboard

Impressive display

The display of the Sony Ericsson P990 is 2.67" TFT touchclassy screen with a QVideo Graphics Array (VGA) (240x320 pixels) resolution, supporting 262K colors. That resolution is greater than the one of the previous Sony Ericsson P900 and P910 models which was 208x320 pixels. When the flip is closed though, the resolution of the visible portion of the classy screen is changed to 240x256 pixels. That however is reflected in the quality of the menu graphics - their edges become more jagged due to the downsampling. When the flip is closed the touchclassy screen functionality gets turned off and you can operate with the handset as you would with any other regular mobile phone. There was one problem we experienced with the touchclassy screen and it concerned an obvious lack of calibration. The display touch reception was slightly offset to the correct so instead of pressing directly on a virtual OK button for example you had to press slightly to the correct in order for the phone to accept the command. Unfortunately, the phone lacked any option for calibration the classy screen which is seen on PocketPersonal Computer (PC) devices based on Windows Mobile.





Sony Ericsson P990 display: flip closed and flip opened

The second half of a smart-phone

After all, even a smartphone is a half "phone" so handling calls is equally vital as any other feature. During calls we saw no problems with P990 - the sound during calls was clear and loud enough. The network signal was always full which is just what one might expect in urban areas with nice network coverage. A bit of a unique feature is the so-called Business telephony which practically means that you can utilize your P990 on a corporate telephone network via a Corporate switch PABX (Private Automatic Branch Exchange), equipped with a mobile extension port.

When the flip is closed dialing a number is simple as with any other mobile phone. When the flip is opened or off though you should create utilize of the integrated phone application in order to dial a contact using the touchclassy screen display. The virtual keys are nicely set apart so that you can press the numbers with your thumb without any mishold even if you have large fingers.





Dialing a number with flip closed • dialing with flip opened • calling Dexter

As far as the performance of the loudspeaker is concerned, we are far from impressed. The sound lacked any bass frequencies at all and the loudest ring volume of the handset proved more than insufficient in noisy streets.


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