Sony Ericsson P990i

It's taken years, and fans will have to wait just a bit longer before they can lay hands on the P910i's successor, the P990i. Here's a look at what it offers.

User Rating

View more from Sony Ericsson »

I remember when a former colleague gleefully snapped his Sony Ericsson P910i out of its leather pouch and showed it off like a proud tech geek: "My new toy." The P910i was no toy, though. Running on Symbian and packing a thumbboard, touch screen and host of power features, this phone had the smarts. So it was only a matter of time that the Japanese-Swedish joint venture affirmed its P-series line with yet another offspring, the P990i. And from the looks of it, this latest version shows much promise.

Upside: At a quick glance, you'll be forgiven for reckoning that the designers took a holiday when this was made, as it retains the recognisable flip-lid form factor of its predecessor. However, closer inspection reveals some cosmetic enhancements. To begin with, the P990i sports a curvier profile. Opening the flip reveals the relocation of the keyboard from the detachable lid to the phone body itself. This particular move is much appreciated for those who may want to lose the flip but still have QWERTY input in hand for e-mails and documents.

Sony Ericsson P990i: ThumbboardThe tri-band P990i also runs on the much-anticipated Symbian 9.1 OS and UIQ 3 software platform. The P990i is as well one of the few Wi-Fi-capable handsets (802.11b with flight mode). If that isn't enough, the firm has tossed in a lot more connectivity options. You now have push e-mail that will support Blackberry solutions, infrared, 3G, USB, remote sync via SyncML, a VPN client, Opera 8 Web browser, GPRS, Java and Bluetooth.

In terms of software, Sony Ericsson has spiced up the mix with some nifty business tools such as a Word and Excel editor and a viewer for PowerPoint and PDF files.

Other improvements include a slightly enhanced screen resolution of 240 x 320 pixels (vs. 208 x 320 pixels) in 262,000 colours; an internal memory of 80MB (vs. 64MB); a 2-megapixel camera with autofocus and photo light (vs. a VGA camera); stereo FM radio with RDS (Radio Data System); and a supplied 64MB Memory Stick PRO Duo.

Downside: Size has been an issue that has plagued the P-series, and the P990i clearly isn't bucking any trend here. At 114 x 57 x 25mm and weighing 155g, it's only 1mm smaller all round. Going by the manufacturer-claimed battery life, the P990i is also less of a workhorse than its earlier iteration. The former offers 3 hours for 3G talktime and 9 hours for normal chat, with standby rated at up to 12 days for 3G and 16 days for standard GSM. Compare this with the P910i's 15 hours of talktime and about 17 days (400 hours) on standby.

Sony Ericsson P990i: 2-megapixel cameraOutlook: As far as first impressions go, the P990i oozes pedigree and certainly passes muster as a far more capable successor. The bad news is you can't ask Santa for it this Christmas. In a strategic move to give developers more lead time to create as many applications as possible for the P990i on the new Symbian and UIQ software platform, Sony Ericsson rolled out its announcement well in advance. So the earliest you'll get within sniffing distance of the P990i will be Q1 of 2006. On the plus side, you get a lot more time to save up for what is likely to be a premium-priced smart phone.

Editor's note: Sony Ericsson issued with the following statement in February 2007 on whether we'll ever see the P990i in Australia: "Sony Ericsson is continuing to evaluate the Australian market potential for the P990i along with other products in its global portfolio. At this stage we have decided to focus our marketing and product launch activities on other products and continue to use the M600i to address the business, messaging and prosumer segments. We are still confident that we will launch this highly anticipated successor to the 'P' series products in early 2007."'s Jeremy Roche contributed to this article.

Add Your Review 51

* Below fields optional

Post comment as
<a href=>sony ericsson w888</a>

sony ericsson w888 posted a review   

The Good:Solid construction.
Decent talk time.
Very easy to use.
User-friendly interface.
Good 3D stereo speakers.

The Bad:Nothing special.

Great touch screen cell phone. Its have many great features. Its very hard body and efficient cell phone. Best for browsing. I love it.


flodelros posted a review   

This phone is just great to me.....


vikaschadha1976 posted a review   

The Good:Stylish,

The Bad:camera Quality not vey Good, and any one can tell me from where i get the cover of this phone.

Phone is ok


xsile posted a review   

The Good:2.0 Mp camera, Lite up keyboard and Wi-Fi.

The Bad:Physical size if you look to carry it around as a normal everyday phone.

I have bought this phone in Australia from a place called "Trendy Trade Interantional" they import electronics from hong kong.

The phone has been great form me, no hangup with it besides the physical size.


arzaan posted a review   

The Good:everything

The Bad:the metal color is fadeing

honestly..i dont know wht u guys are talking abt...i have this phone from past 4 mnths now...not a single is dam gr8!!!!!! totaly.....i love p990i


abc posted a review   

excellent good phone


SLPJCooL posted a review   

The Good:Everything you dream of in a Phone

The Bad:No Zapper, X Ray and Flames.

So basically speaking if I was to buy this phone overseas (say hongKong), it'll work on Australia 3 Network? I'm heading over there next week and I just can't wait any longer!!!


anonymous posted a review   

the wait is crazy so i'll just from overseas.


Adam1 posted a review   

The Good:They Keyboard lights up

The Bad:Everything else.

Had the phone for about 2 months and quite frankly, I just don't like it. The Menu system feels clunky, the slider is plain bad (and has actually broken all together now) and it keeps crashing... I've now taken it back and gone back to my P910i, definetly not worth the money.. I don't need Wifi or the 2mp Camera, those are the only 2 things is has over the 910i


anonymous posted a review   

The Good:all in one!!

The Bad:the wait!!!!

Hey cnet, where is an updated product test, or some news about the Australian launch? This article is almost 14 month old and the only info about this phone on I think you could do better…

Sponsored Links
CNET's latest

User Reviews / Comments  Sony Ericsson P990i

  • <a href=>sony ericsson w888</a>

    sony ericsson w888


    "Great touch screen cell phone. Its have many great features. Its very hard body and efficient cell phone. Best for browsing. I love it."

  • flodelros



    "This phone is just great to me....."

  • vikaschadha1976



    "Phone is ok"

CNET Speedtest

Recently Viewed Products