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Sony Ericsson P1 / P1i

 Sony Ericsson P1i Discontinued
8th May 2007

The Sony Ericsson P1 is a 3G Symbian smartphone with a QWERTY keyboard which can be regarded as a replacement for the troubled Sony Ericsson P990i. There are two versions of the P1, the Sony Ericsson P1c for sale in China and the P1i which will be sold in other markets.

The P1i breaks with the tradition of the P800/P900/P910/P990 series and disposes of the characteristic "flip" on the front of the device and it also ditches the QWERTY keyboard for a keypad similar to the M600i - a move that might not be popular with all P900 series users. It's also a fair bit lighter than the 150g P990i weighing in at 124 grams.

The first thing to note on the Sony Ericsson P1i is the large 2.6" 240x320 pixel TFT display - this is now a transflective panel which means that it can be read more easily outdoors. As with previous models, this is a touchscreen although the Sony Ericsson P1i also has a jog-dial control.

On the back is a 3.2 megapixel camera with autofocus and flash, and there's a secondary video camera on the front of the Sony Ericsson P1i for video calling. There's also a multimedia player and FM radio. The 160MB of internal memory can be expanded by using a Memory Stick Micro card, we understand that the standard sales package will include a 512MB card in the box. Of course the P1i also supports Bluetooth.


Underneath this is a tri-band 900/1800/1900 MHz device with UMTS 2100 MHz and support for 802.11b and 802.11g WiFi. One major drawback is that the Sony Ericsson P1i doesn't support HSDPA, and also the tri-band GSM/single band UMTS network support is a little limiting.

 Sony Ericsson P1 The operating system on the Sony Ericsson P1i is version Symbian 9.1 with the UIQ 3.1 interface running on top. Those familiar with the P990 will find the usual set of applications including a web browser (based on Opera), RSS reader, email client and a range of personal information management tools. The P1i supports VOIP too, but expect this to be carrier dependent as some networks have recently disabled VOIP in their phones.

Support for corporate email solutions such as BlackBerry, ActiveSync and other systems will be available through add-on applications. Whether or not P990/M600 applications will run on the P1i without modification is unknown.

The Sony Ericsson P1i is only a little larger and heavier than the M600 at 106 x 55 x 17mm and 124 grams. Battery life is quoted as 10 hours talk/18 days standby on GSM, 3.5 hours talk/14 days standby on 3G. Using Bluetooth and WiFi will eat into the battery life significantly, although hopefully not as quickly as it did on the P990.

The P990 was a bit of a disaster for Sony Ericsson, it was very late to market and extremely buggy to begin with.. although it's a handset we rather like despite all its flaws. Hopefully the Sony Ericsson P1 will be right first time.

Sony Ericsson say that the P1i will be available in some markets in Q3 2007 but have not given any pricing details. Our estimate is that the P1i will cost at least €800 / £500 at launch.

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Sony Ericsson P1 / P1i at a glance


Q3 2007


GSM 900/1800/1900 + UMTS 2100


GPRS + UMTS (3G) + WiFi


240x320 pixels


3.2 megapixels


PDA style device
106 x 55 x 17mm / 124 grams



Memory card:

Memory Stick Micro







Battery life:

10 hours talk/18 days standby (GSM) 3.5 hours talk/14 days standby (3G)


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