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Sony Ericsson P910 / P910i

 Sony Ericsson P900 - Front Discontinued
15th July 2004

The launch of a Sony Ericsson P-series smartphone is always significant, and the P910 (sold internationally under the P910i, P910c and P910a labels - more of this later) is no exception. Perhaps not as stunning as the upgrade from the P800 to P900 though, the P910's only-slightly-increased model number indicates that this is really a fairly small enhancement.

The big news with the P910 is the inclusion of a tiny QWERTY keypad on the back on the flip. Other enhancements are more modest, but show that the P900 was fundamentally a pretty good phone that didn't need much doing to it.

 Sony Ericsson P910 QWERTY keypad The keys are tiny though.. our analysis of the launch photos show that they're only about 3.5mm wide by 6.5 mm tall with a spacing of around 15mm between the keys. Effectively, this makes that 5 mm across. Of course, this is about the same as the T-Mobile MDA III which offers pretty tough competition for the P910. We'd very much like to know what Sony Ericsson have built the P910's flip out of, because holding a P900 in the way pictured would most likely break the flip - the P900 and P910 weigh 150 grams after all. The external number pad has been improved from the P900 which had nasty little buttons - the keys on the P910 are much easier to use.

 Sony Ericsson P910 number pad There are a few other hardware enhancements too.. the P910 now has 64Mb of internal memory, up from 16Mb, and comes with a 32Mb memory stick duo card, upgradeable to 1Gb, which is enough to turn your P910 into something of an iPod with its built-in MP3 player. The camera remains a 640x480 pixel unit though, and if it's the same as in the P900 then new users might be in for a disappointment - we rate the P900's camera as being almost unusably bad. Of course, the P910 still features Bluetooth, USB and infra-red connectivity, tri-band GSM, GPRS (but not EDGE unfortunately). Nor does the P910 come with wireless ethernet, unlike it's rivals the MDA III, Nokia 9500 and Motorola MPx - perhaps we will have to wait for the P1000 for these.

 Sony Ericsson P910 game Another improved hardware feature of the P910 is the screen which now supports 262,000 colours over the previous 65,000, but the resolution remains unchanged at 208x320 pixels. This makes it a cracking games platform, and much, much better than the Nokia N-Gage QD. However, most people won't be able to tell the difference in the number of colours, and we believe that the real reason that so many manufacturers are adopting 262,000 colours as standard is that it makes it much easier to develop applications for the device - 262,000 colours is 18 bits, which breaks down easily into 3 channels of 6 bit red, green and blue shades. 65,000 colours is 16 bits which is harder to divide up like this. This should make it easier to create games and other graphics-rich applications for the P910. OK, we'll try to stop being so geeky now and take you on to some of the other improvements on this new Sony Ericsson.

 Sony Ericsson P910 mail Most of the rest of enhancements are in software. In particular, the P910 now supports corporate messaging from RIM (Blackberry), IBM, Visto, Smartner and other partners. Blackberry support is already promised for the P900 and is hugely important for many businesses as it offers an easy-to-use and relatively inexpensive messaging system.

The built-in web browser has now been upgraded to Opera, and the P910 comes with a suite of sample applications to give you a taster of the power of the phone's built-in Symbian v7.0 operating system.

So.. do we like it? Well, we've always had mixed feelings about the P900. We find it a difficult phone to use, inconsistent in its user interface and sometimes frustrating in its design. The inclusion of a QWERTY keyboard on the P910 doesn't appeal to us much, and most P800/P900 users have learned to live without it. Other upgrades are somewhat modest and the camera is still below standard for its class. However, the P900 is a powerful phone and this minor technology refresh is just what's needed. There's still no other Synmbian-based device quite as good, and the nearest rivals are the likes of the T-Mobile MDA III and O2 XDA 2 which both run Windows. We think it's alright, but we think the MDA III is much better - but only if you want to run Windows.

One final note - Sony Ericsson recently introduced a new suffix for their phones. The P910 is now the name for a "family" of handsets, comprising the P900i (Europe and worldwide 900/1800/1900MHz tri-band GSM), P900c (mainland China, 900/1800/1900MHz) and P900a (the Americas, 850/1800/1900MHz tri-band GSM). Expected to be available sometime in the third quarter of 2004.

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Sony Ericsson P910 Specifications


Q3 2004


Tri-band GSM




208x320 pixelss, 262K colours


640x480 pixels


PDA format smartphone
115x58x26 mm / 150 grams approx









Battery life:

Approx 10 hours talk / 8 days standby


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