Sony Ericsson P1 review: A smart sharp-shooter

GSMArena team, 08 May 2007.
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Call management

The Call log lists store all the information about the calls received or made. Now, when it comes to call management, besides call filtering there are also two nice things that the P1 can do for you. The first one is to send an SMS with a predefined text to the person whose call you are rejecting. The second one is to automatically store a callback event in the calendar every time you reject a call. In case you opt for that, you can set how many minutes after the call the call back event should remind you of the call.

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Outgoing calls • call details • Reject with SMS • Setting a follow up call

Tap, tap…

Usually the messaging department is one of strongest ones in any smartphone. Sony Ericsson P1 doesn't make any exception to the rule. It offers rich functions combined with several text-input options. You can enter text with the QWERTY keyboard, use a virtual on-screen QWERTY keyboard with the stylus or simply write with the stylus on the touchscreen display. As regards handwriting recognition, the phone manages very well. The Sony Ericsson P1 also offers an enhanced version of the T9 dictionary - its thesaurus is expandable - you can add your own words and it can even remember whole messages.

The messaging menu combines all messages in one inbox. The supported messages are SMS, EMS, MMS, and RSS feeds. The last one is available through a dedicated application. Emails have their own separate Inbox for every single account. Writing a message with the plethora of input methods available is rather easy. Furthermore, you have many emoticons to express your feelings graphically.

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Messaging menu • Starting a message • Virtual keypad • SMS emoticons

The font size can be varied according to your needs. A lot of editing options are available to your disposal, too.

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Font size • Text formatting

The email client is not really a separate application. It has extensive options but setting it up to work with your email account is rather easy. It supports the POP3, IMAP and SMTP protocols, as well as SSL and TLS encryption. The P1 has support for various email providers such as AlteXia, Intellisync, Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync, BlackBerry Connect, Seven, Sybase/iAnywhere, and Visto.

Writing an email is as simple as writing a standard sms message. By default the client downloads only the email headers or you can set it up to automatically download the whole messages if they don't exceed a predefined limit in kilobytes. Adding an attachment is easy as usual - all you have to do is open the corresponding tab in the "new email" editor.

Managing your possessions

The Sony Ericsson P1 has 166MB of flash memory and 128MB RAM. Storage memory is expandable by using the Memory Stick Micro M2 slot.

The smartphone offers a nice file manager, which resembles a lot the interface of the file managers of Sony Ericsson non-OS phones. It has two tabs - one showing the folders in the phone's memory (no system files visible) and another one showing the files and folders on the memory card. You can mark multiple files or folders and then copy, move or send them to another device. There is full support for DRM (Digital Rights Management) protection. It can be applied to all types of multimedia content such as audio, video, images and Java midlets.

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Browsing folders • Document folder • folder context menu

Browsing through pictures though is much easier through the Picture gallery application. It offers almost the same folders & files interface as the file manager but it has some additional options as well as several view settings. You can browse the pictures in portrait or landscape mode. You can also set whether you want the pictures in portrait mode to be seen fullscreen. When browsing in landscape mode the fullscreen is the only available option. Of course, you can zoom in the pictures to their original size and even more. When zooming, a mini-map appears which allows you to see which picture area you are looking at.

The P1 has support for various email providers such as AlteXia, Intellisync, Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync, BlackBerry Connect, Seven, Sybase/iAnywhere, and Visto.

The music player is the same as the one used in the Walkman-branded Sony Ericsson phones. It supports playlists with shuffle and loop options while offering the usual equalizer presets including the Walkman MegaBass one. It's worth noting that Sony Ericsson W950 is equipped with a better player, which has many additional options, but the P1 player surely does not disappoint either. There are no graphic visualizations but you can view album art, as long as you put the cover in the album folder. One of the coolest things about the player is that you can scroll through your tracks a lot easier using the side Jog Dial.

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Playing a song with album art • Equalizer presets • Filtering tracks by Artist

The Video Player application offers nice functionality. You can watch your videos in landscape mode at fullscreen view. The P1 has support for streaming H.264 video content so you can surely watch high-quality streaming TV on it.

The stereo FM radio that the Sony Ericsson P1 is equipped with supports RDS and can store up to 20 radio stations. If the radio station has RDS broadcasts, it gets stored in the phone's memory with its name. The radio is equipped with the TrackID function that allows you record several seconds of a song you are listening to, match it against Gracenote's server database and return you the name and artist. As we have seen in so many other Sony Ericsson phones, the service is reliable in around 50% of the cases.

Sony Ericsson P1
Tuning in a station

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