Sony Ericsson P990 review: A coveted smartphone

GSMArena team, 04 August 2006.
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A bunch of files

The Sony Ericsson P990 has 128MB flash memory and 64MB RAM. The amount of storage space for user files is around 80MB, which of course can be expanded by using a Memory Stick.

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 removable Memory Stick. 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 folder context menu Document folder available space

Browsing through pictures is more convenient through the Picture gallery. It offers almost the same folders & files interface as the file manager but it has some additional options as well as several view settings such as thumbnail view for example and slideshow.

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List view picture context menu thumbnail view

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. Furthermore, you can set the smartphone to Auto-rotate your pictures in order to fit your viewing mode.

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Portrait mode context menu fullscreen portrait mode context menu landscape mode

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.

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Checking a picture in portrait mode zooming in

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Checking a picture in landscape mode zooming in

There is also a Picture Editor application that allows you to crop, rotate, resize, edit and correct images. You can use the editor to edit pictures directly in camera view mode or make corrective adjustment such as red eye removal or improve brightness levels.

The editor also includes fun layers, clip art and tools for drawing on the image using the stylus. Different pen sizes and colors are available, as well as a text tool for formatting and inserting text into the image.

The jukebox

The music player is the same as the one used in the Walkman-branded Sony Ericsson phones. It offers a nice interface and supports playlists with shuffle and loop options while offering rich equalizer presets including the Walkman MegaBass preset. Before creating a playlist, you can have the smartphone refresh the list of available music files.

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Music player equalizer presets turning on the MegaBass choosing playing output

The Video Player application offers basic functionality. A nice feature is that you can watch your videos in landscape mode. According to the manufacturer the Sony Ericsson is able to play smoothly videos with VGA resolution, captured at 30 fps which is more than enough to watch a music video or even a movie. Besides the usual mobile formats such as 3GPP, the smartphone supports MP3, AAC+, MPEG-4 and Real Audio 9 and RealMedia formats.

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Video Player

FM plus RDS

The stereo FM radio that the P990 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 equalizer presets available for the Music layer are available for the FM radio, too.

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Tuning in a station without RDS and one with RDS setting the equalizer

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