The phonebook can store up to 1000 entries with a total of 7000 phone numbers available (as opposed to K850 with its capacity of 5000 numbers).
The phonebook interface makes good use of the three-soft-key layout, as seen in K850. In contacts you can directly open any contact with the middle soft key. The old-school More key is renamed Options and is now on the left side, while in former models, it was inevitably stuck in the right. The third soft key corresponds to "back". Another practical use of the middle soft key is the Send Message option, available when a contact is open and a number is highlighted.
A good feature is the Smart Search, which lists all available contacts in the phonebook starting with the digits typed in the standby screen. The search engine looks up both letter combinations in names and phone numbers that start with the digits entered. Here in W890 the Smart Search can also be switched off if not needed.
Also present is the Send All Contacts option that transfers the entire phonebook to another compatible Sony Ericsson device.
As usual, you can choose whether the SIM contacts or the phone contacts should be default for the phonebook. Displaying both lists simultaneously is impossible.
On a different note, a nice option allows you to auto save to SIM any new contacts that you're saving in the phone memory.
Contacts can be ordered by First or Last name. They are searched by gradual typing of the desired name. When adding a new contact, there are 7 phone number fields available. This is the first tab of fields for the new contact.
The second one is for email and web addresses. The third is for assigning a picture, a custom ringtone and a voice command. The fourth goes for Title, Company, Street, City, State, ZIP, Country information. The last, fifth tab, is for additional information and birth date.
When you add the birth date, the phone prompts adding it to the calendar and setting a reminder, which we found to be a handy feature.
The Calls log is divided into four different tabs. They are: All, Answered (Received), Dialed and Missed. The maximum number of records is 30 altogether, shared across the separate tabs. When there are several calls made to a single contact, only the last call gets displayed.
It is high time Sony Ericsson updated the call log to allow at least 60 records. People with a couple of dozens of calls a day will find 30 records quite insufficient, especially if they receive multiple calls from contacts not in the address book, which they would like to save.
Along with the standard messaging functionality, Sony Ericsson W890 offers the Manage Messages and Manage Email features, plenty of settings for accounts, and the option to assign categories to messages. These features are embedded in the standard Sony Ericsson interface and have become standard for each new release. The Manage Messages application consists of three tabs. The first one is All Items, There's also an On Mem. Card and an In Phone tab, each including Drafts, Inbox, Outbox, Saved messages, and Sent messages folders.
This menu allows messages to be moved to memory card or phone memory, arranged by categories, date, size, and contact as well as other functions for improved message handling.
All messages, except emails, use one Inbox. No matter what kind of message has been received, it goes to the shared Inbox. Only emails have their own dedicated Inbox.
When composing a message, the character counter will alert you when you're 20 symbols short of the 160-character limit. The T9 dictionary goes without saying.
Users may opt to sort messages by category list, if a specific category has been defined for a message. Six of them come predefined: Business, Favorites, Follow Up, Fun, Holiday, Important, but categories are fully customizable as well.
|"...The phonebook interface makes good use of the three-soft-key layout, as seen in K850. The Smart Search lists all available contacts in the phonebook starting with the digits typed in the standby screen. W890 also offers the Manage Messages and Manage Email features..."|
You can also delete all messages in a given category. Furthermore, messages in categories can have their own sorting with Contact, Date, and size the available filters to choose from.
Much like in K850, in the general inbox there is no indication if a message has been assigned a category. The same holds true for messages that are opened. Generally Manage Messages, together with Categories, offers wide-ranging customization options and unsurpassed message handling.
With the GSMArena RSS feed, launched not-so-long-ago, we tested the W890 reader located in the messaging menu. When new content is available, a pop-up indication appears on the home screen, prompting to read the issue.
The email client in W890 supports dozens of settings and all types of encodings, inherent to more advanced messaging devices. Sony Ericsson W890 can save attachments, no matter if they are supported or unknown file formats. Email messages can be sorted by size, date and time.
Office documents as Word, Excel and PDF cannot be opened, of course. It's about time that Sony Ericsson add support for those to their feature phones. The Picsel viewer makes wonders for other brands such as Samsung and LG.
Viewing a message in fullscreen mode and changing the font size (small, medium, large) are handy options. There is a separate Manage email application, with the same structure and features as the one for SMS.