Besides HSDPA, UMTS, GPRS and HSCSD for medium to fast data transfers, video calls and content-streaming, the handset offers the usual connectivity capabilities such as USB and Bluetooth with A2DP support. Sony Ericsson lacks WiFi and infrared.
Sony Ericsson uses the traditional Access NetFront HTML browser, this time with the latest 3.4 version. The main improvement here is the integrated virtual mouse pointer. It is a real pleasure to work with and even the small font doesn't spoil the user-friendly browsing.
Another interesting and practical feature is the "Find on page" option. When selected, a rectangular window at the bottom of the screen appears. The search is done by gradual typing and the first match is immediately highlighted. More results are available after hitting the find key.
Other than these improvements, the browser does the usual good job and has enough of the other familiar options - you can view the pages fullscreen with no menus showing and you can even browse your Web pages in landscape mode. It has WAP and picture modes. It supports content created for HTML 4.01, xHTML 1.0, CSS and Java script, WAP 2.0. The supported security protocols are SSL/TLS.
You can also browse sites in pan & zoom mode, and it works much like zooming photos. There's a connectivity sub-menu added, where you can set the preferred connection, default page, or local connection. The NetFront web browser offers an RSS-feed reader, accessible through the main page of the browser.
Generally, the Smart-fit function of the browser does well fitting the web content onto the screen, but you may not find it so cool if you prefer to browse sites in a standard way. Scrolling is fast once the page has loaded completely.
The Sony Ericsson W890 supports Bluetooth 2.0 with the Human Interface Device (HID) profile, which allows the phone to be used as a remote control for PC and other Bluetooth-enabled devices.
Furthermore, the phone could be used as a Bluetooth modem for accessing the Internet on a PC or notebook computer. Bluetooth support also includes the A2DP profile, allowing listening to music on a stereo Bluetooth headset.
The W890 supports local and remote synchronization of contacts and calendar events. The local one is with Outlook and a PC, the other works with remote servers.
In a USB connection the phone has three modes. You can opt for file transfer or USB Internet, which, simply put, is for using the phone as a modem. The media transfer profile is present too, which directly connects to the Windows media player, and gives full access to tracks placed on your phone for synchronization, play or sorting in playlists.
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Before proceeding with the description of the usual applications and organizing functions, where no novelties are noticed, we would like to pay due attention to the Location services application.
Available for free download and compatible with a variety of mobile OS and Java-enabled handsets, the Google Maps for Mobile come preinstalled in the W890. With Location services you can get help finding your way, view information about your current location and save your favorite locations. To use all features of the Location services internet access is a must.
After defining a start and end location, the possible routes are being calculated with overall guidance, based on the available information in the database. With the GPS Enabler HGE-100, plugged in, Location service gets full GPS functionality, as well as A-GPS for faster satellite lock. This makes it possible to use navigation on the go, with turn-by-turn guidance.
Two different views are available - Satellite and map view. Traffic information is another important feature here. The user interface is nice and intuitive.
With a plugged in GPS receiver, the Status info application displays the current activity in km/h for a 60 minutes period. The GPS connection status is indicated on the second tab of this application.
Of course, saving your most recent routes is as easy as it could be. Within several clicks, a title, description and position is all you need to save a favorite location.