Sony Ericsson G900 review

G900 is a new product from Sony Ericsson built on the UIQ platform. What’s interesting about this model is that it looks very similar to an ordinary cell phone, which is uncommon for smartphones of the company. There’s no QWERTY keyboard or the Jog Dial on the G900; when I gave it to my colleague, he even mistook the phone for a K530i.

The reason for such an unusual design is the company’s intention to sell the Sony Ericsson G900 as a smartphone for the masses who would use it first and foremost as a normal phone, while still having the option to use full smartphone features. G900 is a smartphone not only for geeks, but also for an average user, so to speak.

Despite its simple looks, the G900 is a full-fledged smartphone:

sony_ericsson_g900_front

Design

The phone has a strict look about it and is done in black graphite color. The only designer element is a textured grey stripe on the side; while it looks pretty interesting, I don’t think it fits the overall design very well.

The silver stripe adds some life to otherwise minimalistic look of the phone:

sony_ericsson_g900_left

There aren’t too many additional keys – the power button is traditionally located at the top of the phone, the volume control is on the side and the block as well as camera buttons are located below it. On the opposite side, the stylus is tucked in; it too is simple-looking and fits the design of the phone well. Note however that you most likely won’t be using it much at all – unless you like using a stylus for one reason or another – since all operations can be performed without it.

Power, block and camera buttons are located on the right side:

sony_ericsson_g900_right

The phone comes with a stylus, but you won’t be needing it much:

sony_ericsson_g900_front_stylus

The G900 has a slot for a memory card:

sony_ericsson_g900_card_slot

There’s a secondary built-in camera located just above the screen, which is used for video calls (G900 is a UMTS phone). The main camera is a 5 Mpx one; the lens is traditionally located at the upper side of the back panel. There’s also a flash above it that can also be used as a flashlight – we’ll talk more about this later.

The phone has a 5 MPx camera and a flashlight:

sony_ericsson_g900_back

At the bottom of the back panel, there’s a single speaker for ringtone playback, and a ridge under it so you will still be able to hear it even when you lay the phone on a flat surface. The FastPort is located at the bottom side of the phone. It has a small LED under it that shines green when the phone is charging, and red when the battery level is below 10%.

The green light indicates that the phone is being charged:

sony_ericsson_g900_lightnin

Keyboard

There are separate buttons for notes and messages on the keyboard, as well as your usual “back” and “C” keys. Below them is the phone keypad. The keys are pretty small and close to each other, but they’re very convenient and easy to use because of the elevation. There’s also the navigational wheel, which protrudes slightly from the keyboard and can be used for controling almost all functions of the phone without having to resort to using the touchscreen.

Software

Like I mentioned before, the phone is made with simplicity and ease of use in mind, and you can perform most – if not all – functions without using the stylus.
Unlike in previous models built on the UIQ platform, there are several variations (so called “Standby applications”) of the desktop that you can choose between.

The first one is called “Business”. It puts a list called “Today” on the screen, which has recent events from the callendar, missed calls, tasks and things like that; below it, you have either 5 or 15 shortcuts to your most used functions. You might know it from P1i; it’s a familiar and rather convenient desktop arrangement.

The other one is the default of the phone, and personally I think it is much more interesting. There is a number of application icons located at the bottom of the screen in a single line, and you can choose the ones you want to be displayed there from a list. You can scroll through it by using the navigational wheel or just your finger on the touchscreen; the contents of the selected icon will be shown above. As you scroll through the icons, their content is displayed above, but it is inactive and darkened; if you select an icon at the bottom, the scroll becomes disabled and grayed out, but the contents are activated and you can browse through them. The default menu options include My Shortcuts, Favorite contacts (from where you can give a call or write a message straight away), Alarm, Reminders, Messages and of course the main menu.

You can access “My shortctuts” and “Favourite contacts” by using the menu at the bottom of the screen:

sony_ericsson_g900_screens_11

When a user sets up the G900 depending on the functions he uses most, there will be almost no need to ever use the traditional main menu at all, since all the important applications will be linked from the shortcut bar at the bottom for fast and easy access. To an extent, this might be considered an alternative to Nokia’s multimedia menu used in their new smartphones.

The main menu itself is a traditional 3×3 icon grid with choices like Applications and Settings; everything will be familiar to an owner of other Sony Ericsson models, so there’s no need to go into detailed descriptions here.

The standard features of the UIQ platform are still in the phone; you can, for example, access the connection and other settings by clicking the small indicators at the top of the screen with your stylus and so on. However, the new version of the platform has some downsides as well. First of all is the simplified Task Manager, which doesn’t let the user do much about the applications besides terminating them, and above all, doesn’t have the quick “go to desktop” option. To go to the standby mode now you will have to go deeper into the menus and perform way more clicks to achieve the same result.

The phone has fully featured multimedia player similar to that of Walkman models (like W950 or W960, for example) which has a separate menu choice all for itself – a good choice because you won’t have to search deep in the menus to find it. The blocking button deserves a praise as well; you will be able to use it no matter what application you are using or what menu you are in.

The player of G900 can also be launched from the shortcut bar:

sony_ericsson_g900_screens2

The blocking button works no matter what task the phone is currently performing:

sony_ericsson_g900_hold_key

Now a few words about the camera, which regrettably doesn’t work too well in the prototype model that I tested. It has the autofocus feature, but works somewhat slow and the colors don’t look too good – but that will be fixed in the commercial version.

I also said I’d talk more about the flashlight, so there. The phone has a cool application called (you guessed it) “Flashlight” which lets you turn of the flash for one minute, for an unlimited time, or set it to send out SOS signals. Some older models had this feature but it’s not often that you see it.

Conclusion

The G900 turned out to be an interesting smartphone, easy to use for calls or writing messages as a normal phone, while retaining all the capabilities of Symbian UIQ. It’s a good product that will probably sell well. The G900 not a top model among the Sony communicators; the successors of the P1 and T5 are expected to come out towards the end of the year. This model should be great for people who need normal phone functions first and smartphone functions second.

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  • SuperInggo

    QUOTE
    (To go to the standby mode now you will have to go deeper into the menus and perform way more clicks to achieve the same result.)

    What about PRESS and HOLD the Back button??

  • andri

    I think SE G900 is the most interesting handphone for internet lover for the rest of year 2008. Lovely. And My name is Andriyana Tresnawan, I'm a Software programmer at Centivo Indonesia specialising in Java and my handphone number is +62 859 2052 1972

  • mobilelah

    Thanks for the detail review. Love Sony Ericsson products! :D

  • Rudi

    Previously I used W960i and switched to G900. I am trying to import my contacts to my new phone but file is not compatible. Any solution to read the bm3 format?

  • azz

    hi, email me on azam_diesel@hotmail.com, if u have info on this phone

    azz

  • keith

    why are your icons different???

  • Jusuf Rachmadi

    May I know the radiation / SAR level of this G900 model ?
    Tks & rgds

  • http://www.lampdocs.com/blog/ Vladimir

    What about the joystick? And did you test the wi-fi module?

  • rich

    Nice review. I bought this phone because of its traditional look but having a good range of business tools. Took a few days to get used to it after the N73. I don't mind the grey strip around the outside-better and safer grip. Don't agree about the stylus either. Like to use mine adding notes etc. Battery life is very good. Task manager is very nice feature.

  • mark

    hey faggets! that’s a shit i believe in that and buy it but it is’nt as awesome as it appear… now i’m with mi previously mobile cuz the “g900″ broke before 2 months i bought that…it makes me see red you know?

  • mike

    Can i use google maps on the g900?

  • barac12

    the best

  • paul

    is the flashlight feature of the g900 same thing as the photo flash? or can the flashlight be use while taking picture?

  • Anand giri

    Hello,,i'm planning to buy SE G900.I have few questions about this phone.plz help me out ,1-does this phone hangs a lot?2-Is there a problem in the touch senseitiveness?3-Does this phone too has the fasilaty to block unwanted callers as K810i has,in which you can accept calls from 10 persons of your choice?And up to how many GB can the memorry be expanded?I'll only buy this phone after reading a reply from you.My mail id is VARDHAN_LKO@YAHOO.CO.IN THANK U.

  • paul

    i think w960i is better than this one

  • Jopay

    I am Using my g900 right now and I think it slow. I tried updating the software but it is still slow whenever i go to my contacts god it will take like 30secs to load the name of my contact. I am planning to buy 5800 from nokia does it have good qualities like this phone.

  • val

    i just bought g900. the main reason i bought se g900 is for reading ebooks and listening mp3… so far i love it… however i have a problem with it's touch screen, one time it didn't function.. good thing i still have a warranty and had gotten it fixed at SE center.. im worried if it will happen again.. hoping for advice on what to avoid.. yup i agree that i really do have to read its user manual…

  • asdf

    this phone sucks!

  • Pratyush

    This product is not as good as I had presumed before going ahead with the purchase. It is having a few serious drawbacks :
    1) Hangs frequently
    2) Slow proocessing

    In six months i have repaired it 3 times

  • yusif

    i had it since christmas and been in repare 6 times and sent off for over 10 weeks pad alot of money for it and dont work whats that about……………. DO NOT BUY

  • Jackie

    i am using G900 now…hnm…i already update the new version of handphone software. after update..it become more nicer..^^ hope no problem as well…well it is a nice phone…not so slow also..compare with k850i..k850i more slow..^^ i am user of k850 before bought this g900

  • jai

    i was a big sony ericsson fan ….but to my disapointment ….this phone (g900) is pathetic…it hangs …bad picture quality…internet surfing is bore …battery life is just adeqaute …service is worst.
    had to go to the service centre 5 times in last 6 months and met a lot of people with the sae probs …

    wanned to complaint to higher authorities so was surfing the net

    any helps for the voice to reach higher for my one time favorite brand …

    feel free to contact

    dr.jai2005@gmail.com

  • Ervina Hartono

    Thank God. There's someone said: DO NOT BUY IT! 'Coz I read the newspaper and there's an ad said: Crazy Offer! 3,2 million rupiahs turn into 2,3 million rupiahs.Truly, I fall in love to SE 'coz the sound is so great. I love listening to the music. SE satisfy my need.

    Anyway, thanks for giving the critics. It saves me a lot. I think I will buy SE's opponent mobile phone. I think it's better than SE G900. I will buy SE if it fits my criterions. Hang and trouble? Sorry, I will miss these ones.

  • Emma

    How much does this phone cost, please? Thank-you!

  • donn_asim

    I'm using G900 ,THE HANDPHONE IS REALY FUCK TYPE IT GAVE A LOT OF PROBLEM WASTE MY TIME AND MY MONEY I'VE THROW THE HANDPHONE AT KALLANG RIVER AND GIVE UP !!!

  • paras narang

    HEY i hv jus buy a SE G900 n it hangs a lot….z dere ny solution of dis?n secondly i m finding a software EQOmobile 4 dis phone……….z dere nythng 4 dis …rest,oll awesum

  • parasnarang

    HEY i hv jus buy a SE G900 n it hangs a lot….z dere ny solution of dis?n secondly i m finding a software EQOmobile 4 dis phone……….z dere nythng 4 dis …rest,oll awesum

  • hosna

    whats ur idea??? i dont know buy it or not…. :(

  • michal

    hello my g900 is hanging…what would i do to fix it?
    i try to repair my g900 but the hanging is still going back?pleas help me?

  • Abhishek

    5 MP Camera in G900 …….

    Guys,,,,,,,I have been using N-70 inthe past (for almost 3 years) recently switched to G900.
    There is a 5 MP camera Built in but surprizingly I found that the pic taken from N-70 (2MP Camera) sems to be much more quality as compared to G900.
    May be I am not able to do proper captures or ……….i really don know……i am using it in 5 MP moder only but still the quality is not good even if i use it with flash or else. Are there some other settings I need to make that can do the help????

    Plz Reply if possible………..

    Abhi.

  • Dev

    Hello,
    What kind of software applications do you do?

  • Dev

    Hello,
    What kind of software applications do you do?