Make no mistake, the Nokia e90 communicator is a fantastic device, but when you hold it, you can't help but wonder if you have just acquired one of those fancy new dumb-bells. It feels heavy for a mobile device, but of course, Nokia sells the E90 (and other high-end N-series devices) as "computers". And when you think of the E90 as an "Ultra Mobile PC" (UMPC), it really isn't that bad. But you carry your phone in your pocket, and this will make pants sag unless you tighten your belt. The Sony Vaio ux27 is far better looking and far more functional as a UMPC but it costs a lakh and can't make mobile calls.
The Communicator can make calls (in fact, call quality continues to be stellar) and costs only Rs 40,000. But while the long screen is fantastic for reading mails and editing documents, it is a pretty ordinary entertainment device. However, the upside to the weight is fantastic battery life. Even if you keep your edge or Wi-Fi connection open accidentally, the battery does not drain away in minutes. If you have used a Communicator before-either the 9500 or the 9300-you'll figure out this phone soon enough even though the old Symbian Series 80 has been dumped in favour of the ubiquitous Series 60. Downside: you can't send faxes on this one. Upside: you have a 3.2 megapixel camera with autofocus. While typing on the keyboard remains easy, the old navigation key was easier to use.
Here is the dilemma. Earlier, the Communicator could do things which no other device could. Today, every Nokia phone priced above Rs 10,000 can do virtually everything it can. And while the E90 is a terribly good-looking phone, there are other phones in the E-Series line that can get the job done equally well. If you want a full keyboard and a screen and also want to watch videos in a lighter package, get an E61i which is a fantastic device for half the price of this one.Sleek and affordable
The first thing you like about this particular device-the P1i-is its size. If you have used a P910 or P990 before, you will instantly notice the much sleeker look of this new device from SonyEricsson.
In terms of usage, the device has the double-tap keyboard layout, similar to a previous SonyEricsson, the M600, and popularised by the BlackBerry Pearl. Ergo, while the stylus input remains, the P1i has the ability to enter on the keyboard as well. But its greatest asset is price. At Rs 24,995, this is a very affordable high-end device.
Yet, the P1i is only one part of SonyEricsson's revamp. Later this year, the company will be unveiling the W960i, an 8GB internal flash-memory touch-screen device, positioned squarely against the Apple iPhone. Even down the scale, the company is adding quite a few well-featured devices to its product portfolio, including a 5-megapixel shooter. Better still, the company is promising updated versions of its 'Walkman' interface and a new Media Management software. Watch this space for more reviews.