Review: Sony Ericsson G900

17. July 2008 at 16:12

The Sony Ericsson G900 was launched at this years MWC in Barcelona. The slim touch device features a 5 megapixel camera with autofocus, WiFi and more. This review will tell you all about its advantages and its disadvantages.

Advantages:

  • 5 megapixel camera
  • Size
  • WiFi

Disadvantages:

  • Sometimes difficult usage
  • Browser
  • no mini or microUSB

The G900 comes in a red box, at least the red version, which is neither really small nor really big. Once the packaging is open, you can see the silver-black and red G900. Besides the G900 are still following accessories in the packaging:

  • Battery with 950 mAh (BST-33)
  • Stereo-Headset (HPM-62)
  • Charger (CST-70)
  • 2 stylus
  • Manuals
  • CD

The headset and the cable are pretty solid but for my taste a little bit to plump. So, the big headphones doesn’t feel good in the ear and spoil the mood when listening to music or telephoning. More over, the port for the headset is on the left side of the device which is in my eyes a pretty bad place since the G900 becomes really wide and really unhandy when the headset is plugged in.

Built quality:

The G900 is a full smartphone but which is also targeted for the mainmarket. So, it’s build completely out of plastic. Compared with the Sony Ericsson P1i, Nokia E71 or other devices the G900 feels rather cheap. However, holding it in your hands it feels really solid and there are no big or annoying gabs. The battery cover offers no room and sits solid on the back.

Keys:

Right under the display you can find 9 keys:

  1. Up on the d-pad
  2. Down on the d-pad
  3. Left on the d-pad
  4. Right on the d-pad
  5. OK, the middle of the d-pad
  6. Notice-shortcut
  7. Messaging-shortcut
  8. Clear-key
  9. Back-key

The keys are good to use and have a clear pressure point. They aren’t that small and are good enough for a good usage. Other than these 9 keys you can also find the numeric keypad on the front of the G900. Just like the other 9 keys they have a clear pressure point and are separated well.

Going to its right hand side you can find the volume up/down key, keylock/unlock key and camerakey. They are smaller than the other keys but you can press them without problem. On the top of the G900 you can find the power button which is a little bit to deep in the housing but you can find and press it more or less good.

SIze:

More and more featurephones become smaller and thinner. Same thing with the G900. It’s dimensions are 106 x 49 x 13 mm and weights just 99g. This is an acceptable size and weight, especially if you bear in mind its features.

Touchscreen:

The 2.4” display is a touch-screen which can be used with the finger or in some cases just with the stylus. Text messages you can write using the hardware keys, the virtual QWERTY-keyboard or by handwriting recognition. I prefer the hardware keys but the virtual QWERTY-keyboard isn’t a problem if you’re using the stylus. After every touch on the display you can here a ”click” which is a good feedback. Using the touchscreen you can draw nifty notes.

Multimedia:

The G900 offers you 160 megabytes of storage. In addition you have a 512MB Memory Stick Micro in the package which is a little bit to small for videos, photos and music. Of course you can also insert 1GB or even bigger cards into the G900. The 240 x 320 pixels 2.4” touchscreen display 256K colors which are in my mind enough. The average user cannot see that ”only” 256K colours are used. The brightness can be set manually by the user. The display is bright and easy to read against sunlight.

Camera:

The smartphone has a 5 megapixel camera on the back and a camera for video calls on the front. In addition, the main-camera has a pretty good autofocus and a LED for pictures in bad lightconditionals. To take a photo you just have to hit the photo button on the side. Once you hit the button, the camera menu opens. Now you can play with the camera settings. One of the best modes is the macro-mode. Using the macro-mode you can capture even more details of things which are about 10-60cm in front of the lens. Furthermore, you have a bunch of other settings to improve or modify the pictures such as different shoot modes (Multi-shot, Panorama and normal), different flash-modes ( Auto, On, Off), focus( Auto focus, touch focus, Macro, Infinite), a self-timer, effects ( Negative, Solarization, Sepia, Black & white) and white balance ( Auto, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Daylight and Cloudy). After you set all your settings you can hit he camera button and take the picture. Objects within 1.5 meters can be light up with the LED. For objects which are outside of the magic 1.5 meters you can use the night-mode which is pretty useful. Unfortunately is the Flash really weak and not as strong as it should be. Jump over to read more about it. Here are some pictures taken with the G900:

DSC00006DSC00018DSC00017DSC00013

Further samples you can find here.

I have to confess, that the G900 really surprised me in terms of its sharpness, colours and its focus.

Of course the G900 can also record videos. The videos are taken with 240 x 320 pixels (QVGA). The videos are not so good that those can be play-backed on the TVset, but good enough to upload them to YouTube or watch them on the handset itself. The video mode offers a bunch of settings too – you can change the white balance, microphone, effects, quality, night mode, video stabilizer, capture tone and self-timer.

Music:

Like almost every other phone, also the G900 can playback musicfiles such as mp3. The mono loudspeaker sits on the back and playbacks the music well and loud. The quality of the provided headphones haven’t convince me, but it is good enough if you . Unfortunately, Sony Ericsson doesn’t provide an adapter for normal headphones, so that you can’t improve the sound. The musicplayer is seperated in different genre such as Tracks, Albums, Audiobook, Playlist, My recodings and some more. Using the touchscreen or in some cases the d-pad and volume-keys you can easily change the title, adjust the volume, prewind or rewind. Using the touchscreen you can also activate or deactivate the shuffle mode or send the song easily. If you don’t like the sound quality, you can try to improve it by open the equalizer and by choosing one certain mode out of 11. Exactly like on the PC you can also create own playlist on the G900 and playback it at any time. This is fairly simple and makes, if you have a lot songs, sense. Since the G900 runs on Symbian OS 9.1 UIQ 3, it’s of course possible to playback the music in the background while you’re surfing the web or writing a text message.


Connectivity:
The G900 offers WiFi, Bluetooth, GPRS, UMTS, and Sony Ericsson’s port, which can be used for the connection to the PC or headset. More over, you can charge the G900 via the USB-cable. In the test the connection via Bluetooth to a PC and E71 ran smoothly. Besides SMS and MMS the G900 can also receive and send e-mails. After creating email accounts, emailing can begin. E-mails are displayed just like you are used it from the computer with images and graphics.

Using WiFI, UMTS or any other connection you can also go online and surf the web. Unfortunately the G900 doesn’t offer the best internet browser for WAP and HTML sites. However, you can read the content but not as good as on the computer. My tip is Opera Mini. Using Opera Mini the sites are loaded ways faster and surfing is much easier. Opera Mini can be downloaded here: mini.opera.com/beta.

Usage:

On the stand-by screen you have different panels which allow you a quick overview of some application such as the calendar, RSS Feed or E-mails. Via the settings you can also add additional panels. One panel is called ” My shortcuts” which allows you quick access to 9 application you set before. The menu has nine main-folders and is pretty oversee. As a newcomer you need a few hours to know exactly the whole menu /system but thanks to the good icons and the explanation it’s rather easy. Something I really liked are the transitions, for example when you press on ”More”. Unfortunately, you can’t move the icons in the main menu but you can create new folders or can decide whether the menu is shown in a list or grid. After the G900 booted it takes a while till it’s ready to use. Sometimes it’s really slow and needs a while to open an application. Another downside is that the title for the icons aren’t displayed next to the icon but on the top of the display what may be confusing.

Business:

The G900 is not just a multimedia device but also a good business device. So you can find a lot business application in the folder ” Organiser”. Here a list of some business applications:

  • Business card scanner
  • Pdf+
  • Quickoffice
  • Calendar
  • Tasks
  • Notes

Using Quickoffice you can open and read Word, Exel and Powerpint files. More over, you can edit Word, Exel and even Power Point files or create new files. Of course the G900 offers also a Calendar for busy people. You can, for example, choose between monthly, weekly and daily view. Furthermore, you can set reminders, all-day events and anniversaries.

Verdict:

The G900 offers almost everything you need, and sometimes even more. From WiFi, to the 5 megapixel camera to the torch it packs a lot under its handy hood. Unfortunately, UIQ needs some improvements in terms of its browser but all in all the G900 is a great device for any case being multimedia, business or just for the average usage. However, I don’t think that it is as good as the N95 or N82, especially since they offer a better internet browser.