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Flashback: Sony Ericsson P910 used an odd flavor of touch Symbian and wanted to do it all

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Flashback: Sony Ericsson P910 used an odd flavor of touch Symbian and wanted to do it all

After gaining a beachhead in the 80s, private laptop programs invaded properties en masse in the 90s. Then in the 2000s smartphones had been making an are trying to do the same to folks’s pockets. By that time folks had gotten used to document editors, spreadsheets, e mail and web making an are trying. Feature phones weren’t substantial at that – as an instance, the famous Nokia 3310 (which came out in late 2000) might maybe maybe maybe do none of that.

But quickly a original breed of phones looked, phones that had been worship mini laptops. We’ve talked about the Nokia Communicator forward of, today we are able to point of curiosity on the Sony Ericsson P910. The third model in the series, it arrived in 2004 (after the P900 in 2003 and P800 in 2002) and it might maybe maybe maybe do every little thing on the record. It ran Symbian with a entrance stay that would also very wisely be unfamiliar to some of you – UIQ, aka Person Interface Quartz.

Early Newspaper

Flashback: Sony Ericsson P910 used an odd flavor of touch Symbian and wanted to do it all

This turned into once lengthy forward of Nokia’s Series 60 made the sick-fated switch to touch UI, its steady rival on the time had been Pocket PCs running Windows Cell. The plan supported a touchscreen and might maybe maybe maybe multitask, and it made installing apps a trip. And there had been quite a number of apps, even supposing without an apps store finding them wasn’t that uncomplicated.

Good satisfactory, enough prologue – now that we safe such an all-capable plan in our hands, let’s are trying to do every little thing with it and peek how it goes.

Can we exercise the P910 to kind up a overview of itself? It has a hardware QWERTY keyboard after all! This turned into once one of essentially the most important upgrades over the P900 – the internal of the flip out has a three row QWERTY keyboard.

On the other hand, the phone measures most efficient 58 mm wide (and the keyboard itself is narrower than that), so the keys are splendid diminutive. And there will not be any autocomplete or even spellchecking to velocity issues along. A better misfortune is that right here’s a physical keyboard, so you safe to press on the keys (no longer suitable touch them) and after a whereas we started to glean insecure that we are going to snap off the skinny, plastic flip-out that holds the keyboard.

Flashback: Sony Ericsson P910 used an odd flavor of touch Symbian and wanted to do it all

Unexcited, after some note, lets kind at a tight velocity. Indubitably faster than we can manage on the keypad, which lacks T9 or an identical plan for faster typing. An different is to exercise the touchscreen and stylus, which do Graffiti-worship text recognition. Perchance we would safe favored more persistence to learn, however in our (admittedly immediate) journey, the recognition is more hotfoot away out than hit. You safe to be very steady, in any other case making an are trying to write an “o” might maybe maybe lead to an “O” or a “u”.

Even so, whereas you rely on constant text-based totally totally verbal exchange – be it SMS or e mail – the P910 is a capable communicator (if no longer quite as factual as a definite Finnish phone, which has a powerful elevated keyboard).

There is an on-show veil keypad too, which turns into an on-show veil QWERTY in a text editor. On the other hand, the small point to and imprecise nature of the resistive touchscreen practically mean we had been limited to pecking out person letters with the stylus. Two thumb typing is a no hotfoot. Now not much less than you can exercise this whereas you bewitch out to safe the flip and exercise the P910 as a purely touch-driven phone.

Trying to type a review on the Sony Ericsson P910 - Flashback: Sony Ericsson P910
Trying to type a review on the Sony Ericsson P910 - Flashback: Sony Ericsson P910
Trying to type a review on the Sony Ericsson P910 - Flashback: Sony Ericsson P910


Making an are trying to kind a overview on the Sony Ericsson P910

Good satisfactory, original plan – right here’s an advanced smartphone with slicing edge Bluetooth connectivity. Successfully, slicing edge for the early 2000s. We can join a Bluetooth keyboard and exercise that to kind on the roomy 2.9″ point to. Oh, the phone doesn’t watch the keyboard at all.

Alright, that’s no longer going to work. While we assume of what to are trying subsequent, we will play a immediate game of solitaire. Beget you ever heard the story of how Solitaire came bundled with Windows in squawk that folks can safe a fun design to note the exercise of the mouse? Early home laptop programs operated with text commands, however wide-unfold adoption would most efficient advance with the appearance of the graphical particular person interface (which is tough to exercise with most efficient a keyboard).

The stylus is the smartphone version of a mouse. It is quicker and more steady than the exercise of a D-pad to highlight an item. And it allows you to bound stuff, worship in the Chess game, as an instance. A touchscreen and stylus produce navigating complex menu and more than one shortcuts more uncomplicated.

Solitaire wouldn't really work without a stylus - Flashback: Sony Ericsson P910
Chess would be tricky too - Flashback: Sony Ericsson P910
Chess would be tricky too - Flashback: Sony Ericsson P910
Chess would be tricky too - Flashback: Sony Ericsson P910


Solitaire would no longer really work without a stylus • Chess would be tough too

However the stylus is terribly limited in its mouse tasks – it is worship a single button mouse with no scroll wheel. This means that scrolling is done the exercise of the scrollbar on the aspect or tapping the up/down buttons in the corner.

Flashback: Sony Ericsson P910 used an odd flavor of touch Symbian and wanted to do it all

The Trail Dial, carried over from early Sony phones, is a better design. It is the missing scroll wheel and can even be clicked to spark off the chosen item. The dial on our unit has gone a little wonky after all these years, however it is aloof a truly handy design to operate the actual person interface without touching the show veil.

While the 2.9″ point to is small enough that one can without difficulty attain all four corners, one-handed operation is now not any longer really ideally suited because of how the UI is built. The exercise of the Trail Dial and some keypad shortcuts is the simpler possibility in the event you safe most efficient one hand to spare.

Flashback: Sony Ericsson P910 used an odd flavor of touch Symbian and wanted to do it all

Funnily enough, the Sony Ericsson P910 suffers from an inform that faces the first foldable phones – what ought to an app do when the show veil measurement all straight away changes? In this case since you opened or closed the flip keyboard.

Some apps safe separate Americafor both circumstances, then another time most do no longer. This means that in the event you hotfoot to open an app with the flip closed – the exercise of the Trail Dial, of direction – most efficient some apps can be found in. Genuinely, the touch functionality of the purpose to is disabled totally when the flip is closed.

Jog Dial menu - Flashback: Sony Ericsson P910
Available apps in closed flip mode - Flashback: Sony Ericsson P910
Music player (with flip opened/closed) - Flashback: Sony Ericsson P910
Music player (with flip opened/closed) - Flashback: Sony Ericsson P910


Trail Dial menu • Readily accessible apps in closed flip mode • Music player (with flip opened/closed)

Cloak: the dusky home is roofed by the flip.

This makes the P910 really feel worship two phones in one – a classic keypad-driven Symbian smartphone and a touch-driven smartphone that has plenty of tough edges.

For one, the Symbian 7.0 OS that is on the coronary heart of the phone is now not any longer really substantial at multitasking. You can build 5 shortcuts on the top row and exercise them to switch between those 5 apps without difficulty enough.

Yet, for all the relaxation you safe to wade by design of the app drawer. By default, it is an inventory with a small font designed to be used with the stylus. You can switch to a mode with 2×3 icon grid, which is plenty more finger-pleasant, however those damned up/down buttons in the corner stay little and barely usable whereas you manage to hit them with your fingernail.

The list mode is so tiny that you need the stylus - Flashback: Sony Ericsson P910
The grid view is more thumb friendly - Flashback: Sony Ericsson P910
The grid view is more thumb friendly - Flashback: Sony Ericsson P910


The record mode is so little that you simply need the stylus • The grid procure out about is more thumb pleasant

There are some icons on the bottom row that allow you to toggle some phone controls without leaving the presently full of life app. It’s no longer quite a notification residence, however it is a precursor. And there are kind-of rapidly toggles in right here too.

These controls (worship the shortcuts on the top row) are another time quite little and hart to hit with a finger. That is now not any longer really a story about the iOS, however the clunky Symbian UIQ interface made us love suitable how wisely-designed iOS turned into once for finger-most efficient operation.

Some basic phone features can be accessed without leaving the app - Flashback: Sony Ericsson P910
Some basic phone features can be accessed without leaving the app - Flashback: Sony Ericsson P910
Some basic phone features can be accessed without leaving the app - Flashback: Sony Ericsson P910


Some in fashion phone facets can be accessed without leaving the app

Anyway, how about we play some tunes? The P910 has 64MB of internal memory and a 32MB MemoryStick Duo integrated. That’s one of the upgrades over the P900, which had most efficient 16MB internal storage (and the same memory card).

The phone supported MP3 playback, though the annoying proprietary port limited the selection of headphones you can exercise. The Trail Dial is accessible in another time, this time used to change the amount. The phone can additionally play MP4 videos, which worked wisely enough on the 4.6:9 point to (exercise point to of, this turned into once wait on in 2004, so wide-show veil adoption turned into once most efficient suitable initiating).

The 208 x 320 px resolution doesn’t produce for the sharpest image, however it’s handsome spirited with the limited storage accessible (even whereas you’re willing to exercise extra the MemoryStick Duo structure topped out at 128MB). While Sony had a elegant tune studio, managing the multimedia on the phone turned into once left to the actual person – there turned into once no iTunes different.

Flashback: Sony Ericsson P910 used an odd flavor of touch Symbian and wanted to do it all

The Sony Ericsson P800 came with a VGA camera, that is 640 x 480 px resolution or about one third of a megapixel. This same camera module turned into once used in the P900 and P910. Being virtually 20 years outdated at this point we didn’t quiz powerful and that is what we bought.

The camera is meant to be used in portrait orientation and there is a devoted button on the aspect. Press it once to open the camera app and another time to exercise a photo. Or you can exercise the on-show veil controls.

The camera has several modes (Auto, Outdoors, Indoors, and so on.) plus presets for taking pictures photos and videos for MMS. Since MMS messages are limited to suitable several tens of kilobytes, the photos and videos need to be smaller.

The camera app works with the flip opened and closed - Flashback: Sony Ericsson P910
The camera app works with the flip opened and closed - Flashback: Sony Ericsson P910
The camera app works with the flip opened and closed - Flashback: Sony Ericsson P910


The camera app works with the flip opened and closed

One inform we had is that the show veil is quite dusky and its plastic touch layer quite reflective. That made it exhausting to body birth air shots. Also, the viewfinder takes up most efficient a small share of the show veil, even when the flip is opened.

Anyway, listed below are the camera samples we took, jutst manage your expectations forward of clicking.





Sony Ericsson P910 camera samples - Flashback: Sony Ericsson P910
Sony Ericsson P910 camera samples - Flashback: Sony Ericsson P910


Sony Ericsson P910 camera samples

Besides the devoted camera key (which is an easy button, no half press, whereas you had been wondering) is a custom button. You can living it to open an app of your selecting, which is quite handy.

Perchance we do some overview on the Web, we notion. Making an are trying to do that on the phone, we quickly ran into an inform. The Sony Ericsson P910 (and outdated units) is a 2G-most efficient phone. And even whereas you proceed to safe 2G provider for your residence, there is a elevated inform – most sites safe moved to serving pages over HTTPS for security, however the P910 suitable couldn’t handle the newer protocols. We most efficient managed to join to a handful of websites and the GPRS connection felt excruciatingly slack, taking on to 30 seconds to load even quite easy pages.

Browsing over GPRS is slow - Flashback: Sony Ericsson P910
Only some sites work - Flashback: Sony Ericsson P910
Have you heard of this new show? - Flashback: Sony Ericsson P910
Have you heard of this new show? - Flashback: Sony Ericsson P910


Having a glance over GPRS is slack • Easiest some sites work • Beget you ever heard of this original point to?

In its heyday the Sony Ericsson P910 turned into once a Swiss military knife – it had tools for messaging, office work, web making an are trying, photography and the factor that makes smartphones better than characteristic phones, the ability to without difficulty add original tools by installing apps.

It is really showing its age in 2021, however to be magnificent the Web turned into once a digital Wild West in the early days and digital cameras improved by leaps and bounds early on. This makes the P910 really feel older than it is.

And it is outdated, having advance out in 2004 it is virtually outdated enough to vote now. Alas, it is much less a young’un and more a veteran of a misplaced battle – all its Symbian compatriots are gone, especially the UIQ squad.

Flashback: Sony Ericsson P910 used an odd flavor of touch Symbian and wanted to do it all

The hardware is impressively capable for its age, its software is really of its period. The graphical fashion with the grayish pseudo 3D aspects and little icons hit us with a dose of CRT-tinted nostalgia.

It’s easy to criticize the UI now, however getting an person interface magnificent is a momentous activity. Over three decades later Microsoft is aloof fiddling with the belief that. And it turned into once enthralling to peek the glimpses of OSes yet to advance – smartphones safe gone an excellent distance and the P910 is a milestone along the highest design.

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Flashback: Sony Ericsson P910 used an odd flavor of touch Symbian and wanted to do it all