The Sony Ericsson P990 will be the first commercially available smartphone to adopt the Symbian OS version 9.1 and UIQ 3 software platform. This UMTS smartphone is Wi-Fi enabled, has a 2 megapixel camera with autofocus and features a new hardware keyboard beneath the flip-down keypad. The phone will start shipping during Q1 of 2006.
The P990 is the next in a line of Sony Ericsson smartphones based on Symbian OS, which includes the P800, P900 and P910. These all have similar form factor, but the QWERTY keyboard was only introduced with the P910 model.
After a long period with rumours on the Internet, Sony Ericsson says this advanced announcement is to ensure a large proportion of applications are available on the new Symbian and UIQ software platform when the P990 goes on sale. The company says the decision to announce the smartphone well in advance of availability is so that developers have time to create and certify as many applications as possible.
The Sony Ericsson P990 offers the benefits of 3G UMTS including video calling, high-bandwidth multi-media downloads and the ability to browse the Internet with full HTML pages. These are viewed in landscape on the new Opera 8 browser.
The P990 has multiple text input methods, and in addition to the touchscreen, a new hardware keyboard is positioned beneath the flip-down keypad on the main body of the phone, instead of being on the reverse side of the flip-down keypad, as in the previous P910 model.
The screen is a 2.8 inch QVGA (240x320 pixels) touch screen. The new phone measure 114mm x 57mm x 25mm and weighs 155g with battery and flip keyboard.
Sony Ericsson says multi tasking is now possible due to the enhanced capabilities of the new software platform, and this feature allows users to download files, read emails, at the same time as a voice call is in progress.
Memory has been extended in order to handle all multi-media downloads and e-mail attachments. The P990 comes with up to 80MB RAM free for user programs, and the company expects Memory Stick PRO Duo up to 4GB will be available in the market at launch and the P990. A 64 MB Memory Stick PRO Duo is included in the box, preloaded with a VPN client and trial version of a virus scan package.
In terms of communications the new device adds connectivity to 3G UMTS (WCDMA) networks with speeds of up to 384kbps (kilobits per second), plus built-in wireless LAN (802.11b). that allows users to connect to a home network or public hotspots for applications such as e-mail, browsing the Internet/Intranet and VoIP. The phone also supports Bluetooth and infrared.
Other new features include automatic time zone change to the Calendar diary and updated PC sync software with extended synchronization possibilities. Additionally the phone comes with a 2 Megapixel camera with autofocus, digital zoom, and photo light.
In a separate announcement today, Sony Ericsson Developer World and UIQ Technology outlined their plans to support UIQ 3 developers.
Developers can program in C++ or Java to create powerful professional and personal productivity tools for the P990. The smartphone is based on Java Platform 3 (JP-3). It supports four new Java Specification Requests (JSR’s) including Web Services (JSR-172) and Mobile Java 3D.
The P990 will be commercially available in Q1 2006. The variants will be P990i Dual mode UMTS (2100MHz) - GPRS 900/1800/1900 for Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa; P990c Dual mode UMTS (2100MHz) - GPRS 900/1800/1900 for Mainland China.
Screen - Large 2.8 inch QVGA (240 x 320) touch screen with 262 k colours that supports landscape view for camera, video imaging and browsing