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Sony Ericsson's P990 Smartphone Released

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the toys-n-things dept.

Handhelds 216

Dynamoo writes "After months of rumors, Sony Ericsson has finally announced their P990 Symbian smartphone. Packing both UMTS (3G) and WiFi in addition to a 2 megapixel digital camera and a host of other goodies, the P990 looks like it will be a shot in the arm for the Symbian camp. There's no indication of a US release for this handset, but the rest of the world can expect to see it early next year."

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Immediate Recall (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13759102)

Ericsson later recalled the product, observing "We were so keen to cram in so much shit you'll never, ever use, that we forgot to make it work as an actual phone."

Re:Immediate Recall (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13759280)

There's no indication of a US release for this handset

Yes, why should they? US-Americans will buy all kinds of complete, utter crap, but would not recognize a good product if you smash in their fat, hideous "face" with it.

Why did VHS succeed? Why did CDs last when MDs whare out? Why do they buy NVIDIA graphic-cards instead of passively-cooled ATI-cards vastly outperforming them? Why do they pay 75 Dollars for XP Home Edition with their WalMart-PC?

Re:Immediate Recall (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13759346)

Lynn-ucks like teh butt seks.

Re:Immediate Recall (2, Insightful)

JohnnyBigodes (609498) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759566)

Why do they buy NVIDIA graphic-cards instead of passively-cooled ATI-cards vastly outperforming them?

That was two years ago, right? And I think you're quite wrong about the "passively-cooled" part. Above the absolute lowest video cards, there are almost none that are passively cooled, whether from nVidia or ATI.

The 3 Billy Goats and the troll (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13759328)

Once upon a time there were three billy goatse, who were to go up to the hillside to make themselves fat, and the name of all three was "Gruff."
On the way up was a bridge over a cascading stream they had to cross; and under the bridge lived a great ugly troll , with eyes as big as saucers, and a nose as long as a poker.
So first of all came the youngest Billy Goat Gruff to cross the bridge.
"Trip, trap, trip, trap! " went the bridge.
"Who's that tripping over my bridge?" roared the troll .
"Oh, it is only I, the tiniest Billy Goat Gruff , and I'm going up to the hillside to make myself fat," said the billy goat, with such a small voice.
"Now, I'm coming to gobble you up," said the troll.
"Oh, no! pray don't take me. I'm too little, that I am," said the billy goat. "Wait a bit till the second Billy Goat Gruff comes. He's much bigger."
"Well, be off with you," said the troll.
A little while after came the second Billy Goat Gruff to cross the bridge.
Trip, trap, trip, trap, trip, trap, went the bridge.
"Who's that tripping over my bridge?" roared the troll.
"Oh, it's the second Billy Goat Gruff , and I'm going up to the hillside to make myself fat," said the billy goat, who hadn't such a small voice.
"Now I'm coming to gobble you up," said the troll.
"Oh, no! Don't take me. Wait a little till the big Billy Goat Gruff comes. He's much bigger."
"Very well! Be off with you," said the troll.
But just then up came the big Billy Goat Gruff .
Trip, trap, trip, trap, trip, trap! went the bridge, for the billy goat was so heavy that the bridge creaked and groaned under him.
"Who's that tramping over my bridge?" roared the troll.
"It's I! The big Billy Goat Gruff ," said the billy goat, who had an ugly hoarse voice of his own.
"Now I 'm coming to gobble you up," roared the troll.


Well, come along! I've got two spears,
And I'll poke your eyeballs out at your ears;
I've got besides two curling-stones,
And I'll crush you to bits, body and bones.


That was what the big billy goat said. And then he flew at the troll, and poked his eyes out with his horns, and crushed him to bits, body and bones, and tossed him out into the cascade, and after that he went up to the hillside. There the billy goats got so fat they were scarcely able to walk home again. And if the fat hasn't fallen off them, why, they're still fat; and so,


Snip, snap, snout.
This tale's told out.

Too true (1, Troll)

Sanity (1431) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759407)

I have a P910, I upgraded from a P900 - largely due to not having any better options - and I regret it. The software crashes, performing basic phone tasks takes longer than with simpler phones, its just over-complicated.

My next phone will have the simplest UI I can find unless they have made significant advances in the usability of the P9XX series.

FIRST HORSE! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13759104)

I AM A HORSE!

Re:FIRST HORSE! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13759197)

You are an ass to say that.

2megapixel is pretty impressive quality (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13759112)

I'm not one for convergence devices but 2 megapixel is pretty dang good quality for photos, easily enough for snapshots to be printed on 6x4. I wouldn't be surprised if this generation of phones eats into the existing digital camera market pretty heavily, where people might sacrifice 4MP (who really needs that much for snapshots) when they can get about the same in their cell.

Re:2megapixel is pretty impressive quality (3, Insightful)

bedroll (806612) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759162)

2 megapixel is impressive quantity. For quality you have to see the content of the pictures to judge their image's correctness.

Re:2megapixel is pretty impressive quality (1)

otis wildflower (4889) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759468)

Close enough for horseshoes, hand grenades, government work, or grassroots journalism....

Re:2megapixel is pretty impressive quality (1)

NotWorkSafe (891638) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759640)

grassroots journalism....

Is that what people are calling MySpace now? Sheesh...

Re:2megapixel is pretty impressive quality (2, Informative)

SillyNickName4me (760022) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759210)

For what I have seen you do not want to make prints from pictures made with a phone camera.

Not untill the optics and sensor in the typical phone camera get a lot better. Substantial distorition at the edges of the picture, noise and bad colors and such are the primary reasons why pictures with the cameras in the last geenration of phones still look crappy compared to any somewhat decent compact digital camera with the same resolution. They will however cut away the market for real low-end digicams.

No (2, Insightful)

temojen (678985) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759275)

It's all in the relationship between lens quality & sensor size. A lens small enough to fit in a cell phone is going to be pretty crappy, and a sensor small enough to fit in a cell phone is going to be small enough that chromatic aberation will be a concern. Upping the resolution will make the chromatic aberation even easier to notice. If you want a camera, buy a camera, not a cell phone.

There are lots of things that could be merged with a cell phone (mp3 player, voice recorder/dictaphone, PDA, thumb drive, etc). A camera is one thing that should not.

Re:2megapixel is pretty impressive quality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13759327)

People should be careful not to assume that more megapixels means too much.

The reason even a sub-1 MP camera phone takes such crappy pictures is mostly because of the lens. 640 x 480 = 307,200. That's 0.3 megapixels, and is quite sufficient for most pictures that one might want to snap in a hurry as in most cases where one might resort to using a phone as their camera. But no camera phone that I've ever seen has ever had a lens and circuitry subsystem that produced even mediocre pictures at even that resolution.

Until we see larger, telescoping lenses on camera phones (oh, may Heaven ever forbid this), megapixel ratings on camera phones are a red herring, like incredible signal response ratings on $5 headphones.

Re:2megapixel is pretty impressive quality (1)

mustafap (452510) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759452)

I think you should look carefully at the lens technology first before making that judgement. No amount of pixels will help a poor quality plastic lens.

Re:2megapixel is pretty impressive quality (2, Informative)

pommiekiwifruit (570416) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759628)

Already done for my last few holidays (Sony Ericsson K750i also has 2 megapixels). Printing them out at 6x4 inches works fine.

Carrying your phone around is more convenient than a bulky camera, but the long time to setup the autofocus (seconds) can be annoying, as is the fact that it takes the picture some time *after* it makes the "click" noise and people have faced away again.

However, it is nice to be able to capture (somewhat grainy) pictures at night and get detail beyond the reach of a flash.

It would be nice if standard phones were more ruggedised though (i.e. waterproof).

With all those gadgets... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13759113)

I'm sure the battery life is great!

Sony, still sticking it to the consumers (4, Insightful)

yagu (721525) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759114)

from the article: Internal memory is 80Mb, and this is expandable through Sony Memory Stick Pro Duo cards (64Mb is included, 2Gb maximum).

'Nuff said.

Enough with the proprietary memory stick technology already!

I hate company's that use a stick to sell their product.

A memory carrot would be more to my liking. (Can you say SD, or MMC?)

Re:Sony, still sticking it to the consumers (1)

kylegordon (159137) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759200)

99.9% of '5 in 1' memory card readers can read memory sticks. I don't see what your problem is.

Re:Sony, still sticking it to the consumers (2, Informative)

DarkYoshi (895118) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759224)

Memory sticks cost nearly twice as much as CompactFlash or SD cards.

Re:Sony, still sticking it to the consumers (1)

skiflyer (716312) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759335)

One of the fun things about smartphones is you can pop out your SD or CF card from your camera and show everyone your just taken pics on a much larger screen.... yes you can now do this if you stick solely with sony... but you're limited.

(I'm stuck too, I have a CF camera and a SD phone)

Re:Sony, still sticking it to the consumers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13759215)

Not to mention memory sticks are a ripoff. I went to Froogle and just picked the top results:

1 GB MMC - $64.99
1 GB SD - $67.99
1 GB Memory Stick - $79.88

Why is the memory stick significantly more than the other two?

Whah, whah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13759269)

Why is the memory stick significantly more than the other two?

... whah, whah

I have to pay $12 extra for a memory stick for my $800 phone. Is there no justice in the world.

Re:Sony, still sticking it to the consumers (1)

otis wildflower (4889) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759490)

Er, that's how much I paid for my 128mb MSDuo... a year ago :p

Re:Sony, still sticking it to the consumers (3, Informative)

emj (15659) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759286)

Well SD would be fine and dandy if there was no license issues. You have to pay alot of money to the SD consortium for using the SD standard, among the members is Microsoft. Did you know that the spec is closed as well so you can't release drivers under opensource.

Proprietary formats sucks.

Re:Sony, still sticking it to the consumers (1)

tehwebguy (860335) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759326)

i could be wrong, but i believe that memory sticks were first introduced when the best (maybe only) available card formats were the compact flash card (which is anything but compact) and smartmedia, which is obsolete according to wikipedia.

while sony has surely made some serious profits off having a proprietary memory card, it seems to have helped them make all of their devices able to share cards, which helps people like me that have owned multiple sony products at a time.

cameras that feature their newest format, the memory stick duo, (or maybe it was new duo sticks) initially came with "adapter sticks". they are shaped and sized like regular memory sticks, and accept the much smaller duo.

while there's still proprietary hardware, it's good hardware and they have take some steps to make it hurt the consumer as little as possible. in the end, i'd say that's a lot better than companies like nikon using standardized memory cards, but drm'ing the software..

Re:Sony, still sticking it to the consumers (1)

SillyNickName4me (760022) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759367)

Welcome to this new age where you have memory cards that can be used by devices from more then one brand...

Re:Sony, still sticking it to the consumers (1)

Alex P Keaton in da (882660) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759392)

Uh- Bad naming. Seriously, how many people are going to do a search and leave out the M due to a typo. Search for Sybian. Seriously. It is a sex machine... Don't they test these names?

Re:Sony, still sticking it to the consumers (1)

UtterRubbish (899347) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759467)

Now if only people could remember when to use apostrophes.

2 MP? (1, Insightful)

DigitalOSH (884551) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759116)

2 MP? is it just me or are they getting better and better? sounds like a handy device!

Re:2 MP? (4, Informative)

baryon351 (626717) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759154)

> 2 MP? is it just me or are they getting better and better?

Maybe.

2MP is just how well the camera captures the image through the lens. if the lens is shit (and it's a very small nonfocusing lens, so for many people it's shit) all you're getting is a higher resolution version of the same washed out, blurred, chromatically-distorted fisheye photos that every other camera gives.

You can get very small lenses that aren't shit, but they cost more than this entire phone would.

Re:2 MP? (1)

slipnslidemaster (516759) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759271)

I totally agree. I hate the fact that the camera part of the cameraphone is crap. Drives me nuts.

I wonder if that liquid lense system combined with a small flash will improve dramatically the quality of current cameraphones without dramatically increasing the form factor or killing the battery. I know the flash will drain the battery a lot but will the focusing system of the liquid lense drain the life as well?

Re:2 MP? (1)

matthew.thompson (44814) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759428)

The specs claim that the lens is autofocus-able. SE have ben carping on about autofocus phones for quite a few months now.

Re:2 MP? (1)

dim5 (844238) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759644)

Meh. Who cares about quality?

You forget the most important thing about increased resolution. It's now easier than ever to send ridiculously huge email attachments of your ugly grandchildren to everybody in your freaking contact list.

Re:2 MP? (2, Insightful)

slipnslidemaster (516759) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759163)

2MP is good but does it have a flash? I didn't see it in the article. These cameraphones can have all the megawhatits they want but without a flash, the pictures are still crappy 9 times out of 10.

Re:2 MP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13759287)

2 MP? is it just me or are they getting better and better?

Yeah, who would have ever thought that technology would improve over time?

Re:2 MP? (1)

DigitalOSH (884551) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759345)

"Yeah, who would have ever thought that technology would improve over time?" thanks dickwad.

Re:2 MP? (2, Interesting)

zeth (452280) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759320)

It is using the same camera as their K750 phone. I have taken some shots with it and they look really amazing, being taken with a mobile camera that is.

Why all the Cameras? (4, Interesting)

LexNaturalis (895838) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759130)

Nearly all the news phones released lately have digital cameras in them. This poses a problem for me, because I'm unable to bring anything into my place of employment that has a camera on it. Some of these new phones are fantastic, but I won't be purchasing them because I'd be unable to bring them to work with me. I'm sure folks in my situation are in a minority, but it's frustrating sometimes to know that something neat like this it out of your grasp.

Re:Why all the Cameras? (1)

spazimodo (97579) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759181)

Get a blackberry - they specifically don't include cameras because their data security conscious customers (govt military, etc.) are concerned about them.

Re:Why all the Cameras? (1)

Hrodvitnir (101283) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759219)

Get a blackberry

I'd hold off [slashdot.org] on that for the moment.

Re:Why all the Cameras? (1)

Fishstick (150821) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759372)

uh, yeah -- you can probably pick up one up real cheap now

Re:Why all the Cameras? (1)

pixas (711468) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759216)

SonyEricsson is working on a phone aimed at people just like you. A 3G smartphone without camera, with high security encryption and built in VPN features. No one outside SEMC* knows anyting about the announcement date yet though... but hang in there!

* SonyEricsson Mobile Communications

Re:Why all the Cameras? (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759246)

I'm sure folks in my situation are in a minority, but it's frustrating sometimes to know that something neat like this it out of your grasp.

There are plenty of folks in your situation and they are all quite vocal about it. I tend to agree with you but there are always some slimmed down versions of phones which are available for people in your situation. I have two friends that cannot bring cameras into work. One bought a lower end model phone for $49 and uses that. The other just doesn't bring his phone into work.

As for the rest of the people buying phones out there... 90% of those people have no use for a camera phone and rarely use it at all. If they do use it, it's for crappy photos of their friends while drinking. Yeah, we've all heard a couple of stories where teenaged girls took photos of attacker's license plates, etc.

Some people, like me, enjoy having a phone on their Internet connected phone and use it more than the rest of the public. I have a mobile gallery [lazylightning.org] where I dump all my photos from my phone. Some of those end up on my website in stories about restaurants or some dumb bullshit my friends and my wife did.

So, while they aren't great for everyone and aren't used by most, they are still a useful addition IMHO.

Re:Why all the Cameras? (2, Informative)

otis wildflower (4889) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759414)

Cameras can also be handy after an auto accident, like the one I was in last friday. The resolution is good enough for snapping license/insurance/registration as a backup for handwriting, and taking pix of the damage can be helpful as well.

Also, 'citizen journalism'. Camphones are a big win here, and videophones look to be even better.

Also, on my last Grand Tour of Continental Europe, I used my P800's cam to take _all_ my pix, as my PowerShot had given up the ghost a short time before. Even without flash or focus, I could get decent results, especially when watching them as a TV slideshow.

I kind of tune out the 'device purity wars', since in the end it keeps sounding like old coots whingeing about the 'good old days'..

There are some (1)

elfguygmail.com (910009) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759258)

Check the high end nokia devices, like the N90/N91 communicator, they have no camera.

Re:There are some (1)

otherniceman (180671) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759574)

N90: 2 MP, 1600x1200 pixels, Carl Zeiss optics, autofocus, video, flash
N91: 2 MP, 1600x1200 pixels, video

Nokia 9300 does have a camera. I am in the same boat at the moment. I have to downgrade from P910i to Nokia 6021.

If you want to search for phones with specific features GSM Arena they have a good search facility http://www.gsmarena.com/search.php3 [gsmarena.com] .

Re:Why all the Cameras? (2, Insightful)

un1xl0ser (575642) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759401)

A minority, true, but not a small minority.

Any company that does research and development should have policies about cameras. Some military jobs probably have similar restrictions.

I had jury duty recently, and was not able to bring in a camera phone.

Vertical Market Phones Often Have No Camera (2, Informative)

Tetravus (79831) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759539)

Many manufacturers produce two versions of their phones. Those intended for home users, that come with cameras and those for the vertical markets/Saudi Arabia that may have some features removed (cameras) or disabled (wireless connectivity that may compromise security). Or so I've heard.

If anyone could confirm this story with actual product numbers I'd appreciate it.

Easy solution (1)

Sanity (1431) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759577)

This poses a problem for me, because I'm unable to bring anything into my place of employment that has a camera on it.
Find an employer that trusts you.

Seriously, if an employee is determined to compromise the security of their employer, they will do it, with or without a camera phone.

Re:Why all the Cameras? (1)

Nightspirit (846159) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759619)

Samsung i730.
Great phone, no camera.

Blackberry (3, Interesting)

Hey Pope Felcher . . (921019) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759137)

Sony Ericsson say that the P990 can support all major push email protocols, including Blackberry.

. . . so this can replace my soon to be defunct [slashdot.org] Blackberry?

Now will someone tell me why all interesting new gadgetery is so slow to be released in the US.

I want a DUMB phone (4, Funny)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759150)

Can anyone recommend a high-quality DUMB phone?

These are features I'm looking for:

o) No camera
o) No games
o) No Java
o) No blue-tooth/wi-fi
o) Just a really big phonebook + clock
o) Really, really, small
o) Really, really tough (titanium alloy? liquid metal?)
o) Lots of stand-by time, lots of talk-time
o) Fast (and quiet) power on/off times
o) GSM (my current carrier is T-Mobile)

Re:I want a DUMB phone (3, Informative)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759183)

How about the RAZR? You can just ignore the features you don't use. (You'll never find a phone that meets that whole list, because that market is too small.)

Re:I want a DUMB phone (1)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759276)

How about the RAZR? You can just ignore the features you don't use.

I think the camera is mandatory on the razr. For my needs (if I told you, I would have to kill you) there must be no camera, and simply breaking the camera is not enough to pass muster.

Re:I want a DUMB phone (2, Insightful)

itomato (91092) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759530)

I thought that - I was wrong.

The RAZR is crap. It's svelte crap, but crap to be sure.

The UI is needlessly complex, compared to a NOKIA at least.
The ringer volume is too low
There are too many buttons & too many features
The vibrate is too gentle

Bluetooth? Not on a simple phone..
MP3 ringtones? Not on a simple phone..
Camera? Not on a simple phone..

The problem is, to get a phone with few features, you're getting a phone that's ugly, big, and uses less-than-high-end components. It's free, there are plenty of cases & replacement batteries for it, but a crap phone is a crap phone.

Where's that high-end Finnish phone from a few years ago? Ultimately simplistic, and incredibly well-designed. Tone that down to meet the $299 price point, and I'm in!

Re:I want a DUMB phone (1)

korbin_dallas (783372) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759236)

Amen brother.

I went to the site to look at that ugly monstrosity.

I agree with you.

How about a phone the size of a Ipod tiny, or whatever its called?

Better , a credit card sized phone that has great signal, 48hr standby, 3 hrs talk and a ubiquitous usb recharge so I can recharge from any pc?

And another clue, it doesn't even need a display you know.

I have a REX6000, a pcmcia size device, and I love it. A cell phone in that form factor would be awesome.

Re:I want a DUMB phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13759295)

And another clue, it doesn't even need a display you know.

Why would you want a phone without a display? Without a display you can't see who's calling, meaning you can't decide if you should answer or hang up when your phone rings.

Re:I want a DUMB phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13759324)

I have a ten year old GE phone at home. It has no display, it's not even cordless. Works perfectly fine for me. I don't need anything more in a cellphone either. Yes, there was life before caller id and voicemail.

Re:I want a DUMB phone (3, Insightful)

shawb (16347) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759376)

You could always go with this tiny monstrosity [nokiausa.com] . The 7280 is VERY tiny. It does have a very small display, but it doesn't even have number keys. Granted, it's not meant to be your primary cell-phone, just one for a night out on the town (and that means it does have camera functionality.) From what I'd guess, you basically transfer numbers from another phone or your computer or something like that, then select which one to call.

I personally think it's really not $500, but looking at the pictures of the people using them I really don't get the feeling that I'm the target demographic here (even though I do have the tiny iPod shuffle, which is pretty much the same size. But then again I did carry an MP3 diskman around before a cellphone... maybe Apple will come out with an iPhone shuffle that just calls random people in your phone book?)

Re:I want a DUMB phone (1)

AnonymousYellowBelly (913452) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759256)

I would say:
- Small, but not stupidly that I cannot use the keys
- Wouldn't care if it had java or games, but would ask for a LOGICAL and USEFUL way of navigating options (I hate my Motorola C350)
- Though? It better not use iPod nano materials ;-)

Re:I want a DUMB phone (2, Funny)

Hrodvitnir (101283) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759264)

This [3g.co.uk] looks right up your alley.

Re:I want a DUMB phone (1)

DarkYoshi (895118) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759288)

I have an old Sanyo dual mode phone, with a monochrome screen for extra battery life. I'll sell it to you for as much as a RAZR costs, and you can pretend that you're just ignoring the features.

Re:I want a DUMB phone (3, Informative)

Dysproxia (584031) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759291)

How about a Nokia 1100 [nokia.com] ?

It does have one extra feature, a flashlight, but I'm sure you can put tape over it and pretend it's not there.
It also isn't really, really small, because like most phones it has buttons, a screen and a microphone + speaker combination.
It isn't made of liquid metal, but seems to have non-slippery sides.

Re:I want a DUMB phone (1)

tehwebguy (860335) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759382)

you are just like me!

the nokia 8890 -- out of production for years, available for around $100 on ebay (i got one for $75 and i love it so much)

let me go through your checklist though:

o) No camera - check
o) No games - hardly any games
o) No Java - check
o) No blue-tooth/wi-fi - check
o) Just a really big phonebook + clock - check
o) Really, really, small - check
o) Really, really tough (titanium alloy? liquid metal?) - check (kind of)
o) Lots of stand-by time, lots of talk-time - check (kind of)
o) Fast (and quiet) power on/off times - check!!!
o) GSM (my current carrier is T-Mobile) - check

as far as games go, it has the standard nokia games (snake, memory, something else), as far as toughness, it is aluminum. it can get banged up if you don't treat it right, but it looks awesome. as far as talk time, mine has an old battery so i don't really know. i charge it every other night probably.

it turns off upon holding the power button for 1.5 - 2 seconds and doesn't make a sound. turning it on is the same, and it is at the menu in under 4 or 5 seconds. the phonebook loads faster than my newer color samsung crap.

it is a world phone and will work on t-mobile. all i did was buy one and pop the sim card in.

if you buy one on ebay, obviously make sure it is unlocked or is locked for t-mobile or voicestream

The problem is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13759395)

They exist. They just dont get advertised on sashdot. Visit your cell phone dealer and inquire. A lot of times ou can get fones "free" for signing up. Be warned though, dont expect to gain much in talk time or ruggedness.

Motorola is coming out with a $30 phone that is ruggedized although they intend to market to the developing world only (since the profit margin is so low, they dont want it eating their profits here .. if they can sell one camera phone for $100 and make $10, they rather do that than sell eight $30 phones for a $1 profit margin each).

Also, the problem is that none of the features you don't want actually cost them any money to include.

I found out that it literally costs under $3 for the camera (sorry no reference, google. or take with grain of salt). Having a camera, bluetooth, and wifi dont consume extra power. Most of the power is spent driving the display and transmitting the phone call. So if you choose the option of reducing your cellphone brightness and not play any games ..it's basically the same as having a phone without the gaming/java features. Presumably having a barebones LCD display will give you five extra talk time minutes. The phone cannot be made super tiny because it gets un ergonomic .. hard to fit convenient to press buttons on a tiny form factor.

And then, the problem is also the lack of demand for such phones given that any phones are bundled "free". So then u may end paying more for less, ironically enough.

Re:I want a DUMB phone (1)

skiflyer (716312) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759410)

You can have a dumb phone, I want a phone with easy buttons.

My god, I picked up my sister's 3 year old motorolla to make a call the other day, and it was wonderful, I pushed 10 numbers, and it took them all.

My current motorolla I have to watch the display as I key in numbers as the 5 works about 30% of the time, the 6 about 80% and the rest are all right, but are so small compared to the dead space that I miss them on occassion.

And my Treo... that's a great phone, but good god man, there's no good way to dial it without looking directly at it and really focussing, the buttons are tiny, and the touch screen has no context... I like the approach they took with this phone, I hope those keys are actually good and easy to use.

Re:I want a DUMB phone (4, Informative)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759512)

I don't see why these comments always come up. There are plenty of "dumb" phones. Nokia 1100, as mentioned above, would be my preference to meet your criteria, although the 8910 (NOT the 8910i, that i makes alot of difference) does have your requested titanium alloy casing it's got bluetooth too, but you can always (gasp) switch it off. Alternatively buy any of the older models (3310, 3410, Ericsson T28, Siemens A50 etc.) from eBay with a new battery.

Basic phones don't get ./ stories because there's already plenty to choose from any (suprisingly enough) they don't compete on features like smartphones do. If you want one, buy one.

Re:I want a DUMB phone (1)

jonathan3003 (797920) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759575)

I think this one comes very close to what you are asking for:

http://www.nokia.ca/english/products/3120/3120_fea tures.asp [nokia.ca]

I had it for a while (until it was stolen), and was very happy with it. It is small (but not too small for my taste), no blue-tooth, normal address book, tough (I dropped it many many times - not on purpose, of course), fast, GSM, and with a cool speaker phone which I liked.
It has java-based games, but I never used them.

Too bad it's gone :(

Re:I want a DUMB phone (1)

gnalre (323830) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759590)

As a matter of interest, why no bluetooth?

It the only thing on a mobiler phone I really wanted, since it allows me to phone handsfree(illegal to phone on the move in the UK). Unfortunately this seems to be considered a high end feature so I had to buy a phone with a lot of other rubbish(camera, etc) just to get the one feature I did want.

My perfect phone would be the above+bluetooth, since it allows you to connect with your other high end devices if you wish later

Nokia 1221 from tracfone (1)

chocolatetrumpet (73058) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759648)

Check out the Nokia 1221 from tracfone [tracfone.com] (site generally only loads well in ie, imho - don't let your pride get in the way of cheap cellular telephone service)

Combine an old school phone that does ONLY phone stuff (I suppose it techincally has games - I've never played them. the interface is clean and phone centric) with modern batteries and you have one very useful piece of tech.

The display is nice easy to read text.

It's great! Tracfone uses the cingular network so you should have good coverage.

This costs me far less than any other cell phone "plan."

--Just a User - I am not reembursed for this blatant promo - just trying to help out a /. poster

Sure, it looks nice, but... (3, Insightful)

Sheetrock (152993) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759170)

It's getting harder and harder to justify a cellphone upgrade with every 'iteration' of technology. Indeed, as with other electronics, it's to the point where the only truly practical reason to pick up a new device is because the old device is broken.

With the increasing price of oil, I can't help wondering what the face of computing is going to look like five or ten years down the line. The average computer uses as much as 37 Conestoga wagons worth of coal to run on any given day. Much of this is spent on wasteful peripherals we could do without, such as fancy 3D graphics cards or optical mice, but even more is being spent on processing power well beyond the needs of the average user.

Inefficiencies in microcomponent fabrication mean that a great deal of the electricity that goes into your computer is given off as heat. Techniques such as reversible or quantum computing hold much promise in the future for putting more energy into computation but today it is up to the consumer to safeguard the environment.

In a way, the argument is the same as with vehicles -- most people don't need a SUV or a top-of-the-line system but many choose to get them to compensate for inadequacies or because of marketing -- but with computers at least it is impossible to argue you are "safer" for having a faster system. Indeed, you are more likely to run viruses or worms without realizing it because you don't notice the hit in operating performance. If anything this argument is stronger with a cellphone that can be reprogrammed by malware to call phone numbers that cost you a lot of money or hassle.

I've noticed that I've been holding on to computer equipment longer and longer these days. Oh sure, I have to fix a power supply here and a fan there, but besides slack engineering standards from software companies there is little reason to keep up with the hardware treadmill... and at least one compelling reason not to.

Re:Sure, it looks nice, but... (1)

giorgiofr (887762) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759212)

Pentium Mobile.
AMD Cool'n'quiet technology.
VIA x86 clones.

The fact that YOU don't what's available doesn't mean that such things do not exist.
I have to agree on the "most people don't need so much power" line, though. Thin clients in the enterprise, low-consumption PCs at home are the way to go. (Said by someone with 6 or 7 fans in his case... meh)

Re:Sure, it looks nice, but... (1)

DarkYoshi (895118) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759266)

such as fancy 3D graphics cards or optical mice Ball mice use 100mw. Optical mice use 120mw. CPUs use 20 watts. Why don't we all just use 486s?

Re:Sure, it looks nice, but... (4, Insightful)

Roguelazer (606927) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759296)

Hmm. I may have to call you out on several elements of that argument. Firstly:

A Conestoga Wagon transported about 8 (short) tons of cargo (according to the wikipedia article). According to howstuffworks.com, coal produces approximately 2,460 kWh/ton. Now, your average computer/monitor combination draws between 150W and 200W, according to some basic research. That could also be written as .2kWh. So in 24 hours, this device draws, um, 4.8 kWh. Considering that a Conestoga Wagon's worth of coal would be about 19,680 kWh of power, I think we can safely assume that a computer uses about 1/12 of a Conestoga Wagon full of coal PER YEAR.

What else? Um. The thought that lots of power is spent on optical mice is kind of funny. I haven't been able to find any concrete information, but since an optical mouse can run solely off the power provided by a PS/2 port, I'm going to assume that there's virtually no power usage involved.

Strangely enough, though, I do agree with you. For basic tasks (word processing, web browsing, etc), I've never seen anybody who needed more than about a 1GHz machine. That's fast enough to handle the flashy graphics and jazz. I've always found it funny to see Intel advertising their latest 3.9GHz dual-core hyper-threading machine as good for web browsing. But, having played Doom 3 and Half-Life 2, I can tell you quite authoritatively that you can never have too much power in your graphics card. ;)

Re:Sure, it looks nice, but...SIG Feedback (2, Funny)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759316)

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.

Considering how neither of my kids (boys in their 20's) feel no compunction at all about paying back any of their debts no matter how extravagant their promises at the time of borrowing, I worry less about this debt every day.

Re:Sure, it looks nice, but...SIG Feedback (1)

Dogers (446369) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759633)

Don't know who modded you funny.. It's a genuinely serious problem! :(

There was a campaign to get loan ads off of kids tv at http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/ [moneysavingexpert.com]

Re:Sure, it looks nice, but... (1)

AnonymousYellowBelly (913452) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759435)

Well, it's not just electronics. If you want to go the 'high efficiency' world route you would have to forgo many things, including reading /.
So, instead of burning all that coal even with a 250MHz Centrino loaded with Knopixx, you could try talking to someone that is, oh gasp!, physically close to you. Maybe have a club of friends that 'car pools' to a bar where each one presents a topic, and all mod each other's comments.

Then we should hunt down trolls, they are just too expensive (energy and time wise) =D

A 'high efficiency' world would be a bitch. I don't think *I* could justify my existence and my work ;-) OTOH, I believe oil is too precious to just burn it with V12 engines.

Re:Sure, it looks nice, but... (1)

Betcour (50623) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759522)

Use a laptop : efficient ones use a *lot* less electricity than a desktop.

Slashvertising? (2, Insightful)

hvatum (592775) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759177)

Is it just me or are a number of "stories" on Slashdot nothing more than glorified advertisements? Phones with mult-megaplixel cameras and built-in Wifi are nothing new [engadget.com] .

/. is no place for a mighty warrior! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13759184)

I must leave at once.

Mistake (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13759189)

As a user of phones for email, I can tell you they made a mistake not having a minimum of 640 pixels horizontally. If the phone is priced over $150, this is an essential feature. This is the minimum for comfortable email reading and sending. For web browsing it's 800 or even 1024 for many websites. I dont know why they even bother marketing such phones as having web browsing capability given the inconvenience.

I never have a problem (1)

grahamsz (150076) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759253)

I send and receive email on my Nokia 6600 Smartphone and it's not too bad with the 240x320 display. Even web surfing is tolerable.

Re:I never have a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13759614)

The 6600 doesn't have a QVGA screen.

Thats what i get for not reading carefully. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13759213)

Jeez, for a second I thought that the headline read SYBIAN smartphone, and that threw me off. Made me gaze in awe at how far technology has cum.

American 3G (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13759221)

Do the americans have any 3G network yet? In case, which technology does it use? It's not umts, right?

Re:American 3G (1)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759354)

This phone is not really aimed at the American market. (AFAIK no US carriers sold the P800, P900, or P910, so why should they change now?)

UMTS is coming to the US eventually, but it's not here yet. Today all we have is EV-DO.

Re:American 3G (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13759442)

Verizon, for one, runs a CDMA2000 network.

Lol, shot in the arm (1, Troll)

jayhawk88 (160512) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759261)

...the P990 looks like it will be a shot in the arm for the Symbian camp.

Unless they're shooting that thing out of a 50 calibur, I'm not exactly holding my breath for the triumphant Symbian comeback.

Looks Like (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759289)

Packing both UMTS (3G) and WiFi in addition to a 2 megapixel digital camera and a host of other goodies, the P990 looks like it will be a shot in the arm for the Symbian camp.

Looks like:

1: New avenues to hack into my phone.
2: More software that probably hasn't been adequately tested in the competative enviroment before release.

Finally a lit keyboard (1)

zeth (452280) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759292)

Nice to see that they finally have a backlit qwerty keyboard!

I have a P910i and it's almost impossible to write using the keyboard when it's dark. I just wonder what Sony-Ericsson thought of when they released the P910 without some kind of light for the keyboard.

Nice to see that it has integrated wlan too! That has been the biggest thing that I miss from the P910.

It's ugly, Jim! (1)

noewun (591275) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759308)

Yikes.

hmmmmm (1)

GmAz (916505) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759329)

***cough**EBay**cough***

Skype? (1)

FuryG3 (113706) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759371)

The real question is, can you run skype or other VOIP clients on it? Using VOIP when within range of a 802.11 network could save you a lot of minutes.

Not to mention making long distance calls via 3G internet access. You're still using your minutes, but now you can call anywhere in the world without having to get a second mortgage on your house.

um... er... (1)

Sebastopol (189276) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759379)

I sure hope it doesn't operate like any of the "Symbians" I've seen on usenet...

Ring Ring

Yeeeeouch!

Ring Ring

Yeeeeouch!

Horrible keyboard design (4, Insightful)

vrv1 (867214) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759391)

I have a p910a (and had a p800 before that) and one of the things that really stand out is the keyboard on the back of the keyflip. The keyflip can increase the size of the screen and become a PDA or when not used can become a cell phone (which is the most important use of the device). By doing away with that, there really is no reason to buy the p990 instead of the Palm 700 (other than that you are a rabid anti-u$ fanatic). You can argue that the P910a's design might result in higher strain on the hinges. But I found the hinges to be pretty sturdy and I always use my index fingers to support the body of the phone while I use the thumb to do the typing.

This is a step back for the P series and i hope SonyEricsson will change it.

better late (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13759413)

How many years late is 3G in Europe now? Now if someone can just put up a UMTS nework!

If it's at all like my P910a... (3, Informative)

snowballs (665092) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759420)

* The screen is so big, that if you don't use Bluetooth or hands free, then the screen gets nasty pretty fast. It's a bitch to clean too.

* Battery life is acceptable if you don't use push services

* It's gotta be tough - the very first day I had my P910i, I dropped it from about 4ft. right onto the concrete and cringed knowing that I was about to be so very fired. I picked it up and the plastic on the side where the photo button had popped loose, but that's it. I used the stylus to pry it back in, and no problem except a bit of cosmetic damage. By and large, most of my Sony/Ericsson phones have been pretty tough. It's ironic that when Ericsson's phones stopped looking like little Volvos did they become less breakable for a klutz like myself.

* the browser hangs sometimes, giving the white screen of no return. Battery removed, power back on and viola.

* it's size is a bit clunky, but one option is to remove the flip entirely and TFM for this comes in the box. Even then, you almost have to use the holster that comes with it - it's just too damn big to put into your pocket.

Charging issues? (2, Insightful)

topical_surfactant (906185) | more than 8 years ago | (#13759641)

I had an Ericsson T-somethingorother for about a year which I purchased because of its small size. The thing charged using these two flat copper strips exposed on the bottom. In fact, all electrical contacts were made using these exposed strips.

The damn metal corroded, and it became impossible to consistently charge it for any length of time, and the headset became useless for the same reason. I junked it. Now I have a phone with a male charging plug, so hopefully the unexposed contacts won't wear out as fast. I want to thrash whatever engineer thought those charging plugs were a good idea.

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