SonyEricsson P910aThis is a follow-on to my April 2, 2005, posting about my new mobile phone and why I hate PalmOne (nee Palm). This weekend I spent a while playing with my new SonyEricsson P910a.

My general impression so far is that it’s a great little device. Lightweight, but with a substantial feel, I was worried that the keypad “flip” would be flimsy but it’s not at all. The screen is bright, and the overall navigation is pretty intuitive. I would have changed some of the menu and button names, but they’re still relatively intuitive. I’ve also enjoyed trying out the many interesting applications for Symbian Series 60 phones which are available at Handango.com. They even have a nifty widget that lets you browse, download, install, and uninstall software demos.

The first of the two challenges I’ve faced so far is using the handwriting recognition. The handwriting recognition seems to be pretty similar to the Graffiti-style that I’m used to with the Palm, but since there’s not a dedicated writing area, I’m having some difficulty getting it to recognize when I’m writing and when I’m navigating. But that’ll just take practice.

The second challenge has been configuring the WAP and MMS settings. The SonyEricsson website has a configurator that is supposed to send the settings to your phone as an SMS message, but for some reason that didn’t work over the weekend. I did, however, discover a Customer Service toll-free number, and I availed myself of it on Saturday. The nice gentleman on the phone seemed genuinely pleased that I’d bought a P910 and was eager to help. He quickly helped me navigate to the right places in the phone to enter in the settings, and ran through it all in a very assured manner.

Unfortunately, when I tried to make the WAP connection, the connection was rejected by Cingular’s WAP gateway. We double-checked that I’d entered everything in correctly, and when it wouldn’t work, he didn’t hesitate to call over a supervisor to review things. We determined that the configuration info, which had apparently been provided to SonyEricsson directly by Cingular, was bogus. Meanwhile, I tried something on my own while we chatted and was able to get a regular internet connection.

The MMS still wouldn’t work, however, so they apologized profusely and took my information so that they could have a second tier engineer troubleshoot this with Cingular and call me back. And sure enough, I got a call Monday morning. Ok, I do deduct a few points because the nice engineer called at 7:15 in the blessed a.m… but still, it’s quite remarkable that a customer support person promptly returned a service call!

Anyway, MMS isn’t working for me yet… the SonyEricsson engineer and Cingular are apparently playing phone-tag. But they actually recognize that there was a problem, and they’re actively and enthusiastically working on it. This is more than I can say I ever got out of Palm, those worthless so-and-sos…