A smarter Sony Eric sidles up

Big in 2006: Sony Ericsson P990iDue: Jan/Feb£TBAMeet the Sony Ericsson P990i, an odds-on contender for Stuff's new favourite smartphone – the O2 XDA E

Big in 2006: Sony Ericsson P990i

Due: Jan/Feb

£TBA

Meet the Sony Ericsson P990i, an odds-on contender for Stuff's new favourite smartphone – the O2 XDA Exec currently holds top spot.

Despite having the same brick-like dimensions as its predecessor, the phone tickes all our boxes – it's 3G, has Wi-Fi for hooking up to hotspots and features a 2MP camera.

Sony Ericsson's also completely rewritten the UIQ operating system which will allow for genuine multi-tasking – checking train times on a web page using the bundled Opera 8 while chatting simultaneously, for example.

Other neat new touches include two cams for video-calling, charging via USB, an FM radio and upgraded sync software for Windows heads. By the time the phone goes on sale early in '06, you should even be able to buy a 4GB Memory Stick Pro Duo to match. You'll get a reasonable 80MB of onboard storage as standard.

The big change to the design is the QWERTY keypad's northwards migration onto the main unit of the phone. On the P910i it's on the flip and a 'mare to use.

Barring an intervention by UIQ-worshipping bandits, the P990i should be wending its way in to British shops no later than February. Keep an eye out for it in our Gadget of the Day slot.