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Setting up Exchange ActiveSync on Sony Ericsson P990i

SE P990i has kept everyone waited for almost a year. It was slated to be released in October 2005 but only release in August 2006 due to some stability issue.

Nevertheless, P990i is a powerful smartphone with tons of features. It will probably take me a while to do a total review. That's not my intention, there's many review out there on the internet. On my part, I will write a review on the Exchange ActiveSync that was pre-loaded with the phone.

Exchange ActiveSync is developed by Dataviz, with the main component ActiveSync licensed directly from Microsoft. The working logic and methodology is similar to that of MS ActiveSync from Windows Mobile devices.

Setting up the Exchange ActiveSync is a complete breeze. Well, users might encounter annoying issue if Blackberry Connects is already pre-installed by the mobile operators. Reason being P990i will only allows one pushmail setup. Resolving the problem is a matter of removing the BB Connects.

To get Exchange ActiveSync to work, do the following steps:

1. Setup your internet connection. It can be WiFi, 3G or GPRS. You READ it, no EDGE support.

2. Go to the MS Duo Pro that was supplied with the folder. Look under the Document folder. Then select en_ExchangeActiveSync if you are running an English version of the phone.

3. Select to open the file. It will open up in a web browser and look for the link to download the file.

4. Once downloaded, it will prompt you to save or install. Select install.

5. When completed, it will go through 5 steps of configurations.

6. Enter your userid/password/domain as that you always do when using your company's PC.

7. As for the server, it is the same url as that of the Outlook Web Access (without the http:// or https://). If you are unsure, check with your IT.

8. Next, it will prompt whether to merge the data (for contacts/calendar) or erase the data from the phone. Make sure that you make the right choice or else your contacts might be wipe-off.

9. The last step is to verify the setup.

Once setup, it just runs behind the background getting your emails transparently.

I did have initial problem with the pushmail because my internet connection keep getting disconnected with error 401. Later I found out that it was because of the HTTP(S) timeout value in the firewall within my company. Once the IT increased the timeout value from the default of 8min to 15min (as recommended by Microsoft, check out MSDN website at, pushmail just works perfectly.

I have another qualms about the calendar sync. It does not sync and I am always getting [-1] Symbian Error. It took me quite a while before I realized that manual entries before you install the Exchange ActiveSync has to be removed before it will sync. Reason being that the Exchange Calendar is of different datatype to that of the native Calendar.

After all these troubleshooting, my pushmail, calendar and contact sync work just wonderfully. I am just loving it.

There's one thing that Sony Ericsson might do better; that is to fix the memory issue. If the memory issue is not resolve, whenever a program needs memory it will just kill off the Exchange ActiveSync. Well, all is not lost. SE is apparently releasing a MAJOR patches that will resolve all the major issues once for all. And that will be in week 48 of this calendar year.


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