Product Type: Sony Ericsson mobile phones
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where phone meets camera - Hmmm
Sony Ericsson K700i
Member Name: andycris3107
Sony Ericsson K700i
Date: 28/09/04, updated on 30/01/05 (3429 review reads)
Advantages: Features, Price
Disadvantages: Menu, Sound, Keypad
You should take a deep breath and try tro say this all in one go: Quad band, bluetooth, infra-red, radio, MP3 player, GPRS wap, 41mb internal memory, changeable themes, java games, contacts, calendar, notes, voice recorder, and oh yes it can make telephone calls as well.
Add to the list the impressive 1.3mp camera capable of taking stills and video with sound and we begin to see just what all the fuss is about.
This is one tiny device, with so much packed into it that it's almost breathtaking. Yet the ultimate question has to be how does it fair when put throuhg its paces.
I was a little sceptical when I first picked up the phone. My experiences with SonyEricsson have had mixed results; the P800 had its flaws but was overall an excellent phone, while the T610 had a stylish design and clear interface yet was almost impossible to navigate with keys the size of pin heads.
The style of the K700i is based upon the T610 and T630 designs which results in a smooth and sexy design that surely suits almost anyone. The phone sits nicely in the palm of your hand and it just about the right size for your shirt pocket or handbag. I'm pleased to say that the keypad has been enlarges slightly and thus key pressing is easier and less suceptible to errors as on the T610. The screen too has been enlarged and improved to give an amazingly clear and bright image.
Switch on the phone and the graphics are impressive. A 3D menu cycles you around the options and thus anyone with experience of SonyEricsson with have no problems while others may need a few minutes to aquaint themselves with the style.
The phones first annoyance appeared almost immediately, and looking at other comments this is far from an isolated case. The menu often fails to catch up with what you are doing. It will freeze, then do everything in one go, often leading you somewhere you didn't want to go. This is a major flaw. The menu system while very graphical and user friendly needs to be stable, and it isn't.
The central joystick is an improvement on previous models. I did however encounter problems scrolling through menus or contacts where a sideways shift would result in a centre push and the unwanted launching of an application of the calling of a contact. I'm not particularly clumsy and I don't have huge fingers, but I did manage to start several calls while trying to scroll through the address list.
Putting that asside, the phone in almost all cases performs admirably. Connectivity via bluetooth or infrared is a doddle and I was able to connect to a PDA, Bluetooth headset, desktop computer, and another phone within seconds. This is a welcome change from other models which often lost connections.
The phone can handle MP3 sound as well as the standard wav or wma, and does so with the minimum of fuss. A straightforward menu button takes you to the audio section and away you go. The handsfree/headphones provided are of good quality which is good as the built in speaker doesn't really shine and is only really of use if you are sitting in pure silence, such is the level of volume it produces. If you are feeling adventurous there is a neat DJ mixing application that allows you to select from several instruments and mix your own track, though I would imagine that this could become boring after a while. Voice recording is again a doddle; with just a click or two in the menu you can be recording the most private of conversations in no time. Plug in the headphones again and the radio becomes available. While you can listen via the headphones or speaker the headphones are required as they act as the radio aerial. The reception therefore is superb and a snazzy radio application allows you to scan and save stations.
The K700 is marketed as THE camera phone with an incredible 1.3mp camera. The camera itself though doesn't excel. It does have some interesting add ons such as a built in light for night time shots, and thye standard filters. Then there's that crazy Japanese fad of adding an image to your photos so it looks like you're behind bars or on a wanted poster. All very interesting stuff but what is the image quality like? Well, not as good as you might expect. With all the hype I was expecting some above average results, yet no matter how I tweaked the settings the phone failed to impress. Video too was just above average, though the addition of sound is quite nice. As the main selling point of the phone I would have expected something a little better.
As a Java enabled phone gaming is boud to be good. And here they don't disappoint. Three games are included as standard, and they aint alf bad. Darts is a little weird, while the tennis game takes a lot of practice. The rafting game too is excellent and wonderful fun. The graphics in all are superb. More games can be downloaded, and with that 41mb of free memory you should have plenty of room for a good selection.
The most basic function of a telephone should work well. And here it does. Call clarity is excellent and reception fairly good in all areas. The large screen has caller display and you can even flash up an image of the caller if you have it saved to memory. You have the option to take the call either normally, with a headset or hands free, or on the built in speakerphone, which while not overly loud is sufficient. My biggest grumble in this department is the ringtone volume, which is so low that hearing the phone in anything other than an average environment is almost impossible. My wife can put the phone in her handbag and forget about it, it may as well not be there as the chances of hearing it ring are almost nil. It would seem also that the biggest complaint about the T610 - the back button and answer button being right on top of one another has not been taken on board as the same mistake has been made here. Answering your call can very often result in the pushing of two buttons, and before you know it you've cut them off. Sorry but that's just not good enough.
The bottom line
This is not an awful phone. It's a good phone with some silly flaws, which added together could could be considdered a dud. The graphics and colours are vibrant and the features superb, but the most fundamental of applications such as the menu and keypad let ot down. If it's a feature rich one phone does all type of mobile you are looking for then this is worth considdering, however if it's reliability and high quality you wish then you've come to the wrong place. Sorry SonyEricsson, better luck next time.