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Sony Ericsson K800i
Mobile Devices
Written by Rondog   
Tuesday, 30 January 2007 09:14
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Sony Ericsson K800i
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I do make an attempt to write up a review of most products that I buy, however, a lot of them don’t fit AOA’s profile, like my brand new Pioneer 12” subwoofers, holy crap do those babies hit hard, anyway, back on topic, my most recent purchase does fit our profile, under mobiles devices. I updated my very outdated Nokia CDMA 2112 with a Sony Ericsson 3G K800i phone.

Only having experience with Nokia phones, the menu setup and button configuration is quite different, however, the learning curve isabout 7.5sec. Its dead easy to use. It has a 4 direction joystick which doubles as an OK button, what more could one want? However, this joystick is one of its greatest features but also one of its biggest downfalls which I will get into later.

The quick and essential specs on the phone from

  • 262.144 color TFT
  • 240x320 pixel

  • Memory Stick Micro™ (M2™) support
  • Phone memory 64MB*

  • GSM 900
  • GSM 1800
  • GSM 1900
  • UMTS

Available colours
  • Velvet Black
  • Allure Brown

Size and Weight
  • 105 x 47 x 22 mm
  • 115 gr

A quick summary of features that this camera includes which I pulled off

  • Auto-focus
  • BestPic™
  • Camera 3.2-megapixel
  • Digital zoom 16x
  • Image stabiliser
  • Picture blogging
  • Red-eye reduction
  • Video recording
  • Video stabilizer
  • Xenon flash

  • 3G
  • Bluetooth™ technology
  • Fast port
  • GPRS
  • Infrared
  • Modem
  • PIM sync
  • Synchronisation PC
  • UMTS
  • USB mass storage
  • USB support

  • Bluetooth™ stereo (A2DP)
  • Media player
  • MusicDJ™
  • PlayNow™
  • Supports music tones MP3, AAC

The K800i also includes the standard features we expect from most phones today, Email, Web support aswell as general applications for organizational purposes.

Now done to the nitty gritty, actually using the phone. A lot of the function I cannot utilize such as the internet features, video calling, video streaming and all the other 3G only things. Things I can use (and test) include the camera, MP3 player, and actual phone itself.

The navigation on the phone is very simple and intuitive. Pressing the joystick or Menu brings you to the main menu from which it is a matter of using the joystick to finding what you want. From the main screen and pressing a direction on the joystick can activate a custom set program, such as writing a message, or open a folder such as the media folder where all sound clips, songs, photos, pictures and videos are stored. The back button can be used at any time to return the previous menu. And C can be used to clear the previous letter or number from the screen. The green and red buttons are your call/answer and hang up keys.
This joystick which is so useful, is also the most failure prone part of the camera. All previous Sony Ericsson phones which features this joystick, all had failure problems. Usually being the joystick working intermittently because of over use. This is however covered by warranty which gives the end user piece of mind.
Messages and missed calls pop up as alerts in the Events page on the main screen for when you check your phone. This is a very useful feature as it will show all unread txt and pxt messages and all missed calls in the one location. And now onto the features!


The camera is astounding, most of you will look at the above image and dismiss it instantly saying that its of poor quality because the image is grainy. Yes, the image is grainy, but it was taken late afternoon in a dark room using the phones flash. I think for a camera phone, this is an impressive effort. In natural light though, it rivals a standalone digital camera.


Outside one afternoon (after my housemate washed his car) I decided to take a photo of it. Now in all seriousness, how can one argue with that? It’s clear, sharp, with vibrant colours and details shadows. We aren’t negligent gardeners, we are on water restrictions!!

This is quite some feat being able to take photos of this quality. It is to be expected though considering the phone does contain a Sony Cyber-Shot lens. 3.2mp a few years ago would have warranted an $800 camera. Now it’s included in an $800 phone!

I live some distance from my nearest phone tower, which means I only receive 4/6 bars worth of signal. I don’t know what these signal bars mean though, because it is crystal clear for people on both ends. Just tonight I was talking to my mother and she asked if she rang the landline it was so clear. And I could here her as if she was standing beside me.

The MP3 player only has a built in speaker in the back of the phone, and no output to other speakers except for the headphones included. For high frequencies such as voice, the speaker is very good, but as with all small diameter speakers, bass simply doesn’t work. It comes out distorted and crackly.

The video play back on this phone is quite cool, supporting video clips of all tested resolutions (I threw 640x480 at it). It doesn’t support .avi or .wmv. Free converters can be found on the internet though to convert into .3gp. I loaded several clips on the phone from my computer in .3gp format with the included USB cable. The sound was good and more than legible. It was crystal clear. The video playback wasn’t choppy or anything. It was perfectly smooth even handle rapidly changing pictures with ease.


  The software that comes supplied with the unit is more than adequate for covering all communication aspects of this phone. I prefer to use My Computer though and browse the phone and its memory card when they come up as Removable Drives. I find it easier.

As mentioned above in the specs, the phone includes a slot for a memory card. It takes up to a 1GB Sony M2 card. Purchasing a 512mb card for $40 when I bought the phone is enough to hold a few MP3’s and a bunch of photos.

The phone itself does not come cheap. Weighing in at a whopping $849 AUD to buy outright, or $500 outright on a $49 Vodafone plan. I purchased it on the latter. While being a somewhat extremely expensive phone, that’s the price you pay for using the same phone as “Bond, James Bond”. The only problem with it I have, I think a design fault, the lens cover on the phone juts out from the back, which makes it easy to catch on things such as a rough surface like denim on jeans when you sliding the phone into your pocket. This phone gets 9 out of 10 from me. Its expensive after all.

Join the discussion thread on the k800i here! 




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