Sony Ericsson K800i in-depth review -

Look and Feel

The Sony Ericsson K800i is quite a substantial phone but feels as compact in your hand as, say, the Sony Ericsson K750i. The camera feels like a standalone digital camera to use.

Features

That 3.2-megapixel Cyber-shot camera has auto-focus and Xenon flash. The Sony Ericsson K800i also features 3G, video recording and streaming, an MP3 music player, Bluetooth connectivity and 64MB of internal memory with a MemoryStick card slot.

Ease of Use

The star of the show, the Cyber-shot camera is intuitive and easy to use, just like a digital standalone. The Sony Ericsson K800i's straightforward user interface and rubberised keys make for an easy experience, even for newcomers to Sony Ericsson.

Performance

Photos come out very well, both on the high-resolution screen and in print, thanks to BestPic technology. Video streaming is clear and constant, and video calling, while prone to the usual glitches, has clear sound.

Battery Life

The Sony Ericsson has 420 minutes of talktime, which means you can chat, play music and still have charge left for surprise photo opportunities. 350 minutes' standby is respectable.

 Sony Ericsson K800i Review -
4

Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:49:32 PM

8

out of 10

Performance

6

out of 5

Look and feel

10

out of 5

Ease of use

8

out of 5

Features

6

out of 5

Battery life

Pros:

The K800i's photographic performance is striking and slick.

Cons:

We were expecting an optical zoom for such a high-standing camera phone. The introduction of yet another MemoryStick format means you'll need to splash out more cash to upgrade.

The Sony Ericsson K800i is the first handset to sport Sony's Cyber-shot brand name from its digital camera series. It accommodates a 3.2-megapixel lens with auto-focus, built-in Xenon flash, image stabilising technology and a splendid new shooting mode called BestPic. On top of all that, it's 3G enabled.

QVGA display

Carrying such a powerful camera and 3G technology means build and size will be compromised. However, while the K800i is longer than, say, the Sony Ericsson K750i and its ilk, the handset doesn't feel over bulky despite weighing 115g. You'll be surprised how compact it appears.
The design still has the air of a classic Sony Ericsson candybar. It adopts the joy-nub found in the K750i and W800i while the keypad has a rubberised textured feel to it. It all makes for lucid operation, and newcomers will have no trouble navigating around its straightforward user interface. Its two-inch QVGA display is also stunning and proves to be the perfect platform to look at your photos or use as a camera viewfinder.

Cyber-shot camera

The 3.2-megapixel produces 2048x1536-pixel resolution, print-quality photos. It is easily fired up by sliding down and clicking the active lens cover, and is used like a standalone camera. It takes a couple of seconds to warm up but shutter speed is responsive and auto-focus kicks in quickly. Likewise, saving the image to your M2 card is quite brisk.
As expected, the Sony Ericsson K800i lets you tweak exposure and light settings and choose from an array of effects, while shooting modes include BestPic (which will take four frames either side of your pic and allow you to choose the best) and Panoramic, and you can opt for auto, off or red-eye reduction for the flash. The Xenon flash is particularly impressive. The image stabiliser works behind the scenes will remedy any shudders effectively.

3G phone

The Sony Ericsson K800i also delivers 3G. A front VGA camera is on hand for video calling, and we made a call to an LG U880 with pleasing results. You're never going to escape the curse of image pixelation and noise but the picture was passable while the sound from the K800i's speakers was surprisingly audible. Similarly, video streaming was fluent and handled football highlights and film trailers like a pro.

Expandable memory

The Sony Ericsson K800i supports Sony Ericsson's proprietry MemoryStick Micro M2 card. A 64MB card is supplied, letting you store about 124 photos at the highest picture setting. If you want to hoard other multimedia content like digital music and video footage, we advise you to invest in a larger capacity card; the M2 format currently has a maximum size of 1GB.
Another way of freeing up the phone's memory is to post your mobile snaps onto your online blog. If you don't have an existing eBlogger account, the K800i will automatically set up a blog for you the first time you send in a picture. It will also automatically resize your photo and let you add text before sending.

Video recording

The Sony Ericsson K800i's recording capabilities don't match up to its still camera. It only reaches a QCIF resolution of 176x144; considering that the Nokia 6280 hits VGA quality (640x320), this is a major letdown.
The K800i uses the mobile standard 3GPP (suitably compressed for sending via MMS) and MPEG-4 formats and you will experience serious posterisation and digital drag, despite benefiting from video stabilisation technology.

HTML internet access

Elsewhere, the Sony Ericsson K800i delivers full HTML internet through NetFront's browser, including RSS news feeds, while an FM radio with RDS and 3D-gaming support complement the entertainment suite.
Sony Ericsson has managed to fashion phone with top mobile features and true digital camera traits. It's an example of successful convergence and might even force you to reassess the role your dedicated digital camera plays.