Sony Ericsson T650i in-depth review -

Look and feel

Available in Growing Green or Midnight Blue, both with a stainless steel veneer, Sony Ericsson has gone back to nature, claiming that the design is borne out of its love for the materials and colours found in the natural world. Both handsets look great.

Cleverly, the illumination effects on the keypad interact with the animated screen. As hollow squares drop down from the screen, bouncing as they hit the bottom, the keypad lights up as though the squares are continuing their fall. What's more, the screen changes colour depending on what time of day it is.

Ease of use

With its icon based menu system, this is a very easy phone to get to grips with. The phone also offers one-touch access to the handset's key features and applications.

Once in the menu, the keys vibrate in response to being pushed, acknowledging each command. Next to the back key is the internet key that will take you straight to your operator's internet homepage. Because of its close proximity to the back key, clumsy fingers may find themselves logging onto the net by mistake.

Features

A great set of features for a mid-range handset of such slender proportions. We were very happy with the 3.2 megapixel camera, as well as the inclusion of 3G and a decent array of music player features. It's not a Walkman phone, but it's a decent performer nonetheless.

Performance

This is a mid-range phone, so the camera and music player are not of the caliber of those on Sony Ericsson's Cybershot and Walkman models. Having said that, we found that the T650i performed strongly in all areas and we had no major niggles with the device.

Battery life

Battery life is always a strong point with Sony Ericsson handsets and the T650i offers plenty of juice. In fact, the 420 minutes of available talktime is almost twice that of many of the T650i's competitors.

 Sony Ericsson T650i Review -
4

Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:51:09 PM

8

out of 10

Performance

8

out of 5

Look and feel

8

out of 5

Ease of use

8

out of 5

Features

8

out of 5

Battery life

Pros:

There's plenty to like about the T650i, particularly its unique design. The dancing keypad and screen with Nordic light effects sets it apart from other candybar handsets.

Cons:

The close proximity of some of the keys, most notably the internet and back key, can prove problematic and ultimately irritating.

Remember the Sony Ericsson T-series? If the very thought of the poor integrated camera or lack of 3G found on the T610 and T630 brings you out in a cold sweat, then fear not - Sony Ericsson's new T-series descendant boasts all the features its slick design deserves.

The new T650i includes an impressive 3.2-megapixel camera complete with auto-focus, 3G and a 256MB MemoryStick Micro. It seems that Sony Ericsson has been biding its time in order to perfect the improved version. Available in Growing Green or Midnight Blue, both with a stainless steel veneer, Sony Ericsson has gone back to nature, claiming that the design is borne out of its love for the materials and colours found in the natural world. It all sounds a bit tree-lovey to us, but we can't dispute the fact that both handsets look great.

Cleverly, the illumination effects on the keypad interact with the animated screen. As hollow squares drop down from the screen, bouncing as they hit the bottom, the keypad lights up as though the squares are continuing their fall. What's more, the screen changes colour depending on what time of day it is. From 10am until 7pm the screen offers a forest green colour, before changing to turquoise and then a deep ocean blue from 9pm until 9am when it is followed once again by the turquoise. Apparently, the colours relate to the type of mood you should find yourself in during those hours.

Killer camera

As with the Sony Ericsson K810i, the T650i holds a killer 3.2-megapixel camera and it comes with an endless list of facilities to play around with. As well as auto-focus, the T650i features macro focus, allowing good-quality close-up shots and infinite focus, which takes sharper shots. Other effects include black and white, negative, sepia and solarise.

The self-timer may prove useful, as may the 'burst' shoot mode that takes four shots in quick succession. Although, with the likes of the new LG Viewty offering the same function but with nine shots, this may not prove to be the T650i's ultimate selling feature. Pictures can be uploaded straight to free blogging service www.blogger.com within seconds of taking the photo.

Video DJ

The T650i also boasts one-touch access from camera mode to video via one button. While this is useful, it can prove equally annoying if you have clumsy fingers. When using the video recorder, you have the choice of shooting in high quality suitable for printing or in a lower quality suitable to send via MMS. What's more, the Video DJ application allows you to edit your videos accordingly. As well as being able to trim longer clips, you can also add text, join video clips together and even add a soundtrack, although to watch the clip with your soundtrack you will need to go through the File manager option on the menu, rather than watching it directly in the Video DJ mode. This can prove a tad tiresome.

As has become custom with Sony Ericsson handsets, the back key on the keypad is useful for getting out of any unwanted actions you might make. By holding it down, you can end any current activity and go back to standby mode. Once in the menu, the keys vibrate in response to being pushed, acknowledging each command. Next to the back key is the internet key that will take you straight to your operator's internet homepage. Because of its close proximity to the back key, clumsy fingers may find themselves logging onto the net by mistake.

Thanks to the T650i's welcome 3G capabilities, surfing the web is both fast and enjoyable. What's more, pages can be presented in full screen (i.e without the menu options), landscape, portrait or even in zoom - the first three of which can be accessed by pressing the * key. The scratch-proof screen is a large 1.9 inches that takes up almost half of the front of the handset.

Multimedia madness

The T650i's media player can play music in a variety of formats and music can be sent and received after straightforward pairing through Bluetooth. This can also be done via your PC through a USB cable, as can synching your calendar, tasks and contacts list.

Included in the menu interface is Sony Ericsson's music download application, PlayNow. Visitors to the PlayNow site are able to sample a range of songs before deciding to buy. In general, it worked fine on the T650i, although one or two of the files advertised could not be found. However, this is probably more to do with PlayNow than the T650i itself.

The built-in radio picked up stations easily and static was at a minimum. The T650i allows up to 20 preset stations and the first 10 can be saved by simply holding down the corresponding number button ('0' for 10). Saving channels 11 to 20 must be done through the far more laborious method of choosing the 'more' option, followed by 'save' and then selecting the designated channel. The same process is necessary when you want to access these channels.

The radio can be played on loudspeaker (although the handsfree must also be plugged in as this is also the antenna). Alternatively, the radio will play through any headset that can be connected to a 3.5mm adapter.

Accompanying the T650i is a sturdy desk stand that supports the handset in an upright position. The battery charger can be fed through the stand with a lock function that keeps it secure. However, be warned that even when this lock is off, it helps to have long fingernails to prise it open. The radio can be set as the alarm, although as the handsfree must be plugged in, you are unable to charge the phone at the same time because both use the same port.

With the T650i, Sony Ericsson has not only gone back to nature, it has also gone back to making the

T-series a credible top-end phone. Some of the functions, such as the changing screen colours, are perhaps nothing more than gimmicks, but there's no denying that they add to the handset's appeal. A worthy handset that is set for a bright future.