Sony Ericsson Cyber-shot K850i camera phone
So cutting edge you could shave with it
Review So here it is, the new big boy on the block. Replacing the old K800i/K810i at the top of the Sony Ericsson cameraphone family tree, the K850i shoulders quite a burden of expectation. After all, as far as Sony Ericsson is concerned this is pretty much as good as it gets.
Sony Ericsson's K850i
We're not entirely sure if the design the K850i represents the fulfillment of the current Sony Ericsson aesthetic philosophy or the start of a new one, but either way it's a nice bit of kit, both to look at and to fondle. In basic layout the K850i is clearly an evolution of past Cyber-shot phones, the front being dominated by the large 256,000-colour screen, now a bigger 2.2in, up from 2in on the K810i.
Measuring in at 10.2 x 4.8 x 1.7cm and weighing 118g, the K850i's increased ability has thankfully not resulted in any unseemly bloat when compared to its lesser siblings. Indeed, quite the reverse, as it manages to do away with the K800i's rear bulge. The plastics are of a uniformly high standard, though the gloss black casing does show up smudges and fingerprints. The access panel for the battery, and memory and SIM card slots is a lovely bit of design and manufacture, looking and feeling more like the battery compartment of a digicam than a phone with its usual bit of dodgy clip=on plastic.
More features than before but no bloat
The keyboard is similar to the one found on the T650i, though the individual keys are a shade larger. It looks a little odd, but works well. Ergonomically, the K850i it is very hard to fault and is a fine texting tool.
If you're looking for a torch for the K810 (might work with K800 too - I don't have one, so I can't say) then visit esato.com. It's a website that reviews mobiles, etc, but specialises in SE.
Do a search for k810 and torch, and you should find that there's a small java program that uses the auto-focus red light as a flash.
I've been using this since upgrading from my old K750 and discovered that I used the torch a lot more than I realised, and have been happy with the results.
compared to the K810...
...there doesn't seem to be much of interest about this phone. There are 3 things about my K810 that the K850 addresses and that is the battery cover (everytime i slide my phone into my pocket the battery cover comes off), the flash-as-a-torch (i had this on a w550 and it came in useful soo damn often i was gutted when i upgraded to the k810 and had already given away my W550) and the sliding camera lens cover has been removed (opens at every opportunity on my handset). Any joystick jams i have had on the K810 have been fixed with a spray of air. The next phone i go for will have wi-fi and a torch function.
"It lacks Wi-Fi, which frankly is no surprise - it isn't, after all, trying to be a smartphone."
It is not, and was never intended to be, an N95 beater. The game can't be over if the players aren't even in the same league.
BTW: looks as a great phone to replace my old trusty K700i
Camera response time..
Matthew, in answer to your question the 850i takes about 1.5 seconds to auto-focus and take a picture, either with or without flash, and maybe a further 2.5 - 3 seconds to process the image and let you take pic #2. It's faster than many cameras I have used, and certainly faster than my trusty old Nikon.
This reviews is missing the key piece of information
The key piece of information for camera phones is the length of time required to take the damn picture! My old Samsung took so long, photo's always ended up with people moving away.
Any indication of time between shutter-button press and image capture? Also, how long does it take to process the image, so that the camera is ready to take the next shot?