A selection of tracks by Aimee Mann, Bruce and Schubert proved the music player to be every bit the equal of an iPod or Walkman. The supplied headset does the job but has a nasty pair of foam covered ear plugs, so a adaptor bridging Sony Ericsson's Fast Port and a 3.5mm jack socket wouldn't be a bad use of money if you plan on spending a lot of time listening to music. Or you can stump up 40 quid for Sony Ericsson's own HPM-90 headset, which is far superior to the one supplied.
Ready for low-light photography
As expected, the camera on the K850i is pretty decent. With a resolution of 2592 x 1944, a xenon flash and automatic lens cover, it could be seen as just a ramping up of the K810i but that would be to overlook the presence of the Cyber-shot SE 2.0 interface, lifted pretty much as is from the Sony T series camera range. This means that, for instance, for the first time on a Cyber-shot phone you can manually select your ISO sensitivity for reasonable quality low-light photography.
A glance at the right-hand side of the K850i further underlines the importance of picture taking in the design. Along with the shutter and camera On/Off switches, you get a zoom control and a slider to move from still to video to preview mode. When in camera mode the keys in the keypad's right-hand column light up more brightly than usual and allow direct access to shooting mode, scene mode, and the self-timer and flash options.
Cyber-shot by name, Cyber-shot by nature
Picture quality is very good for a phone, though as the example images on the next show, a three-year-old Nikon Coolpix 2200 2.2-megapixel camera did give it more than a run for its money, especially in terms of depth of field and colour density. Lots and lots of pixels are not, and never will be, a substitute for decent optics.
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?