For these sample shots both phone and camera were in automatic, 'point and shoot' mode. On the upside, the presence of a decent flash at least makes night-time photography a working possibility. Video capture is nothing out of the ordinary, though, at a standard 30fps, 320 x 240 (QVGA).
The K850i comes with a decent range of peripheral functions, including applications called VideoDJ, PhotoDJ and MusicDJ, which allow you to muck about with media of the three respective types. The music function is handy for making your own polyphonic ring tones if the muse takes hold. The lack of a universal ringtone converter is a bit annoying as even our cheap and cheerful LG KG275 has one and it does come in handy.
Customisation isn't the K850i's strong suit with, for instance, no alternate menu views other than the basic 4 x 3 grid. In fact, when in any other theme than the rather garish 'Laser Precision', the whole menu interface is pretty much identical to that on an old K610i we have lying around.
It would have been a nice touch to load the K850i with the T650's rather funky keyboard lighting effects and time-of-day colour changes. OK, they are pointless, but flagship products are where you expect to find the useless but cool stuff. A nice touch is the ability to switch the flash on to serve as a torch, as is the fact the screen changes from portrait to landscape when you tip the phone on its side, iPhone-fashion. Bizarrely, this doesn't work when you're using the web browser, which is one of the apps crying out for this feature.
The usual Sony Ericsson PC Suite software allows you to sync your contacts to Outlook, use the phone as a modem, copy across files and the like.
Sony Ericsson claims a talk time of up to nine hours with stand-by operationg of stretching to 400 hours. Even if these numbers are a little optimistic - though our experiences give no reason to assume they are - they are impressive for an all-dancing, all-singing handset like this. Call quality is very impressive, too, as is the sound put out by the built-in speaker. This is one mobile phone that is also very good at just being a mobile phone.
Sony Ericsson's K850i is great piece of design, well built, nice to use and with all the features you expect from a top-end phone. We can't help but feel the T650 leaves it behind in the 'cool' stakes, and what price a phone with the K850i's camera abilities and the Wi-Fi and 8GB memory of the W960i? Now that would be something to drool over.
Sony Ericsson K850i mobile phone
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