Sony Ericsson K810 Review
The camera interface is turned on in about 4 seconds and then you are ready to take pictures. It is in a landscape mode and visualizes the number of photos you can take on the available memory, the set resolution and the mode you’re in (pictures/video). The left-hand digital keys column (1, 4, 7, *) now features lit icons, demonstrating their function (resolution, focus, self-shooter, flash). There are also descriptive icons (Shoot modes, Scenes) next to the two keys above the display, but they are lit in blue. With the left software button you open the settings, but since the icons feature abstract pictures, you have to point at them, in order to find out (from the headings) what they are for. You have the following options here:
- Shoot mode
- Twilight landscape
- Twilight portrait
- Picture Size
- 3 MP
- 2 MP
- 1 MP
- VGA (0.3 MP)
- Red-eye reduction
- Turn-on self-timer
- Black & White
- White Balance
- Metering Mode
- Picture quality
- Shutter sound
- Shutter sound 1
- Shutter sound 2
- Shutter sound 3
- Shutter sound 4
- Turn on time and date
- Reset file no.
- Save to
- Memory Stick
- Phone memory
BestPic is a mode, in which the phone takes 9 consecutive pictures in a very short period of time, and then you decide which of those pictures to save.
Panorama is a software that combines automatically three consecutive pictures and turns them into a broad-angle composition. When you’re taking the second and the third picture, the software shows you briefly where the previous picture ended, so that you can frame more precisely. Unfortunately, the final result is smaller than the three original pictures would have been, if they had been placed one next to the other, and the resolution is poorer.
Frames offers you fun frames that you can use for your pictures. We think that they are very good, but the problem here is that the resolution of the final image is much less than 3 megapixels.
A new option, which is not available in К800, is “photo fix” (it can be used for saved pictures as well). This option is useful, if you’re taking pictures that are not very well exposed, because it lights them additionally, but the effect is nothing much and it is a software effect, which means that you can do a better job by using a computer image processing software.
Although Sony Ericsson claims that K810 uses exactly the same hardware as the K800 for its camera and it should has absolutely identical performance, we tested it, capturing a few objects at the same time with the two cameraphones. We hoped that K810 will perform better, but really disappointed us. It seems that K810 uses new software algorithm and its images are worse than K800’s. This doesn’t make sense, but is the reality.
Outdoor, all images produced by the K810 look as if they have a grey filter applied – lack contrast and the colors are unsaturated. Testing the quality indoors at different lightning conditions, K810 gives darker objects in its photos and way more noise can be seen.
We obtained this results with two test units, provided from different places (one directly from Sony Ericsson, and one a commercially available unit from a store). The results were the same. The software information shows Camera Software Version 2.5
The camcorder is kept from the K800 - it has the mediocre QCIF resolution which makes the captured videos usable only for MMS. If you want to preview them on a computer, they will have very small size.
The pictures can be viewed from the file manager; you can view them in a few modes: 5x5 thumbnails, 3x3 thumbnails, thumbnails list, and list. You can sort pictures by name, date, type and size. As a whole, the ‘gallery’ is comparatively fast and convenient.
Unlike W880, if you keep a thumb pressed down when viewing thumbnails on video files, they do not start to play. This is another extra, apart from the flash themes, which is obviously lacking in a cybershot phone, while it is available in Walkmans.
K810 has exactly the same music playback functionality like the K800, but is not bad at all. The Audio player supports the most popular file types, including MP3, AAC and WAV, and lets you sort them by Artist (and then also by Album).You can also create your own playlists and organize your music the way you want. There are Loop and Shuffle options during Playback, as well as several preset equalizers which you can also fine-tune manually. The Playback interface is quite simplified but still displays all the information you need. However, the fact that FastForward/Rewind is done through the same buttons used for Next/Previous track, can be very inconvenient as you have to hold these buttons to use them this way, and once in a while you just change the song unintentionally.
When talking about music reproduction, a major disadvantage is that the headphones from the package do not have a 3.5mm jack as with the W(alkman)-series and you have to use the earbuds from the box - you cannot replace them with something better. The quality of the sound they produce does not impress at all: there's no air, everything sounds flat, and the high frequencies are distorted and instead of clear drum instruments you hear something quite different. The sound quality can be classified as average and coming close to good when compared to other phones, but there's no way to compare it to a good music player equipped with adequate headphones.
For testing the video player, we sent two video files via Bluetooth - a MP4 one encoded with the H.264 codec and the other was the same file but converted to .3GPP (the file size was reduced from 17 to 4 MB consequently). The first (high-quality) file was saved in the Music and the other in the Video folder, and thus only the latter could be viewed. The high-quality video could only be listened to, but there was no picture. The choppy 3GPP video could be viewed in fullscreen (landscape) and the sound could be heard via the headphones, but the quality of this file type is just much lower than the far better MP4/H.264. So we just cannot talk about watching high-quality video with the K810, which is a pity. You can only use MPEG4 with H.263 encoding, but the image quality in this case is still not good enough.
The FM Radio is an addition to the music player, and it offers a nice interface and RDS support for receiving information about the stations. You can save up to 20 of them with the option of storing their names too. Of course, as an antenna you have to use the headphones from the package and they must be plugged in even when you want to listen through the speaker of the phone.
K810 maintains a JAVA MIDP 2.0 and comes preloaded with a few games. Our version contained “Extreme Air Snowboarding” and “Tennis Multiplay”.
K810 adds TrackID application, which we met in W880 and are happy to see here. This is a program, which records a sample of sound, sends it to a server, and tells the user which song they belong to. The application operated faultlessly – it recognized 5 out of 5! After vocal performances we decided to encumber it with a guitar solo of Joe Satriani – it guessed the track unmistakably. Then we ‘tried’ it with a little-known song from a compilation of electronic music (Sounds of Asian Underground), which was also recognized easily. Within around 20 seconds (including recording, sending and analysis) the program achieves very good results.
It is rare to see a screen message that Track ID has not found any results for your music.
In the Entertainment menu one will also find Video DJ, Photo DJ, and Music DJ. Video DJ enables you to merge text, images, and video files in a short clip; Photo DJ makes ordinary editing of pictures saved in the telephone (like brightness and contrast control); and Music DJ is a melody composer.
In applications you will find FaceWrap (a funny image editor, usable for caller-ID images), PhotoMate (a tutorial for photo capturing) and HP Print.
The File Manager is in the main menu, and it sorts the media content by types (camera album, music, pictures, videos, themes..) You can browse the phone memory only, the memory card only, or both (combined).
does the k810i come with a memory card ?
2. Nick Maxwell (unregistered)
I've had the k810 for 2 months and i can say i'm glad i bought it. In fact, i can say it has some differences compared to K800: *K810's price was 450 USD, K800 was 469 USD where i bought it. *K810's screen is brighter and more colorful *K810 comes with a 128mb card, k800 comes with a 64mb card *K810's keypad is more comfortable *K810's camera doesn't open in your pocket *Camera works very fine, i compared it with pics taken by k550 and k800, and they seem to be more colorful, maybe a little bit darker than k800, but not worse *Unfortunately, battery life isn't good enough, i use my phone as an ipod and i have to plug it everyday *Screen is small, so small that cheaper models have it (w580) *No flash, no vibration *Amazing style, but it tends to get very, very dirty *Screen gets scratches easily *The camera shooter button isn't as good as k800's. That's all, I strongly recommend k810 if what you're looking for is a Good CAMERA-phone, and not a mp3 player, a video recorder, a video player or an overall good phone. -Nick