Sony Ericsson K850 Review
As we’ve mentioned earlier, the Sony Ericsson K850 moves the Cyber-shot line to the next level thanks to both hardware and software changes. The hardware innovations are described above, while the software ones will follow. As a whole, the interface is similar to the ones before, but is upgraded, tweaked in some of its parts. In this aspect it reminds of the W910, which also runs the same generation of software.
This is the first Cyber-shot phone with support for Flash Themes. In the past, only Walkmans did, but with newer models we see that Sony Ericsson has integrated this feature also into the “S” (S500) and “T” (T650) series, and now into the “K”. The flash themes can change the icons in the main menu and as we’ve seen in previous models, can even use other layout for it, for example a horizontal list with large visualization. They definitely look much better than the ordinary ones.
phonebook is concerned, there's almost no difference with the previous models; you can save up to 1000 contacts, while each of them can store several numbers (up to 7000 numbers in total), e-mails and web addresses, as well as a personal picture and ring tone, or video-tone for indication when you have an incoming call. You can add contacts to groups but you cannot set a common ring tone or a caller ID to a given group. As a whole, this function is planned to be used only when you want to send a message to more than one contact for example. Finding a contact is done by directly entering letters from the keypad, but unfortunately only the first word of the name considered during the search. However, an option we really liked was to sort the names both by first and last name. Still, if you’ve sorted them by last name, you will not be able to search by First name, which now appears as second word.
When you start dialing a number directly from the standby screen, you will find one of the tweaks coming with the new firmware. The phone will search the phonebook and the calling history for matching results (both about numbers and names) just as it is with any WM6 or BlackBerry device. The convenient thing is that it searches the names as if you type them with predictive input system. For instance, if you want to dial “Neo”, you have to dial 636 (6-MNO, 3-DEF, 6-MNO) and almost immediately the phone will show you all matching names. Unfortunately, like in the contacts menu, the phone won’t search through the second word of a name.
This is just ridiculous and people spending so much money on a phone don’t only require camera with large resolution, but also decent phone functionality. Any phone nowadays should be able to find the names by the second word.
Just as the Contacts, the Organizer menu has its own icon in the main menu. Its options include calendar, tasks, notes, alarms, calculator, timer, stopwatch, code memo, applications links, and synchronization option.
The Calendar can be viewed for a month, week or a day; the latter option shows the events, set for the particular day, as well as the possibility to add new options. When you want to add appointments, you select the starting time, duration and the reminder’s time. You can add details about the venue of the event, as well as a description. You have the option of setting it as an All day event (all birth dates from the contacts list are added as such) and to include recurrence options (daily, weekly, monthly, yearly).
You can also save simple Tasks (reminder for Task or Phone Call) or write a plain note. The menu also houses a Calculator with basic functionality, a Countdown timer and a Stopwatch capable of storing up to nine results. We think that the Code Memo option is useless and we will prefer to have a “safe” where we can save text information, LOCKED (not coded) by a password.
Additionally in this menu is the file manager, which was found in the main menu of phones with the earlier software version. It sorts the content by type and offers option to filter either the phone or the card memory, or to view both at the same time.
Instead the manager, the main menu has icon for the five alarms. Each of them can be set on its own and has fields for time, recurrence and signal type.
The voice commands are activated by holding the Volume Down button, and if you don’t have any voice-tags recorded, the phone will prompt you do to it. We think that this system is useless as you must read what it writes on the screen, but shortly after that hold the phone to your ear, as it has sound notifications but doesn’t utilize the speakerphone. This makes them absolutely inconvenient to use and we even had a problem with only one contact saved. There's no room for making a comparison with the system used in Symbian S60 phones or any other that have speaker-independent voice commands for making calls and opening applications. To sum it up - the one here simply does not work.
The phone has about 40MB of internal memory that can be expanded through Memory Stick Micro (M2) cards, or microSD ones.
Besides the standard and multimedia messages, the messaging menu also houses the e-mail client, which makes it easier for you to send and receive large files that are not suitable for MMS, like full-sized pictures for example. Entering text is aided by T9 which increases the text input speed. The preloaded templates also are intended to help you save time typing in often used phrases and sentences. What we found weird is that this menu houses a RSS Reader, which is convenient to quickly view the content of a given web site without loading it - we checked phoneArena's news in an instant.
The new thing is that you can manage the messages – assign categories to them and save them either to the phone’s memory or the one of the memory card. It would be appreciated mainly by the texting fans.
Finally a Sony Ericsson phone capable of global roaming arrived on the market, which means that it can be used in GSM networks all around the world. Thanks to support of tri-band UMTS/HSDPA, 3G is also usable both in Europe and in America, and the K850 will work with no problem in AT&T’s 3G network. There even is some rumors that the carrier will offer it, but this is still not officially announced.
Locally the Cyber-shot phone connects through Bluetooth 2.0 wirelessly or via the USB cable that is in the box. It comes with the standard for all Sony Ericsson phones PC Suite. You can by-pass it and connect the phone as a mass storage device, in order to transfer files to and from its memory.
As other new models of the company, the K850 is equipped with full HTML internet browser that loads pages as you’d expect to see them, like on a computer. The complicated phonearena.com homepage isn’t problem for the modern browser.
1. Siva (unregistered)
Thnks for the review .. but here i want to say some thing .. 1.) This phone has got a new platform ie a200 which is very advanced .. 2.)the firmware currently is not that stable and camera wise also its not the perfect.. and Jan 08 is when new firwmware is going to be released... 3.)UI is awesome and especially it comes with MegaBAss which is only found in W series.. So get the phone and just be patient for the new firmware release in jan.. and please do conduct a cam test then .. K850 will win every phone outthere in 5MP segment... happy new year
2. aem (unregistered)
give complete review?
3. nick (unregistered)
i was just wondering where i would find the firmware for this phone and also, if it's not too inconvenient, can someone explain to me the process of getting music/pictures/themes onto the phone? and how to get the pictures/videos uploaded to my computer?
kindly update this review.. this model has been changed a bit.. get a new one and try it.. you are giving the k850 a bad name..
5. Mr J (unregistered)
I have had the K850 since early december and I am now on to my third handset. The phone seems to have seriosuly dodgy firmware which when it decides to crash, it turns the phone in to a nice paper weight. Unless you have the right kit to be able to complete a full firmware flash, you have to send it back to your service provider for repair. I have also suffered numerous software crashes on the phone, it turns it's self off ever now and then and when it does come back on, it does not ask for any security codes. Not a big issue I agree, but what the hell is it doing if not a full restart? Surely it should be as if the phone has just been turned on.... There was a newer version firmware released maybe 2 months ago which I applied to the phone in the hope that it would cure the problems, it didn't and I have only just received the handset back from my service provider for the second time, minus the battery....so I still don't know if the handset is working properly. BTW, I am in the UK and on the 3 network......stay clear!!
6. dave diddy (unregistered)
Please Please Please, Save yourself of all the trouble by not buying one of these. I have been using a K850i for 12 months now and my 4th replacement handset has just broken, again! Nice features of the phone but generally runs slowly and crashes a lot and from my experience needs replacing with a new/replacement handset every 2-3months. All the problems were still occuring with this phone even after several firmware updates from sony ericcson's website.
7. snipe (unregistered)
i don't know, i'm happy of my k850i.. it's ain't crash (mayby just 1 time), a little laggy (but rare cell phone don't lag..) but everything else just working fine.