Sony Ericsson K750 review
The key on the bottom left of the screen is used for accessing the call log (answered/dialled/missed and a combination of the three). This is handy, as it means you can scroll along this sub menu and access the call log's individual categories with ease and relative quick speed.
In the middle of the left and right key, there is shortcut/multi function' key. This is a new addition to Sony Ericsson phones and judging by its usefulness, I'm sure it is something we will see more of on future handsets made by them. This button performs 3 functions.
Firstly, it is a customisable shortcut menu. You can assign your most used functions whether from the main menu or even almost any sub menu from virtually anywhere in the phone. This in itself is superb, as it allows easy access to your favourite and mainly used functions. On my phone, I assigned my top 5 to Torch light' Bluetooth' Alarm' Notes' and Calendar.' For the purpose of this review, I then assigned the 12 main menu functions to this key, plus another 3 sub menu functions. This made a total of 20 combined shortcut functions and the handset still allowed me to add more. This means that you can add virtually all menus and sub-menus to this key although that would defeat its purpose. The most important thing is that it is up to you to decide what you prefer to have as shortcuts. The phone does not seem limit you to a maximum amount, putting you in full control. Realistically, your top 10 functions should be sufficient. It is also worth noting that you can scroll through the list of shortcuts both from the top and work your way downwards or vice-versa. This is useful if you have assigned a longer list than my chosen 5 shortcuts, as you can get to bottom of the list as quickly as you can get to the top.
The last function of this key is to access what is called a New Events' menu. This is where things like unopened sms/mms would appear and calendar/appointment reminders etc. Again, another well thought out function of this button, as it allows virtually instantaneous access to new' alerts. Of course, you can still go into the normal menu and access these events' as and when they occur, however it just makes life slightly easier to have the shortcut option. On my personal phone, it took me a while to get use to this feature but once I did, I realised its simplicity but yet effective nature.
Personally, I've always thought that on SE phones with similar keypad layouts, the Back' and Clear' buttons could have been replaced (similar to the old Ericsson phones) with a Yes' and No' button used for taking or rejecting calls. They could have still maintained their above described functionality when not receiving making or being in progress of a call, but would have added more ease and user friendliness during any voice call functions. This would have been especially beneficial when handling multiple calls. An example of this is trying to put somebody on hold before attempting to make a call, which at present requires you press 5 keys before successfully holding the call.'
A simple yes/no button (like on most Nokia handsets) would perform the same function with 1 button press. The same thing goes for retrieving a held call, and similar instances revolve around call waiting features.
This is 1 of my small frustrating things I find with this and in general all Sony Ericsson models with similar keypad layouts.
Moving on to the joystick, which is in between the Back' & Clear' buttons. The functions of this button are much better thought out. From the stand by menu, a simple press can access your main menu within the phone. You can then navigate through this in all 4 directions (up, down, left & right) and also access any sub menu by pressing the joystick in, which is your select button.
In fact, you can pretty much access any menu or change any setting within the phone as long as it does not require text input (e.g. putting in a service centre number for sms in the messaging menu). I think this is excellent designing as it allows the user to use 1 button to browse through the phone. Also, as the Back' button is near it on the left hand side, you only have to move your thumb a centimetre in order to go back to the previous menu. This basically means you can navigate through the phone much quicker and with relative convenience.
The joystick (when in stand by mode) can also be assigned to 4 customisable shortcuts. I have kept 2 of the 4 default shortcuts which are: Up = Media player, Down = Contacts (phonebook) as I access these functions numerous times on a daily basis. Again, the user is in full control as you can assign your preferred functions, whether in the main menu or sub menu(s). I don't think this button's use could have been designed any better, and when you add this to the overall improved physical feel of the joystick which we talked about earlier; SE must get full marks for this part of the phone.