Sony Ericsson K850 Review
As we’vementioned earlier, the Sony Ericsson K850 moves the Cyber-shot line tothe next level thanks to both hardware and software changes. Thehardware innovations are described above, while the software ones willfollow. As a whole, the interface is similar to the ones before, but isupgraded, tweaked in some of its parts. In this aspect it reminds ofthe 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 SonyEricsson has integrated this feature also into the “S” (S500) and “T”(T650) series, and now into the “K”. The flash themes can change theicons in the main menu and as we’ve seen in previous models, can evenuse other layout for it, for example a horizontal list with largevisualization. They definitely look much better than the ordinary ones.
phonebook is concerned, there's almost nodifference with the previous models; you can save up to 1000 contacts,while each of them can store several numbers (up to 7000 numbers intotal), e-mails and web addresses, as well as a personal picture andring 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 ora caller ID to a given group. As a whole, this function is planned tobe used only when you want to send a message to more than one contactfor example. Finding a contact is done by directly entering lettersfrom the keypad, but unfortunately only the first word of the nameconsidered during the search. However, an option we really liked was tosort the names both by first and last name. Still, if you’ve sortedthem by last name, you will not be able to search by First name, whichnow appears as second word.
Whenyou start dialing a number directly from the standby screen, you willfind one of the tweaks coming with the new firmware. The phone willsearch the phonebook and the calling history for matching results (bothabout numbers and names) just as it is with any WM6 or BlackBerrydevice. The convenient thing is that it searches the names as if youtype them with predictive input system. For instance, if you want todial “Neo”, you have to dial 636 (6-MNO, 3-DEF, 6-MNO) and almostimmediately the phone will show you all matching names. Unfortunately,like in the contacts menu, the phone won’t search through the secondword of a name.
This is just ridiculous and people spending somuch money on a phone don’t only require camera with large resolution,but also decent phone functionality. Any phone nowadays should be ableto find the names by the second word.
Justas 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.
TheCalendar can be viewed for a month, week or a day; the latter optionshows the events, set for the particular day, as well as thepossibility to add new options. When you want to add appointments, youselect the starting time, duration and the reminder’s time. You can adddetails about the venue of the event, as well as a description. Youhave the option of setting it as an All day event (all birth dates fromthe 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 alsohouses a Calculator with basic functionality, a Countdown timer and aStopwatch capable of storing up to nine results. We think that the CodeMemo option is useless and we will prefer to have a “safe” where we cansave text information, LOCKED (not coded) by a password.
Additionally in this menu is the file manager, which was found inthe main menu of phones with the earlier software version. It sorts thecontent by type and offers option to filter either the phone or thecard memory, or to view both at the same time.
Instead themanager, the main menu has icon for the five alarms. Each of them canbe set on its own and has fields for time, recurrence and signal type.
Thevoice commands are activated by holding the Volume Down button, and ifyou don’t have any voice-tags recorded, the phone will prompt you do toit. We think that this system is useless as you must read what itwrites on the screen, but shortly after that hold the phone to yourear, as it has sound notifications but doesn’t utilize thespeakerphone. This makes them absolutely inconvenient to use and weeven had a problem with only one contact saved. There's no room formaking a comparison with the system used in Symbian S60 phones or anyother that have speaker-independent voice commands for making calls andopening 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.
Besidesthe standard and multimedia messages, the messaging menu also housesthe e-mail client, which makes it easier for you to send and receive large files that are not suitablefor MMS, like full-sized pictures for example. Entering text is aidedby T9 which increases the text input speed. The preloaded templatesalso are intended to help you save time typing in often used phrasesand sentences. What we found weird is that this menu houses a RSSReader, which is convenient to quickly view the content of a given website without loading it - we checked phoneArena's news in an instant.
Thenew thing is that you can manage the messages – assign categories tothem and save them either to the phone’s memory or the one of thememory card. It would be appreciated mainly by the texting fans.
Finallya 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 inEurope and in America, and the K850 will work with no problem inAT&T’s 3G network. There even is some rumors that the carrier willoffer it, but this is still not officially announced.
Locallythe Cyber-shot phone connects through Bluetooth 2.0 wirelessly or viathe USB cable that is in the box. It comes with the standard for allSony Ericsson phones PC Suite. You can by-pass it and connect the phoneas a mass storage device, in order to transfer files to and from itsmemory.
As other new models of the company, the K850 is equipped with full HTML internet browserthat loads pages as you’d expect to see them, like on a computer. Thecomplicated phonearena.com homepage isn’t problem for the modernbrowser.