Sony Ericsson S700i review
First of all let me preface this review by saying that "THIS PHONE IS A PROTOTYPE"!! Therefore, features and performance of my phone may vary from the features and performance of the production device. Having said that.....
The S700i is a TriBand World phone working on the 900/1800/1900 GSM Networks, supporting GPRS data transmission and supporting SMS and MMS services. It has 1.3 MegaPixel CCD Camera, 240 X 320 TFT 262,000 Color Scratchproof Screen, Bluetooth & Infrared, with approximately 40mb of on-board memory and Memory Stick DuoA support of up to 128mb. Additionally it has a WAP browser, email client, Java application ability, FM Stereo Radio, SpeakerPhone, and Video capture/playback capability. The S700i has a unique swivel design that has been muched talked about, however, you will find that you very rarely open the phone to accept and place phone calls. The phones keypad can be opened in either direction by using your thumb or other hand to swing the screen an top of the device 180 degrees in either direction. Therefore, it does not matter if you are right or left handed....the phone's swivel mechanism will be right for you. You cannot, though, swing the top in a 360 degree manner....You must close it by rotating it in the opposite direction of the same 180 degree plane. One criticism I have of this design is that the Top/Bottom orientation is opposite from the keyboard orientation so that you must rotate the phone in your hand after opening it in order to have it in the proper Screen/Keypad orientation. If Sony/Ericsson had simply moved the rotating mechanism to the other end you could open the phone and have the keypad in its proper place without turning the phone around in your hands. For the most part though, you never need to open the phone to use it
The S700i uses a 780mAh battery of a unique design that is compatible only with this device. Battery life was very good with all day use possible without charging. This includes using the camera which is suprising because CCD sensors are typically avoided in phones because of its high energy requirement as well as cost.
RF performance was very good as well. I found my ProtoType to be comparable to my P800/900 but not quite as good as the K700is I have used. I can only speculate that the ProtoType nature of the device may have been the reason as the firmware had not been tweaked for optimal RF.
Voice Quality is very good both incoming and outgoing as is typical of a Sony Ericsson product. The speaker of the S700i is on the back by the camera lens. Although it is sufficiently loud, after using the Motorola RaZr I am spoiled by stereo ringers and believe that should have been a part of this particular devices design. Also, the location of the speaker is such that if you lay the S700i on a surface such as a bed or couch throw....you probably will not hear it ring because the speaker is easily obstructed by soft surfaces. You can solve this by placing the device face down on its screen if you like....but I don't recommend this habit.
Accepting and making calls from the phone book or call list can be accomplished by using the D-pad and four (4) smart keys. Most all phone operations and menus can be accessed without opening the phone. Checking voicemail being one of the few that will require you to "Swivel" open the screen.
Incoming calls are answered easily without opening the phone...
The Screen itself is BEAUTIFUL!! 262k colors and with a very nice 240 X 320 resolution really make things POP!! It is very usable in direct sunlight and absolutely EXPLODES with color and clarity in low light. The D-pad and smart keys are made of chromed metal and match the metalized plastic of the phone body well. I absolutely love the workmanship and quality of the materials
Overall, the S700i as a phone operates and has the identical features of the K700i. The only exception being the need to open the device for some phone related operations and my units slightly poorer RF performance. So, the S700i is a great performer as a phone, no one will be disappointed in its performance as such.