Well, there is no doubt about it in my mind that the S700i is the very best Camera with a phone built in that you can buy and use outside of Japan. It has all the solid phone features and quality that you expect from a Sony/Ericsson product as well as "head turning" one-of-a-king styling. Nevertheless, I'm disappointed in the phone overall. I guess I was expecting a tremendous difference in performance from the K700i with the really nice hardware upgrades found on the S700i. Specifically......

1. A video player that will support the 240 X 320 screen resolution of the S700i. This is something that I feel must be added in order for a person to feel that they own a MultiMedia Machine and not just a very good Camera/Phone. The new e680 from Motorola is a much better video playback machine than the S700i

2. A louder speaker or a front firing speaker as well. Motorola has got this down now and is moving ahead. My RaZr is twice as loud and is a much smaller handset. The new e680 is even louder than that with very noticeable stereo reproduction.

3. A HTML capable browser. I'm sorry, but when you have a device this large with a screen this pretty...WAP just will not do. This is an upgrade from the K700i...it should be able to do some things from a phone side that the K700 cant.

4. A more thoughtful design of the rotating mechanism so that I can open it with my thumb without then having to turn the phone around in my hand to get the proper orientation.

5. Better bluetooth hardware. This should be across the board with Sony/Ericsson bluetooth phones. There is no question that Sony/Ericsson makes the very best bluetooth enabled phones, with superior pariing and features with multiple devices. However, the new SuperTooth used in the Motorola RaZr increases the performance of headset use so greatly that Sony/Ericsson should make sure that this long range standard is used in all of its upcoming handsets. It just makes talking on a bluetooth headset a "landline like" experience no matter where you are with no breakup or static even if the phone is in a briefcase nearby.

So, my opinion of this phone is that it is a very "Niche Oriented" device. For people who are ShutterBugs and would like to own a quality camera that also can be used as a very powerful phone....look no further. The S700i is very, very good at taking photos, has a beautiful screen to look at them on, and is very eye-catching to the public when in use.

However, if you don't need or expect to use the camera feature of this device you are really going to be disappointed in the lack of support for the hardware improvements over the K700i. With its beautiful screen and external storage the S700i should be able to render movies or video clips in a full screen resolution. At this time though....it does not look like it will have a player included that can do this. I hope the production units will allow this, if so, it would improve my opinion of this device greatly.

Will I buy one? Probably... when the S700i is available, I would purchase one for trips or vacations. Otherwise, the K700i can do all the things that a S700i can do at half the size and less than 2/3rds the weight. As a daily phone it is just alittle too large for me without the features I have come to expect in a phone this size, namely, full screen video playback, HTML web browsing, full contact and calander support, WiFi, and touch screen ability. In short, its a device for people who want a nice small Camera first.....and a nice phone second....

This review has been edited and published with permission from the original author - Mark Morrow  

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