Sony Ericsson T650 Review

Years ago Sony Ericsson suspended the “T” series production; its last representatives were T610/T630. It was at the time, when most cameras took pictures with VGA resolution and the additional memory cards were a rarity.

Putting an end to the above series’ absence from the market, earlier this year the manufacturer presented two new models; today we will review the more function-rich one – Sony Ericsson T650. This model features all modern capabilities, some of them being a 3.2 mega pixel camera, 3G network support, and heaps of multimedia functions.

The sales package contains:

- Sony Ericsson T650 phone
- Desk stand
- Stereo headset
- Soft pouch
- USB cable and software
- Memory Stick Micro (M2)
- User guide

As we can see, the unit disposes of an abundant set, which will satisfy even the most demanding users. The Desk stand, apart from serving as a phone base, can play the role of a charging station. You may simultaneously connect the data cable or the headphones and thus exchange information with the computer or listen to music or the radio. In case the stand is being used only as such, the telephone is rather insecure, so one has to take special care not to knock it down. Not so with a plugged charging connector; this adds stability to the phone fixing and reduces the chance of knocking the phone to a minimum.

The headphones in the set are noise-reducing, with a transition connector for a standard 3.5mm jack. This feature makes them resemble those of the Walkman series, the more so as the set offers 3 sizes of ear-plugs, enabling the users to pick the ones that suit them best. The case is also very pleasant: it is black, made of textile matter, and perfectly matches the phone.

Normally, such accessories are to be found only in the sets of the highest-class series of the manufacturers, so the decision of Sony Ericsson to include it in the T650 package can only make us happier.

Sony Ericsson is a candybar phone with dimensions of 104 x 46 x 12.5 mm and it is all too obvious that its design has also been influenced by the desire to produce a unit as thin as possible. There are two variants offered: Growing Green (our unit) and Midnight Blue; the only difference between them being the color of the lower part. As revealed by the photos, the device appearance relies entirely on rectangular forms, with only a few oval and rounded elements.

At the first touch of T650 you will feel a pleasant coolness, resulting from the fact that silver-colored parts are actually metal cover rather than simple coated plastic. This makes the unit heavier – 95 g (3.4 oz) – and one is left with the impression that the thing they hold is no ordinary “toy”, but a medium or high class series model.

ModelDimension (Inches)Dimension (mm)Weight (oz)Weight (Gramms)
Sony Ericsson T6504.09" x 1.81" x 0.49"104 x 46 x 12.53.3595
Sony Ericsson K8504.01" x 1.88" x 0.66"102 x 48 x 174.16118
Nokia 63004.18" x 1.71" x 0.46"106.5 x 43.5 x 123.2091

The unit is controlled through the company’s standard five-position navigation button, two selection keys, Internet, and back keys –integrated here into one two-positional button; the same is valid for the clear and activity menu keys on the front. During the time of testing we arrived at the conclusion that the above button “grouping” leads to their frequent mix-up due to involuntary pressing the wrong position. It is very irritating when you want to move one menu up, but activate the Internet instead. This was something we could not get used to; in order to minimize this key mix-up, one should take care when pressing the double buttons.

The volume up/down button is located on the side; it is also a two-position one. It bulges so slightly above the surface that people with normally sensitive fingers will have a hard time finding it. For us, the easiest way to find it was by detecting the division line between the two positions (which is only executable through using one’s nail) and it was only then that we knew where to press. Handling the volume button is no easier than locating it. Once again, the simplest way to do it is by nail, though you might do the job of pressing it by the tip of your finger as well. The camera button is on the same side, but since it bulges significantly more, one can push it with less effort.

The on/off button is at the top and is very small, which is most likely aimed at not pressing it involuntarily.

Though fairly small, the numeric pad buttons are very easy to press thanks to their relief and the distance between them, so operating them will neither seem difficult nor make you nervous. A noteworthy and interesting fact: the keypad features the so called Illumination effects – i.e. various light effects from the keyboard. For example, when switching off, the lights do not go down simultaneously, but in a wavy manner instead; the process starts from the lower-most key row and finishes at the display. The preloaded Flash themes are connected with the keyboard illumination and the latter corresponds to the animated wallpapers. As a whole, this brings freshness and in combination with the blue backlight over the green housing makes the phone very pleasant.

The light itself is evenly distributed across the whole keypad, so one will not notice any darker or brighter areas. About the only drawback that we were able to notice is that the backlight penetrates through the panel; this might turn a bit irritating for the user.

The device features a 1.9 inch TFT display with a resolution of 240 x 320 pixels (QVGA) and 262 144 colors. The combination of size and resolution gives high DPI (dots per inch) ratio and the colors are bright and live. The display is providing good visibility even in direct sunlight, which enables effortless navigation through the menus and text-reading, but making out the details while viewing pictures will be difficult. The display is covered by scratch-resistant mineral glass, a protection that will help retain its good look for a longer period. It is a bit odd, even somewhat annoying that it does not reach the very edge of the glass (the uncovered space is quite large), which leaves the impression of a shrunken picture.

On the back of the phone we can see the lens of the 3.2 megapixel camera, which protrudes against the body and can be felt by groping, thus minimizing the likelihood of placing your finger in front of it.


Pressing the right selection key reveals the icons of the main menu, arranged in a 3 x 4 grid. There is the choice of four themes and several are Flash type, which makes them fairly spectacular and interesting. At nightfall some of these change their color (getting darker, for example), thus adding to the feel of variety and ringing the changes. Until recently, the above themes were used in the Walkman series only, but Sony Ericsson have obviously decided to make them more popular; we noted their presence in S500 and now in T650.

Besides the themes, one can personalize the phone by using the seven profiles; they are accessible by a single pressing of the on/off button (holding it will turn the unit off).

Phone Book:

The Phone Book is a traditionally good with a capacity for entering 1000 contacts with up to 5 numbers each, though not exceeding a total of 2500 numbers. However, there is the unpleasant drawback of searching by the first name only. As with most of the models of this manufacturer one can add detailed information to each contact, enabling easy access to all important data, concerning your acquaintances. You can also add voice dialing, up to three e-mails and one web-address, a picture, a ringtone, and even more useful information to each contact.


Sony Ericsson have taken care to provide you with an organizer, featuring an abundance of functions indeed, so that you could put your everyday jobs in order and not forget anything important. Calendar, Tasks, Notes, Synchronization, Timer, Stopwatch, Calculator, Code Memo, and (flash)Light are all at your disposal. And before hearing the question where exactly to set the alarm, we will note that it is not to be found in this submenu – it occupies its own place in the main one. Up to five alarms can be set with the additional options of picking a different signal for each as well as setting them to go off on certain days of the week or just once.

The remaining functions of the organizer are standard and well-known from previous models of the company, so we will not discuss them.

The phone features about 14 MB free built-in memory (depending on the installed software) and an option to add a Memory Stick Micro (M2). The one in our set had 256 MB.


The Messaging menu is the one that we are accustomed to seeing in most Sony Ericsson models, providing the opportunity to create text, multimedia or voice messages, as well as e-mails. In order to keep you informed on the latest news at all times, you also dispose of an RSS reader.


Sony Ericsson T650 is a tri-band GSM/GPRS device (900/1800/1900 MHz), which limits its use worldwide: only one of these frequencies is applicable in the USA. The unit can also work in 3G networks but once again with the restriction of the only supported band – UMTS 2100 MHz.

In order to exchange data with a computer, you can rely on several options. For wireless connection, there is the Bluetooth v2.0; the cable from the set will do as well.

The Internet browser was able to load with a comparatively good visualization and only a few “intertwining” texts. As a whole, viewing and reading larger pages will be trouble-free.


Although the phone is not of the Cyber-Shot or Walkman brand, it has quite a lot of their multimedia functionality.

The first noteworthy feature is the 3.2 megapixel camera, supplied with an auto-focus and a flashlight as in the Cyber-Shot series. It is activated from the menu or directly from the camera button and the time lapse pressing and actual activation is less than 3 seconds. The camera is landscape-oriented and the standard information is displayed on the screen: number of photos in the available memory, resolution, and location of storing. Activating any additional functions will be presented by the respective symbol. It is interesting to note the option to pick various “scenes” of taking pictures, which sets the camera according to the specific features of the object shot.

One can select one of the four possible photo resolutions: VGA, 1, 2, and 3 megapixel. The camera does a very good job of taking pictures indoors: the images have almost no noise even at scarce illumination; the flashlight is quite strong and capable of good lighting. Short distance photos pose no problem for T650, the results being very good, detailed images. Not so with taking outdoor pictures: we were disappointed by the results since the shots were unclear, with neither good focus nor detail. When they are resized to smaller resolution are usable, but if you compare them to other 3-megapixel cameras (like Sony Ericsson’s own K800 for example) they look mediocre.

One has no choice of resolution when doing video-clips: it is the same as with the older company series – 176 x 144 pixels – and the respective result rather unsatisfactory, rendering the videos unusable in reality for anything but MMS.

According to information, supplied by the manufacturer, the music and video players of T650 support the following file formats: MP3, MP4, M4A, 3GP, AAC, AAC+, еAAC, WAV(16kHz max) and Real 8. We tested the player and see that it doesn’t have any problem with MP4 H.263 video but H.264 play only the sound as on other phones. Viewing streaming video is also possible due to the 3GPP support of the device. To enjoy music, one can also make use of a Bluetooth stereo headset since the phone supports the A2DP profile, providing a wireless stereo signal.

The music player is the one from non-Walkman smartphones. It can sort the music by some artist/album but the interface won’t visualize album cover during playback.

The phone also disposes of an RDS radio, capable of storing up to 20 radio stations, either manually or automatically. However, if you wish to listen to the radio, plugging the “cable” headphones will be indispensable – in this case they serve as an aerial. The headphones are one of the similarities to the Walkman series: the hands-free has a transition connector for a 3.5 mm jack, enabling the user to plug standard headphones and respectively – transmit the signal to an audio-system.


The phone comes with a preinstalled web based application, called AccuWeather, providing information and weather forecast after connecting to the Internet. And killing time is secured by the Lumines Challenge game – a modification of Tetris.

Of course, one can always complement this software with favorite games or programs thanks to the Java MIDP 2.0 support.


As a whole, the T650’s response is comparatively fast, so you will hardly notice it being slow and “thoughtful”. Indeed, the animations and some of the themes make it artificially sluggish, but at the same time – more beautiful. Playing the animation of the menu takes a few seconds, which could turn out to be somewhat irritating to a rushing user.

The tones, signaling an incoming call are comparatively loud, so even when the phone is in its case, you will not have any trouble hearing it. However, if you are in a very noisy environment, keep the unit as close to you as possible, because vibration is not reliable. Apart from causing the annoying rattle of the panel, it is so feeble that one will hardly feel it.

After the phone had been subjected to testing, we found out that its signal reception is rather limited and the phone’s performance in this respect is under average. We would mark it at 3 out of 10, which means trouble getting connected in areas with low signal coverage.

Voices during conversation are comparatively loud and quite genuine, but the presence of background noise makes them sound a bit muffled. Situation is better at the other end of the line: they hear you more loudly, very clearly, and your voice is realistic there. According to information from Sony Ericsson, the 930 mAh Li-Polymer battery (BST-38) of the phone endures up to 7 hours talking time or 300 hours standby in a GSM network. At the tests, carried out by us, we estimated that the actual talking time for long conversation is 408 minutes (6.8 hours) which is a very good result for a slim phone.


Sony Ericsson’s new “offspring” is a fairly interesting product, providing, though partially, the functionality of the high-class series and at the same time featuring an impressive design, materials, and a complete set of accessories. The only thing that spoils the overall impression are the easily mixed-up control buttons; instead of going one position up in the menu, one often switches the Internet browser on.

Nevertheless, the T650 will surely catch your eye from afar and will not be a disappointment regarding its capabilities and functionality. Positioned in the medium-class series, the phone provides exactly what you would look and, of course, pay for. Since it combines the features of the Walkman and the Cyber-Shot series, this device is not aimed at a sole customer group, but would rather meet the demands of a broader users’ spectrum.


  • An exceptionally rich set of accessories
  • Capability to use a Bluetooth stereo


  • Inconvenient two-position buttons: activating a non-desired function
  • The back lid rattles when vibration is on
  • Backlighting is seen through the panel
  • Low picture quality

PhoneArena Rating:


User Rating:

3 Reviews

Recommended Stories

Loading Comments...
FCC OKs Cingular\'s purchase of AT&T Wireless