At long last we've got our hands on the almighty phone. This is the latest handset to join the ranks of the photo-focused Cyber-shot family and we were very keen to take it out for a spin., a camera with a built-in
As first impressions go, we weren't as bowled over as we hoped we would be. Don't get us wrong, the camera is fantastic -- and potentially the best camera on a phone we've seen so far -- but the K850i has a few annoying traits.
As you can see in this picture, the K850i has a very strange navigation key and keypad layout. The three white, touch-sensitive bits directly underneath the screen take some getting used to and don't always respond properly.
Underneath the fiddly soft key is a very bizarre four-way navigation key that sits in between the number keys. It's not that difficult to use, but you do end up tapping the 2 or 5 keys, thinking they'll select something when they won't.
The keypad isn't overly impressive either and we're stumped as to why Sony Ericsson chose these keys over larger, easier-to-press ones. All of these niggles take away from the fact that the K850i's feature set, and the camera in particular, is very good.
The 5-megapixel camera packs auto-focus, red-eye reduction, digital image stabilisation, Bestpic mode (which lets you take a quick succession of shots) and its star feature, a super-bright xenon flash and LED photo light. The LED acts as a focus-assist light and the xenon flash illuminates the darkest of corners.
Once you've taken a photo or video you can upload it to a blog or send it to a friend. Other clever features include easy-to-access slots for the SIM, battery and microSD and Memory Stick Micro (M2) cards, which are housed at the bottom of the K850i and can be got at by flicking open a spring-loaded cover.
We can see the Sony Ericsson K850i being a love/hate object and you'll have to try the keypad out for yourself. It's currently available from several major networks for free on a monthly contract. Expect a full review soon, where we'll discuss the K850i's features in more depth, but in the meantime click through for more photos.
Update: A full review of the K850i is now available. -Andrew Lim
To operate the camera, you hold the Sony Ericsson K850i in the same way you'd hold a standard digital camera. The layout is very straightforward and easy to use.
The 5-megapixel camera is undoubtedly the Sony Ericsson K850i's star feature and looks fantastic. We really like the xenon flash -- it makes taking shots in low-light conditions possible, which has always been a major problem with camera phones in the past.
At the bottom there's a very easy-to-access SIM card slot, battery slot and microSD/Memory Stick Micro slot. We hope to see this on future Sony Ericsson Cyber-shot models.
The Sony Ericsson K850i's Achilles heel is definitely its keypad, whose layout we found difficult to get used to.