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Sony Ericsson Cyber-shot: The camera that's also a phone

The Sony Ericsson Cyber-shot camera phone impressed us. It's a pretty good 3.2-megapixel camera that just happens to have a built in phone...

Last year the Sony Ericsson K750i got as close as any device so far to becoming our ideal blend of digital camera and mobile phone. This year Sony Ericsson has upped the stakes with the launch of the K790 Cyber-shot, expected to be released in the UK around April.

What really sets this handsets apart from other camera phones, and that includes the K750i, is the way it blends some really great camera features with a decent, easy to use phone.

The K790 includes a 3.2-megapixel camera with built-in Xenon flash, image and video stabiliser, red eye reduction and autofocus. It is a tri-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE model.

Sony Ericsson has also included a feature called BestPic, which takes images before and after you've taken a photograph. This allows you to scroll through nine shots and choose the best picture.

Another feature that had journalists excited at the product launch is built-on support for blogging. Google and Sony Ericsson have paired up and are giving you the opportunity to send photos to with the click of a button. You don't even need to setup up a blog on the Internet -- the phone will automatically do it for you once you've sent the first pic.

To top it all, the K790 actually makes calls and fits nicely in your pocket. The impressively bright screen is measures 50mm diagonally and has a resolution of 240x320 pixels. It has an FM radio, support for push email, a Memory Stick Micro expansion slot, Bluetooth, infrared support and a speakerphone. The keypad is comfortable to use, and it has a cool purple backlight. 

The K790 has a sister model, the K800. This is a dual mode for UMTS/GSM/GPRS networks, which basically means it works on 3G networks and will cost you a lot more. We're impressed, but we'll keep one foot on the floor until our review unit turns up -- we want to see if the joystick has improved, as that was one weak spot on the K750i. Expect a full review soon. -AL