Sony Ericsson Naite (unlocked) review:

Sony Ericsson Naite (unlocked)

There's POP3 e-mail syncing for accounts like your Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo in-boxes, and IMAP4 e-mail. The first time we had no problems downloading settings for a Gmail account, but our second attempt after deleting the account asked for manual configuration, which may require users to look up server names. We were able to send and receive e-mail messages, though the small chassis makes e-mail less ideal than on a larger phone with a full QWERTY keyboard.

Since we had to test the phone on T-Mobile's network we didn't get the full benefit of the Naite's 3G (we were stuck on EDGE). Yet, if you're with AT&T, the tri-band support (UMTS/HSPA 850/1900/2100) means you can access that carrier's 3G network and you'll be able to use 3G when roaming in Europe. To that end, the Naite is a highly functional gateway to the Internet, complete with search and the ability to bookmark, select and copy text, search for text, save a page, and send the link in an e-mail, MMS, or via Bluetooth. Load times can be slower or faster depending on your signal strength.

Although 2 megapixels offers a decent camera resolution for a midrange feature phone like the Naite, the tools under the hood pump up the experience. The camera supports 2.5x digital zoom and switches to panorama, frame, and burst modes as well as taking the standard shot. Although photos will resize for e-mail and MMS sends, you can also elect to take snaps at 1 megapixel and VGA (640x480 pixels). There's also night mode, a self-timer, and black and white and sepia effects. You can even swap shutter sounds should you so choose.

Although the camera takes only decent-quality photos, the Naite's editing tools go a long way toward improving basic snaps.

The Naite offers plenty of options for after you take the photo, too, like zooming in, making color adjustments, and adding effects. You can also send finished photos to Twitter or a Web site, or attach in an MMS. Unfortunately, you're not able to associate the snap to a contact from the editor, or save the picture as wallpaper. You'll have to arrange that from the Media gallery instead. In addition to photos, you can fill the Naite's 100MB internal memory with videos. Clips meant for multimedia messages are capped at 47 seconds, though you'll be able to shoot for longer in standard mode. Also, you can attach to a picture message or upload to a Web site.

Other covetous extras in the Naite include a solid stereo FM Radio, audio recorder, photo and video editors, and a music composer that's equipped to create ringtones from your song collection. There's also a music recognition app (akin to Shazam, a smartphone app), which can identify recorded music when you hold it near the source. Sadly, some of the best multimedia goodies aren't supported in North America, such as video ringtones, video calls, and the PlayNow store for buying more ringtones, games, and music. The Naite can host MP3 and AAC tracks and can stream A2DP and AVRCP formats.

As mentioned, the Naite accommodates an expandable micoSD card that stores up to 16MB, but you'll need to buy your own. The phone does, however, come with four Java games, including Sudoku, with more games available via a download store that, as we mentioned, won't work for North Americans. You can add your personal aesthetic touch with a limited number of animated themes, still wallpapers, and screensavers.

We got consistently good sound quality out of the quad-band (GSM 850/900/1800/1900) Naite when we called various domestic mobile phones and landlines from San Francisco, using a T-Mobile SIM card. Voices sounded clear and loud on our end, with audible fuzziness and a low hum present only when we were in areas with weak reception.

On their end, callers shared our opinion that voices were natural, without any tininess. Callers mostly said that we sounded clear, with the exception of when speaking over speakerphone (we reportedly sounded distant) and a car's Bluetooth, where we came across as more muted and hazy. Speakerphone quality was pretty poor, with voices sounding mumbly and indecipherable even when we were in a quiet environment. On the other end, callers heard a significant echo.

The Naite has a very high rated talk battery life of 13 hours and promises 25 days of standby battery life. We were impressed with the Naite's talk time of 10 hours and 16 minutes. FCC radiation tests put the Naite's digital SAR at 1.32 watts per kilogram.

What you'll pay

    Visit manufacturer site for details.

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