Sony Ericsson's camera-phone range has revolutionised the market and consistently pushed the boundaries between mobile phones and standalone digital cameras. From the K750i's autofocus capabilities to the 's xenon flash, Sony Ericsson has hit the nail on the head when it comes to giving users what they want. Given its pedigree, it's no wonder that we had high expectations for the K800i's successor, the Sony Ericsson K810i. What would Sony Ericsson bring to the table this time round? And would this handset get closer to giving us the best of both camera and mobile worlds, or would it leave us yearning for more?
The main differences between the K810i and its predecessor are aesthetic. It seems that Sony Ericsson has been affected by the new wave of shiny phones that line the shelves of high-street mobile phone stores and given the K810i a glossy front section. It's also added a rather interesting keypad that features small circular silver keys.
The K810i offers an improved camera cover over its predecessor, a small but useful improvement.
We were rather underwhelmed by the keys, which feel too small and too far apart, making texting less enjoyable than it could be. The navigation joystick also left us a little deflated, as it's rather awkward to press -- it doesn't stick out enough and in contrast to the keys on the keypad doesn't have enough space around it.
Other than that, it's still a candybar phone with a large colour screen, a keypad and a camera on the back. The new one is 5mm slimmer, though, due to a new and improved camera cover. This is set in between two ridges to stop it opening in your pocket, a problem many K800i users will be familiar with.
There's no doubt that the camera on the K810i is good, as it has the same spec camera as the K800i. There's a 3.2-megapixel sensor, autofocus and a xenon flash, which left us puzzled since we frankly expected a little bit more from the K800i's successor.
In terms of the camera's software, it's the same story -- you can shoot still pictures and video, adjust the white balance and picture quality and send your pictures to friends via MMS, email or blog them to a Blogger blog, which the K810i will automatically set up. All of which you can do on a K800i, too.
You can also shoot photos using BestPic mode, which lets you take nine photos in quick succession when you press the shutter button and then choose the one you want to keep. The only real difference in terms of camera software options is something called Photo Fix that automatically adjusts light balance, brightness and contrast.
We were disappointed that Sony Ericsson hasn't updated the Web browser, because it simply can't cope with non-WAP Web sites and doesn't have a desktop mode, so you can't view pages as you would on your computer's Web browser. An alternative is to download Opera mini on to the K810i--it's a much better browser.