Over a year has passed since Sony Ericsson introduced its first 3G handset to the Australian market, the Z1010. The Z800i however, has a much sleeker look and a more robust multimedia feature set than its predecessor.
The Z800i has a silver case, smooth contours and an external colour LCD that give the clamshell handset an air of sophistication. There is a 1.3-megapixel camera integrated in the hinge of the phone that can rotate 180 degrees to capture images and video either back towards yourself or outwards. Sony Ericsson also bundles Adobe Photoshop Album 2 Starter Edition on CD for photo viewing and editing on a PC. Synchronisation software for Outlook is also provided and connectivity options include Bluetooth, USB and infrared.
The media player on the Z800i supports MP3, video playback and outputs decent quality sound enriched with Sony's Mega Bass technology through the supplied stereo headset. A 64MB Memory Stick Duo is supplied for storage -- up to 1GB Memory Stick Duo cards can also be purchased for around AU$200.
Organiser features include a calendar, calculator, memos and a Java application called Worldmate.
Sony Ericsson's Z800i is only available to 3 mobile customers at the time of launch, although this might change later this year when Telstra, Optus and Vodafone introduce their own 3G services.
Compared to the first 3G phone released on the Australian market, the NEC e606, the Z800i looks thin, sturdy and far more advanced. However, at 102 x 49 x 23.6mm it is a little chunkier than most handsets.
Sony Ericsson's release of the Z800i gives 3 customers a smart looking mobile with a decent set of multimedia features. We've had issues with battery life on 3G phones in the past so we'll be interested to see how the Z800i fares in our tests, especially considering its MP3 capabilities.
3 mobile sets a recommended retail price of AU$685 for the Z800i. The carrier also offers it on a range of plans that can be found on 3's Web site. Bundled accessories include a speaker stand, Bluetooth headset, stereo headset, USB Cable, 64MB Memory Stick Duo and a software CD.