Sony Ericsson’s latest Cyber-shot camera phone is a slimmer version of its earlier hit
The K800i was a great phone – the first one labelled Cyber-shot to show how seriously Sony’s digital camera expertise was implemented and a cool, eye-catching design, to boot.
There were few faults, but one stood out to every user – when K800 users met, it wasn’t long before they asked: 'Does your camera lens cover slide open and drain the battery?'
This universally derided niggle has been addressed on the Sony Ericsson K810i – the lens cover sits safe in a groove and stays just where it should.
The camera, as before, is excellent – 3.2 megapixels and with an autofocus rather than a fixed focus lens. There’s also a strong Xenon flash too, ideal for reading menus in fashionably ambient restaurants.
Like the K800i, the excellent BestPic feature is available – the phone starts taking pictures even before you press the shutter and automatically saves nine images so you can choose the best one.
New here is a Photo Fix function which adjusts contrast, brightness and more. In camera mode, some of the number keys usefully take on extra dedicated functions to change resolution, activate the timer and more.
Beyond that, this phone is the same height and width as its predecessor, but not as deep, so it won’t bulge your pocket as much. It’s not a complete triumph, mind. The keys on the K800i were neat oblongs of rubber. Here you’re invited to tap on stainless steel circles. Although they’re well-spaced, it’s still easy to hit the wrong one as you text.
Still, there’s also the tremendous music identification software Track ID: hold the phone to a radio or hi-fi and it will send you a text to tell you what you’ve been listening to.
It’s a 3G phone, with stereo Bluetooth, has a memory card slot to store your music tracks on and an FM radio. Music sounds good, even though this is not one of the company’s Walkman-branded handsets. Plus, there’s an efficient RSS feed reader to keep you up to date with the latest developments on your favourite websites.
If you’re a K800i user, you probably won’t feel the need to upgrade (just keep an eye on that lens cover) because the increases in features don’t quite justify it. For everyone else, though, this is Sony Ericsson’s best cameraphone and a good-looking, intuitive and easy-to-use handset.
Vista compatible: Yes
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Good points Excellent camera Improved lens cover Loads of features Bad points Awkward keypad Overall Stylish, slim and effortless to use, if you haven’t tried the K800i, this is a dazzling cameraphone.
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