Sony Ericsson – K750i review

clever mobile phone with 2-megapixel camera
Photo of Sony Ericsson – K750i
£free with contract, £299 for handset only

There are plenty of handsets that claim to offer something special, and the jaded journalist reviewer can sometimes feel that the hype is overdone. So it was with some relish that we found SonyEricsson’s K750i to offer a great deal. We’d even go as far as to say we’d choose to carry it.

The headline is no doubt the 2-megapixel camera. Not only are two megapixels something of a rarity for a handset, but there is also an auto-focus system complete with macro mode shooting. You won’t find that on any other handset at the moment.

The camera is very easy to use. The back of the phone looks more like a camera than a handset, and when you slide the lens cover to one side, the camera initiates, turning the phone’s screen into a viewfinder.

You are encouraged to hold the handset sideways to frame and shoot, just as if it were a camera, and in this orientation the shutter button presents itself to your right forefinger. Settings are made using a softkey and the joypad which is very small and very responsive.

There’s a strong double LED flash unit and vanity mirror, and plenty of settings to encourage you to try the handset out in different conditions. As a mobile phone the K750i makes one of the best cameras we’ve seen. Images can be stored on the internal memory, of which 34MB is available, or onto the 64MB Memory Stick Duo that’s provided.

Enough about the camera. If music is your thing you’ve both radio and MP3 player on board. Auto-tuning the radio’s 20 presets takes just a few seconds, and thereafter RDS support delivers station information. Music output is good too, even through the built-in speaker, though there was some distortion at the higher volume levels. There’s an equaliser that actually does have an effect on sound quality.

For private listening to radio and music you need to use the provided headset as it has a proprietary connector; one of the few annoyances in what is overall a solid little handset.

There are some lovely details. For example, the camera’s shutter button emits a white light for a few seconds when the camera is activated, so you can easily find it in the dark. The rocker that adjusts volume when you are on a call or listening to music also zooms the camera. You can use the LEDs as a torch, setting them to be on for one minute, indefinitely or in SOS mode, and you can set up shortcuts to the software and settings you use most often.

Things we don’t have space to go into in detail about include voice control, Web and WAP browsing, e-mail management, Java support and a USB cable with data synchronisation software for your desktop. Battery life is good too; 940 minutes talk and 400 hours standby, though you could easily slash this manufacturer’s figure by listening to a lot of music or radio.

Company: Sony Ericsson

Contact: 08705 23 7237


Verdict
The K750i is a tiny handset and weighs just 99g, but within that it packs in a lot of features. Be prepared to invest in a larger capacity Memory Stick Duo to take advantage of all that's on offer.