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Sony Ericsson K750i

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We can barely fault the 2-megapixel K750i from Sony Ericsson, which is a very compelling and easy-to-use handset for mobile users looking to upgrade.

Sony Ericsson's K750i is the first 2-megapixel camera phone to hit our shores and will be a sure-fire hit for the three year old mobile phone manufacturer. Sony Ericsson is currently the fifth biggest mobile phone maker worldwide, behind Nokia, Motorola, Samsung and LG, according to figures from research company IDC.

In terms of looks, the K750i continues on the path set by its three successful predecessors, the T610, T630 and K700i. In regards to capabilities however, it follows on from the S700i, Sony Ericsson's first camera phone to break the one-megapixel mark.

We're quite fond of the K750i's form factor: small, black and sturdy. On the back is a lens cover that protects the 2-megapixel camera. When opened, it activates camera mode and the display is used as the viewfinder. Settings for the camera are laid out in landscape orientation which prompts you to tilt the handset 90Ã,° anticlockwise to a horizontal position. With the shutter button located on the right-hand side of the phone, this feature makes it feel like you're using a proper digital camera -- and onlookers are none the wiser that it's actually a camera phone. Once you're done, sliding the brushed metal lens cover across deactivates camera mode and returns you to the menu where you left off. If the keypad was locked before taking a picture it will return to that state.

Sony Ericsson K750i

The keypad is laid in suitable Sony Ericsson style for candybar phones. Backlit in white, there are three shortcut keys at the top, a tiny five-way navigation thumb stick, back and clear keys, and slightly raised numerical keys that sit flush with one another. On the side sits the aforementioned camera shutter, a volume rocker and a music button.

The K750i's 176 x 220-pixel TFT screen displays 262K colours, has user-adjustable brightness, and is customisable through wallpaper, themes, screensavers and a sleep mode.

No doubt the 2-megapixel camera is the K750i's biggest selling feature. It will be a while until the Nokia N90 becomes available, which will up the ante by adding a Carl Zeiss lens and the same resolution as the Sony Ericsson.

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Still photos and video clips can be taken with the K750i, and a range of settings are available for both. Panorama lets you stitch up to three photos together, burst mode takes four shots in rapid succession, and there are 24 frames to choose from to add to your photos. Other camera features include macro for close-ups, night mode, self-timer, white balance, and effects such as sepia, solarize, and B&W. There is also a blindingly bright light beside the lens that can assist while taking a photo in dark surroundings -- or purely as a torch.

Sony Ericsson bundles a 64MB Memory Stick Duo, which clicks into a slot on the side, to store pictures, videos and music. The media player supports MP3, AAC and WAV (maximum sample rate of 16kHz) music files, MPEG4 and 3GP videos. 32MB of internal memory is onboard for contacts or alternative storage if the card gets full.

An easy-to-use FM radio is available when the stereo headset is attached and has 20 preset slots for stations. Radio Data System (RDS), which enables broadcasters to transmit artist and track information, is supported but we could only get the name of the station (eg. Nova 969) to display.

Pressing the music shortcut key starts and pauses tracks and you're able to browse the K750i's menu as per normal during playback. If you're looking for a phone with more of a music focus, Sony Ericsson will be launching its Walkman-branded W800i very soon. Alternatively, Nokia's 3G-ready N91 will sport a 4GB hard disk when it is released later this year.

Organiser features include an alarm clock, calendar, tasks, notes, stopwatch and timer. Additional Java games and applications can be downloaded using GPRS. POP3 and IMAP e-mail is also supported via GPRS -- which is somewhat slow compared to 3G networks.

Uses of Bluetooth on the K750i include handsfree calling with wireless headsets, wireless networking with a PC or laptop, and transferring files (including photos and music) between mobile phones and PDAs. Sony Ericsson also includes Remote Control, an application that pairs with a Bluetooth-equipped PC or notebook and allows users to control PowerPoint presentations, Windows Media Player (no iTunes, we're afraid), and the desktop.

On the bundled CD, Sony Ericsson includes drivers for using the K750i as a modem, software for synchronising Outlook contacts and calendar information with a PC, MMS composition tools, an image editor, and a SIM card manager. Slide show software Adobe Photoshop Album 2.0 Starter Edition is also included.

Without a doubt, the K750i is the best camera phone to hit the market so far -- and not just for its 2-megapixel muscle. Auto focus ensures that photos are sharp, although we found a steady hand is necessary for this to work.

Remote Control worked well past 10 metres when paired with a USB Bluetooth adapter on our PC. The Presenter option under the K750i's Remote Control allows you to wirelessly launch a presentation by pressing '2' on the keypad, the volume rocker on the side takes you back or forward to the next slide, while the '4' key blanks out the current slide with a black background. Similarly, the keypad is laid out with multimedia controls for Media, and keyboard and mouse directions for Desktop remote control.

It is hard to fault the K750i, but improvements could be a 3.5mm jack for headphones -- we find Sony Ericsson's ones slightly uncomfortable -- and mini-USB for connectivity, rather than a proprietary port. Even with Bluetooth activated, we found the K750i only needed to be charged every four days or so.

We give a big thumbs-up to Sony Ericsson for not only being the first to market in Australia with a 2-megapixel camera phone, but an innovative and almost flawless one at that.

Sony Ericsson K750i
Company: Sony Ericsson
Price: AU$799
Phone: 1300 650 050

Specifications

Cellular
Technology GSM
Software Platforms Supported Java
Phone Navigation Buttons joystick
Type cellular phone
Integrated Components FM radio, Digital player
Band GSM 900/1800/1900 (Tri-Band)
Phone Form Factor bar
Service Provider not specified
Phone Features
Polyphonic Ringer Yes
Polyphonic Ring Tone Voice Qty 40
Ring Tone Formats MP3, MIDI
Voice Dialing Yes
Phone Functions Speakerphone, voice control, call timer, conference call, voice dialing, vibrating alert
Additional Features Video clip recording, melody composer
Details
Antenna internal
Available Body Colors oxidized black, blasted silver
Integrated Components Digital camera, FM radio, digital player
Messaging & Internet
Cellular Messaging Services SMS, MMS
WAP Protocol Supported WAP 2.0
Messaging & Data Features OTASP/OTAPA support
Downloadable Content ring tones, Operator logos, Audio files, Themes, Video files, Wallpapers, Games
Communications
High Speed Circuit Switched Data (HSCSD) Yes
Communication Features Internet browser
Data Transmission GPRS
Wireless Interface Infrared (IrDA)
Display
Multi-language Menu Yes
Technology TFT
Display Indicators voice message waiting, Bluetooth indicator, GPRS indicator, IR port indicator, Digital clock, Active profile icon, Text message waiting, Alarm clock indicator, Keypad lock, Battery meter, Silent ring signal, Signal strength, Divert indicator
Display Illumination Color white
Display Resolution 176 x 220 pixels
Color Depth 18-bit (262000 Colors)
Color Support color
Features screensaver
Organizer
Personal Information Management synchronization with PC
Alarm Clock Yes
Camera
Camera Light Source flash
Media Player
Supported Digital Video Standards MPEG-4
Memory
Supported Flash Memory Cards Memory Stick Duo
User Memory 38 MB
Battery
Talk Time Up to 540 min
Run Time Details Talk - up to 550 min
Standby - up to 400 hrs
Run Time Details Talk - up to 550 min
Standby - up to 400 hrs
Digital Camera
Digital Video Formats MPEG-4
Camera Light Source flash
Header
Brand Sony Ericsson
Product Line Sony Ericsson
Model K750i
Packaged Quantity 1
Features
Phone Functions voice dialing
Additional Features melody composer
Digital Player (Recorder)
Supported Digital Video Standards MPEG-4
Power Adapter
Type power adapter
Flash Memory
Supported Flash Memory Cards Memory Stick Duo
User Memory 38 MB
Optical Sensor
Sensor Resolution 2 pixels

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