Sony Ericsson K550 review: A Cyber-shot on a budget

GSMArena team, 09 February 2007.
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Call management

The Calls log is divided in four different tabs. They are: All, Answered (Received), Dialed and Missed. The tabs altogether contain up to 30 call records, which are shared between the separate tabs.

Sony Ericsson K550
Calls log

Nothing new about messaging

All messages use one Inbox. Usually Sony Ericsson email messages have their own separate Inbox but due to our testing version being i-Mode enabled one, the emails also used the common Inbox. When writing a message, there is a character counter, which activates when you reach 20 characters before the 160 limit. Of course, there is the T9 dictionary to assist the typing.

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Messaging menu • Write new • typing a SMS

The email client in our test version was entirely i-mode oriented so we couldn’t try it since we didn’t have i-mode service available. The regular Sony Ericsson K550 should have also a RSS Reader application, but unfortunately the i-mode version doesn’t have one.

Playing some sounds and videos

Sony Ericsson K550 supports MP3, AAC, AAC+, E-AAC+, WAV, WMA, M4A and MIDI file formats. The Music player is nothing special and looks just as your regular Sony Ericsson Walkman player used in the W-series of the Swedish manufacturer. The only difference is that it doesn’t feature the MegaBass equalizer preset. Since Sony Ericsson K550 supports multi-tasking, it can be set to run in background. Sound is nice – given you use the player with a nice headset of course.

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Music player menu • The Now playing screen • player options

The video player of K550 is basic and offers almost no special options. It can play videos in fullscreen landscape mode.

The FM radio has a memory for 20 preset stations and supports RDS.

Sony Ericsson K550
Tuning in a station

Browsing some more

There is nothing new in the file browser department as well. It allows you to mark files (single or multiple), copy them, move them, and also create and delete folders as you please. There are three tabs of file lists – one for the phone memory files, one for the memory stick files and one mutual for all files. By selecting a given tab you can filter the files shown. The integrated memory of the K550 is 77MB.

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The phone memory tab • available memory space

Browsing your pictures is as easy as ever – you could do that in a list view with or without thumbnails. You can also view your pictures as a thumbnail grid of 2 x 2 or 3 x 3. The video files can also be browsed as thumbnails. If you highlight a video thumbnail it starts playing as a preview.

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List view • thumbnails list view • 3 x 3 grid view • 2 x 2 grid view

The interesting thing about the file browser is the Timeline view, which allows you to filter the pictures according to the month they have been taken in. After you specify the month, you could even choose the exact date. That sort of image filtering is offered by computer picture browsers and digital cameras. The Timeline sorting is seen more and more often lately in the recent Sony Ericsson phones.

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Applying a monthly filter • applying a daily filter

You can view the pictures themselves vertically (in portrait mode) just as you would on any other phone or horizontally (in landscape mode) if you prefer. When viewing the pictures one by one the phone preloads a lower quality preview in order to allow you fast browsing. Once you find a picture, you would like to see in its full glory you should stop browsing for a second and the phone would load it with its normal quality.

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Viewing the pictures in landscape mode is much more natural

You can zoom in to the actual size of the picture or even more, up to 32x. Given the available megapixel count any zooming beyond 16x reveals nothing more but smudged spots which are way beyond recognition.

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Zooming in: 2x; 8x; 16x

While browsing pictures you can easily do a little bit of editing on them or send them as MMS and email or via Bluetooth and Infrared. If you intend to do detailed editing of the picture, the PhotoDJ application is at your disposal. With its help you can easily adjust levels, light balance, brightness and contrast, remove unwanted red-eye effect, apply some color effects to the picture such as negative and sepia, or you can add a frame or a text to the picture.

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Some of the available editing options

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