Sony Ericsson K700 review: A winner

Marek Lutonský, 10 July 2004. Read the original review at MobilMania.cz
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On the right side of the phone there is a small button that starts the WAP browser. It's embedded, so the users won't press it by mistake. Even if this happens a page from the memory cache gets opened, the phone is not trying to connect.

Click to zoom. Sony Ericsson K700 Right side with the WAP access button

Only the main switch is on the upper side - you have to hold it a bit longer to switch on/off the mobile. You will find the hidden infrared port somewhere in the shiny black stripe. There is no system control LED that would report different states. So you could see the information about missed call or incoming message only on the display. You will notice that often when display illumination is switched off. However, in case of a missed call or message, relevant icons appear just beside the digital clock on the display.

Click to zoom. Sony Ericsson K700 Infrared port

In the bottom part of the phone are situated the data port and the charger connector, protected - for the first time in Sony Ericsson history - by a removable small rubber cover. It's attached to the mobile, but this solution is not really good. The cover looks quite unsuitable, after you connect the headphones. Under the battery cover, there is an eyelet for a neck string.

Click to zoom. Sony Ericsson K700 Click to zoom. Sony Ericsson K700 Click to zoom. Sony Ericsson K700
You almost won't be able to see the connector • it's hidden behind the removable cover • and that's the way the cover looks after you connect the headphones

The rear side of the phone is dominated by the lens system of the integrated digital camera, so it might seem like there is a 4 megapixel digital camera available and not just a camera featuring 640 x 480 pixel resolution. You will find there a small mirror for self-portraits, a light diode for lighting up a scene, connector for an external antenna, protected by a small rubber plug and a loudspeaker slot as well.

Click to zoom. Sony Ericsson K700 Click to zoom. Sony Ericsson K700 Click to zoom. Sony Ericsson K700
No, it's really a standard camera phone • diodes • loudspeaker slot

The battery cover looks like a piece of metal, but it's a plastic one with a Sony Ericsson sign and logo in the bottom part. The Li-Ion battery has capacity of 700 mAh. SIM card slides in the grooves and is quite easy removable. Notice that, there is a square block above it. According to rumors, there shall be a place for a memory card in the next model, which I doubt. Sony Ericsson will certainly come with a phone equipped with a memory card, but that is not enough space for a card.

Click to zoom. Sony Ericsson K700 Click to zoom. Sony Ericsson K700 Click to zoom. Sony Ericsson K700
Rear cover • view at the battery • SIM card placement

I can have only official data about the battery life: up to 300 hours in standby mode or up to 300 minutes of normal use. Charging takes hour and a half. The phone is not warning you enough about battery low status. It tries several beeps, then makes a heartbreaking raspy sound and switches off.

Integrated camera: fake megapixel

Sony tapers its production of cheap digital cameras, because they believe that camera phones are going to replace them soon. Sony Ericsson K700 is the first handset produced in accordance with the "two side" marketing conception: mobile phone on one side and camera on the opposite. This has some advantages too. When you take pictures, it's possible to hold the phone in a horizontal position as a usual camera. Finger fits right on the release and with the rock switch you could control the exposure compensation. Less practical is the fact that you have to rotate the pictures if you don't feel like turning the whole handset. Of course, it's possible to snap pictures, holding the phone in one hand, just by pressing the joystick.

Click to zoom. Sony Ericsson K700
Can't do it this way… You should hold the phone with both hands otherwise it loses balance

Although the build-in camera features only 640 x 480 pixel resolution, it's possible to take pictures even in 1 280 x 960 pixel resolution. However, this format is interpolation only and you will surely notice that Sony Ericsson K700 is not a megapixel camera phones.


Digital camera environment • context menu

Nevertheless, it is out of question that pictures snapped in standard resolution are very good; K700 has one of the best VGA cameras. Besides the computed and standard resolution you could choose two more, offering two different levels of pictures quality. By resolution of 640 x 480 pixels the phone saves pictures for 3 seconds, and by chosen megapixel format, it takes 8 seconds. Owing to effects presented you could make black&white, negative or sepia pictures as well as images with solar effects. You can also complement your pictures with different funny frames.


Pictures resolution setting • funny frames

I don't recommend using night mode; scenes are a bit brighter but too bleary. Better turn the lighting diode on. You can use digital zoom with the lowest resolution available: level one or two.

Click to zoom. Sony Ericsson K700 Click to zoom. Sony Ericsson K700 Click to zoom. Sony Ericsson K700
Lighting diode in action • the light is bright; compare the scene in dark environment and after Sony Ericsson's diode lighting (we made these pictures with a normal camera)

One unique function of this camera phone is panorama. You shoot three connected pictures and the phone puts them together in a single panoramic image. For easier picture aligning a part of the previous picture is displayed.

Click to zoom. Sony Ericsson K700
Panoramic photo

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