Sony Ericsson K700 review: A winner

Marek Lutonskύ, 10 July 2004. Read the original review at MobilMania.cz
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Music: it's a pity there is no memory card

Sony Ericsson phones, except Symbian models didn't ever match with music. They haven't got integrated radios and couldn't play MP3 files. K700 breaks this barrier, however we have to wait for the next version to get fully multimedia capable mobile phone. K700 is sold only with stereo headphones for standard Sony Ericsson phones connector.

Click to zoom. Sony Ericsson K700 Click to zoom. Sony Ericsson K700 Click to zoom. Sony Ericsson K700
You'll get these headphones with the phone

I'll start with the MP3 player, because it'll be shorter. The phone doesn't support memory cards and even if you can load couple of songs into forty megabytes, that doesn't make K700 a competitor to regular MP3 players. Files are loaded into memory via cable, infrared port or Bluetooth and it's not possible to use a memory card reader.

It's a pity because Sony Ericsson K700 plays MP3 with a very good sound quality. In addition, it's possible to use an equalizer to adjust the sound. Player is very simple, from advanced functions it only has pause playing, it's not possible to browse songs forwards or backwards.


MP3 files and ringing tones are mixed in the player • detail of a played song • equalizer

The integrated radio is also one of the innovations in Sony Ericsson phones. You will need headphones that work as an antenna to run it; otherwise you can't turn the radio on. It's possible to tune frequencies from 87.5 up to 108.0 MHz - you can either tune it manually by tenths of megahertz or automatically: holding the joystick goes to the nearest tunable station. Besides, it's possible to direct enter a frequency. Unfortunately, you can save your favorite stations in the memory only as a frequency number. It's not possible to assign them a name. Receiving is quite satisfactory, I'd say that the equipped with radio Nokia phones are more sensitive to antenna location.


Tuned frequency is graphically displayed on a scale • radio context menu

Music can be listened through the headphones or from the loudspeaker. It's possible to minimize players and work with the phone in a usual way. Radio songs can't be recorded, playing stops when you start the voice recorder.

The voice recorder is very simple. You just start it and it records, then you stop it and it saves the record. Record length is probably depending on the free memory only. The phone doesn't display remaining time and filling up forty megabytes is an eight hours test.

Ringing: MP3 - no problem

Ringing tones with K700 are set in profiles. You can use a MID or MP3 file, a record from the voice recorder can be set as a ringing tone as well. MP3 files, when set as a ringing tone, sound immediately, even when quite big. Sound is hellishly loud, so you can't miss a call. There are 23 sounds and melodies available in the memory. Owing to the MusicDJ application users can compile multiple sounds ringing tone.


MusicDJ

Choice of message alert tones is poorer then of ringing tones. You can select six pre-defined sounds, click or no sound. It's not possible to extend this selection anyhow.

Organizer

For time management Sony Ericsson K700 brings you a calendar, task organizer, notes and an alarm clock. Actually, there are two alarms: regular and repetitive, where besides time, it's possible to set weekdays to be alarmed on. You can also choose a sound for the alarms.


Organizer functions menu • alarms • setting the days of repetitive alarm

Calendar takes advantage of the fine display. Events basic view is monthly, but you can get a weekly view from the context menu, while daily view is accessible from both previous views. In daily view events are sorted like a text list.


Monthly, weekly and daily view in the calendar

Calendar won't ask you for the item type by inserting a new record. You need just to enter event date and time of beginning, pick up duration from the offered options or insert end date and time. You can add a subject as an event label, fill in place of appointment and set a reminder).



Entering events into the calendar

Still the problem with the calendar, as known from former Sony Ericsson phones, remains open. Events can be set with a repetition; repetition is transferred to synchronization, but this can't be modified on the phone. Considering the images in economical view and small font size at monthly and weekly view, I find the striking font size in daily view quite embarrassing. Because of event time it can't be seen the event itself (you should wait a bit until the part, which didn't fit the row is shown).


Event detail • repetition is transferred to synchronization • event time is space-consuming

There's nothing new about tasks. For new item entry, you select between task and call, enter a subject or a phone number (it's possible to pick it up from the phonebook) and add a reminder if you wish. You can tick off completed tasks.


Tasks overview • task detail • selection between two types of items

Notes are synchronized with Microsoft Outlook, same as calendar and tasks. The K700 model can handle only six notes (let me remind you its 40MB of memory again). You can place a note on the main display to remind you to do something, which undoubtedly is a very useful feature.


Notes overview and a detail of one of them

The organizer also includes a simple calculator. It ignores calculation priorities but has memory. Countdown timer and stopwatch don't deserve further description but Code memo, secret password memory is an interesting feature. It's protected by a code that you should remember in order to entry secret data. You can access it even if you have entered the code incorrectly, but letters are shuffled passwords become useless. To verify that you really get correct passwords instead of nonsensical jumble of words, there is a control word. It's displayed after login and if it is the same as the word you've first inserted, everything's alright.


Calculator • countdown timer • stopwatch • Code memo

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