Sony Ericsson K770 review: Cyber-shot in the middle
The Sony Ericsson K770 proved a very user-friendly device. It handles nicely and pleases with its soft rounded casing. The handset fits perfectly in hand and we were delighted with the ergonomics of all the controls. With dimensions almost on par, the new Cyber-shot fairly outperforms the T650 in design and ergonomics. The keypad with its ample, neat and elevated keys makes the biggest difference.
Talking about usability, we must pay due attention to the display. We hailed the recent improvements by Sony Ericsson in the display department. With some of its latest models, namely K850 and T650, Sony Ericsson has taken display usability to a higher level. We were delighted with the T650 display and that practically leaves nothing else to say about K770. It seems to be the same piece of hardware used. The quality is beyond comparison particularly with the poor K810 display.
The display offers improved usability under direct sunlight and some really attractive color effects. When looked from an angle, the K770 display changes colors in an instant when the Under Water Flash Lite theme is used. For example, the standard green color theme of the user interface magically turns blue when looked at from the right. The pictures below demonstrate the effect, or you can go back to the beginning of this review and take a look at the first pictures of the K770 taken from different angles.
The keypad of the Sony Ericsson K770 offers wide oblong keys, divided by tiny cuts from each other. This is also a step away from the unorthodox keypad design found in K810, K850 and T650. In our humble opinion, keen texters will appreciate them very much. We did find the keys very handy. Responsiveness and tactile feedback will make typos a rarity. The keypad is illuminated in soft white, but generally fails to match other recent Sony Ericsson phones, both on intensity and evenness of the backlighting.
User interface: keep it in the family
The user interface in Sony Ericsson K770 is the standard non-smartphone Sony Ericsson UI. It offers great user-friendliness, but new mobiles equipped with it don't offer any new functionality over previous models. Unlike some of the new Sony Ericsson mobiles launched this year (K850 and W910 for example), the K770 user interface lacks the enhanced multimedia capabilities. However, the addition of Flash Lite themes has certainly livened things up.
|The keypad of the Sony Ericsson K770 offers wide oblong keys, divided by tiny cuts from each other. This is also a step away from the unorthodox keypad design found in K810, K850 and T650. In our humble opinion, keen texters will appreciate them very much. We did find the keys very handy.|
As most previous models, the Sony Ericsson K770 comes with a dedicated Flight mode. When turning on the phone, you may opt to start it directly into Flight mode. Unlike its Nokia S40 user interface rivals, the Sony Ericsson handsets cannot work in Flight mode unless a SIM card is inserted. In active stand-by mode the screen displays information about the network signal, battery strength, current date and time, plus the next alarm that's due. Pressing the navigation pad in any of the four directions can start a user-programmed feature or application. The main menu itself appears as a 4 x 3 grid of animated icons. All sub-menus are in list view with tiny icons on the left side. Response is fast in every submenu and application.
Speaking about Flash Lite themes, it must be noted that the K770 not only comes with Flash Lite support, but additionally, some of the preinstalled themes are Flash-based, namely the Aperture theme. Unfortunately, it does not interact with the keypad backlighting as T650. Again, as we use the Underwater flash theme from the T650, the color scheme, the wallpaper, and the menu icons change. The home screen animations also affect the keypad backlighting in an intriguing way. When its animated flying boxes on home screen hit the bottom of the screen, a light wave splatters across the keypad. We have discussed in detail these effects in the review of Sony Ericsson T650, and will no longer dwell on this.
As with all recent Sony Ericsson handsets, the Sony Ericsson K770 has an Activity menu which has a dedicated key to the tabbed Activity Menu. The Running Apps tab of the menu offers multi-tasking - for example you can run two Java applications and listen to the radio or to the music player simultaneously. The Activity menu also offers quick access to new events, the Web tab and the My Shortcuts tab, which contains a list of frequently used features and can be modified to the user preference.