The display is very big, 35 x 46 mm, and it can display 260K colors in resolution of 320 x 240 pixels. If I had to evaluate the display in one word, the word would be "perfect". Really, just a few phones feature so soft and quality display.
The control buttons are placed in block below the display. You can find a 4-directional button with a confirmation key in the middle and 4 soft keys around. Traditionally Sony Ericsson is not using "red" and "green" call control keys. The soft keys control the calls instead. The back arrow button is used to get back to a previous position. The "C" button is used for canceling actions. A blue light highlights legends of the entire block.
On the backside you can find mainly the massive lens. On the battery cover there is easy reachable place to put your finger in a comfortable position during shooting. In fact the massive silver eye is only pretending to be a lens. After opening the sliding doors, it uncovers a standard small lens and a small mirror for self-portraits. There are also a diode for additional light and an external antenna connector on the backside of the mobile. A rubber plug protects the connector. The apertures on the side of the shiny circle are hiding the loudspeaker.
The Li-Ion battery has capacity of 780 mAh. We don't know the real duration time as we didn't have the phone available for such a long period. The producer claims 300 hours in standby mode and the S700 is supposed to last for 420 minutes of talk time.
Interesting control elements are placed on both sides of the phone. There is a button for keypad lock activation for example. By pressing the button you can lock the keypad and unlock it by pressing it again. It's quite practical but there is an imperfection: when the phone is in open position, the button is placed on the opposite side than when the phone is closed which leads to confusion. There is an infrared port placed under this button.
On the opposite side of the phone there is a double-button for volume control, which turns into an exposure compensation control button in camera mode. In writing mode - it's again a Sony Ericsson's innovation - the upper button is used for fast access to the second letter of the keypad button and the lower button for the third letter. The shutter release button is used solely for the camera; the memory card slot is above it. Sony Ericsson is using a Memory Stick in the smaller Duo format. The phone is not compatible with Duo Pro. Without the memory card the phone has 32 MB of internal memory space available and you'll get a card with the same capacity included in the package.
A rubber plug is attached to the phone to protect the classic system connector. There is an eyelet above the connector to thread a strap through if you would like to wear such a weight on your neck.
I would appreciate clearer response by pressing the phone buttons (numeric and soft). Sometimes you don't know whether keys react by pressing them or not because they don't "click".
Soft keys are big enough and there is sufficient distance between them, so you don't have to worry about typing errors. It's worse with the numeric keypad, which gets uncovered by opening the phone. Keys are quite small and they don't protrude over the surrounding surface. It's not the most comfortable solution - top-class keypads should look a bit different.
Besides the numeric keys there are also two function keys n the numeric block: a switch key and a key for accessing the WAP - the phone starts connecting just by pressing it softly. Due to these two keys the haptic orientation on the keypad gets a bit complicated. So in the bottom row there isn't the usual "triplet" star-zero-cross, but just these two keys. As the soft keys block also the numeric keys are illuminated by deep blue light.
The phone can be used in three basic modes. The first mode is a standard phone. Keypad is slid out so you have all keys and functions available. You can write messages, add contacts, find a number, enter a note etc.
If you slide the keypad back and hold the phone still in a vertical position, you have a compact phone that is short just of some functions. So you can read a message, see the calls list, change a profile, switch on the radio etc.
Or you can use the phone as a camera. Hold the phone in a horizontal position; the finger of your right hand fits straight on the release and the finger of your left hand on the keys for exposure compensation. It might seem that it would be more logical to place the zoom function on these keys as it is with common cameras. Anyway, digital zoom is basically unusable in practice, therefore I think that placement of the often used exposure compensation on these keys is a very smart choice. The main cross button controls the zoom.