The 2 megapixel camera of W850 does its job satisfactory without any bells and whistles. The quality of the pictures taken is comparable to that of pictures taken with K750 and W800 but of course you should bear in mind the lack of autofocus.
We've seen better quality cameras from Sony Ericsson, not to mention the lack of autofocus. The camera offers night mode, self-timer, panorama, frames, and burst shooting modes. It also features white balance correction. Several color effects are available, too.
The shooting is performed in landscape mode by using the camera shortcut button as a shutter key. Of course, you can take a picture in portrait mode too, but the camera menu is meant to be used in landscape mode. Once you've taken a picture with the phone you can immediately blog it on the Internet and thus share it with your friends. The camera options are in a menu that we have seen on all recent phones by Sony Ericsson so if you've had one, you would feel perfectly at home here. Sony Ericsson W850 has no dedicated macro mode, everything closer than say 80 cm from the lens will be out of focus.
Sony Ericsson W850 sample photos
The videos taken with W850 are captured at a low QCIF resolution. You can choose if you would like to limit the video duration in order to fit it on a MMS message or whether you would like to make unlimited recordings. The options for the video camera are pretty much the same as those for the still camera with very minor differences.
Sony Ericsson W850 video sample, 130KB
We should also mention the video calls camera on the front of W850 since after all we are reviewing a 3G phone here that is capable of making video calls. We are pleasantly surprised by the functionality that this tiny VGA camera offers. The other party's video feed is viewed in a large frame in the middle of the screen while you see your own image in the very same time in a small frame in the lower left corner. There is also a possibility to view your own image mirror-like, meaning that the image gets reversed and looks as if you are staring at yourself in a mirror. It's much more natural that way.
You can also digitally zoom your image at a 2x degree or choose to replace your live video feed with a picture of your taste or with a live feed from the main camera. You can also do that during an actual video call. The options don't end here. You can further on control the exposure compensation of the camera or even switch it into a night mode.
There are 3 different video quality modes: Smooth, Sharp and Normal. Smooth delivers a smoother picture flow while Sharp provides more detailed images.
Regular setup • replacing the two pictures
Besides 3G and GPRS for fast data transfers, video calls and streaming content support, the handset offers the usual connectivity capabilities such as the USB support and the Infrared port. The handset supports OMA DRM 2.0, which makes it compatible with almost all online music shops.
As we tested, the integrated HTML Access NetFront Internet browser is at a good level and it does its job more than all right. It has a lot of options - you can view the pages fullscreen with no menus showing and you can even browse your Web pages in landscape mode. It has WAP and picture modes. It supports content created for HTML 4.01, xHTML 1.0, CSS and Java script, WAP 2.0. The supported security protocols are SSL/TLS.
Generally, the Smart-fit function of the browser manages well with fitting the web content into the screen, but usually distorts the page layout and design too much to be really useful.
As already mentioned, the first appearance of W850 was in the movie "Da Vinci Code", where it was used for searching something with Google, so we decided to put the browser through its paces when it comes to Googling.
Integrated Google search form • Portrait mode • Landscape mode
A nice feature is that the browser supports zooming in and out of the Web pages of up to 200%.
Zooming in on 140% • Zooming in on 200%
Finally, we cannot miss the opportunity to take a peek at GSMArena.com through the integrated browser since that has become in some way our in-house way of testing and comparing mobile Web browsers.
The handset supports Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP profile, which means that you could use a stereo Bluetooth headset with it and that is something you don't see in every phone nowadays. Another notable thing about the excellent Bluetooth support is the Human Interface Device (HID) profile which allows the phone to be used as a remote control for PC and other Bluetooth-enabled devices. Further on, the phone could be used as a Bluetooth modem for Internet access of a PC or a mobile computer.
The integrated "Remote control" application
The phone has support for local and remote synchronization of contacts and calendar events. The local one is with Outlook and a PC while the remote synchronization is with remote servers. The USB connectivity of the phone has two modes - one for file transfers and one for USB Internet - to put it simply, the second one is for using the phone as a modem. A great feature that we see in every new Sony Ericsson phone nowadays is the capability to update the firmware version of the phone over-the-air, meaning you can download the new version through the phone itself.
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