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Sony Ericsson K800i

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Sony Ericsson K800i camera phone review

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Sony Ericsson K800i Camera Phone Review

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So, finally, the K800i has arrived. I've been waiting for this since I started looking into upgrades from my K750i back in April. Even to the point of trying out the Nokia N80 for a fortnight whilst the K800i was in quarentine!! (Never did find out whether it was small aliens in the boxes) We didn't get off to the best of starts either, 2 days in and the phone crashes terminally. But we persevered and had another handset sent through so we could try again.I was hoping that the K800i would be quite similar to the K750i in many ways, as the K750i had been an ideal phone for me.

The K800i is roughly 5mm longer but width and depth are much the same as the K750i, so it still fits nicely into a shirt, jacket, or trousers pocket. There's barely any noticeable extra weight either, which is good (and one of the reasons I wasn't overly keen on the Nokia N80). The overall build quality is very good and one big improvement, in my opinion, is the move away from the usual shiny plastic feel of the phone's case, to a matt black finish using a textured rubber-like case which should prove less liable to scratch and feels much nicer. Also, the keyboard glows a really nice shade of purple, which against the black background I think looks great.One of the only gripes I have about the appearance or styling of the phone is the lens cover. It is far too easy to catch on things in pockets and bags, which could quite easily lead to it breaking. The lens cover on the K750i was a far better idea and why they decided to change it is beyond me.In my opinion the phone has a nice style to it, and with the shaped back against the square front looks more in keeping wth a camera than a phone. The overall apperance probably isn't quite as snazzy as some of the other phones on the market, but then this is supposedly more of a camera, that just happens to have a phone tagged on the back of it.

The actual working of the phone itself, for the most part sticks with the nice easy menu system that is used on most Sony Ericsson handsets. It does however, for no rational reason I can fathom, tuck certain applications away in menus that are not blindingly obvious. For example; the "Entertainment" folder on the menu contains PhotoDJ, VideoDJ, MobileTV, Games etc. but Face Warp, Photomate and HP Print are over in My Files/Applications. There's probably a perfectly rational reason for it, it's just a bit lost on me. One smart idea though, has been the two buttons on the top left and right of the front of the phone. Pressing one calls up thumbnails of all images stored on the phone, whilst pressing the other gives you a full screen version of each image.

Do sometimes snag on your hair if you've been using the phone as a phone though! The media player works in the same way as the K750i, but if anything, the speaker in the phone itself has been improved slightly. Playing a song from it whilst it's sitting on my desk it performs nicely. It doesn't need to be loud, just loud enough to make the tune easy to hear over the background noise of a fan. According to the manual supplied with it, it will support the following file types: MP3, MP4, M4A, 3GP, AAC, AAC+, Enhanced AAC, AMR, MIDI, IMY, EMY, WAV (16kHz maximum sample rate) and Real8. It also supports streamed files that are 3GPP compatible.As it's a 3G phone, you now have the ability to make video calls, which are fun, if a little weird. A feature on this handset, which I'm unaware of on other handsets, is the ability to show a different picture (maybe one just taken), to the person you are talking to. Handy if you are lost and trying to describe where you are, or want to explain a view in detail.

The PC suite supplied is a vast improvement on previous Sony Ericsson efforts, almost to the point of being comparable with Nokia. Only thing missing really is the ability to write/edit text messages that are already on the handset. It synchronises with contacts/calenders/tasks etc in MS Outlook and offers other mail program options too. The high-speed cable connection is good, even when considering the larger file sizes of the images. Also, a handy addition is that you can now "drag and drop" (Or "copy and paste" if you prefer), music, video, or image files from PC to phone without having to go through any type of conversion software.

The camera itself is a big step forward, even from the K750i. Maybe not the huge jump I was perhaps expecting, but then I do have to keep reminding myself "It's not a camera, it's a cameraphone!!". That said, I think it is capable of some very impressive pictures in the right hands and will, for work purposes anyway, mean that I have no need to carry an actual camera around with me.

From start up to saving a picture takes roughly 8-9 seconds, which isn't too bad and generally the picture quality makes up for it being a little slower to start. And you have the auto focus to contend with in that time too. The auto focus is a bit "hit and miss" as has been shown in some of the other posts, but it can be switched off if necessary. The BestPic feature is a nice addition. It takes 9 pictures in quick succession, making it easier for action shots. You are then offered the option of saving any, or all, of the resulting pictures by scrolling across the thumbnails and selecting the ones you want.Once you've taken a picture and obviously thought "Must post this instantly to moblogUK", the phone gives you all the usual ways (MMS,email) to send, but offers a "Blog this" option. Unfortunately it doesn't offer you a choice of blog, merely sends you in the direction of one particular blogging site. In the interests of research I attempted this only to find that Vodafone don't support this feature and the voucher you'll require must be sourced from Sony Ericsson directly.

Shozu however, have recently added the K800i to their list of compatible handsets and I'm sure that it will make the whole process of blogging pictures much simpler. (I tried to install it, but I think Vodafone have been casting spells on me again).There's also an RSS feed which will help you to keep tabs on the latest moblogUK posts and the browser on this handset now enables you to view full websites, rather than just the wap versions.A few things worth mentioning are, that whilst the K800i has an internal memory of 64Mb, it DOESN'T come with an external memory card. Sony Ericsson have also changed the memory card size, so the one from your K750i, W800 or S700i won't fit. With the sizes of some of the pictures and media files, a trip to purchase a card is probably quite a good idea.

The battery life, while a lot better than the Nokia N80, is far short of the K750i. I knew it would be a bit less, but was quite surprised at how quickly the power drains. I've found myself having to charge it at least every other day. All in all, I think this phone has definitely been well worth the wait. A few tweeks here and there, like changing the lens cover, improving the battery life, adding wi-fi and a memory card, would make it just about perfect.


Euphro says:

Thanks for doing a fantastic job on the review! From some of the features you describe, particularly the battery life, I think I'll be sticking with my k750i for the moment :D

5th Aug 2006, 18:49

dataphage says:

Just got one of these myself and whilst I absoluutely love it I have to agree that the battery life is not up to much.

I have bought a 1gb memory card for the phone which gives you plenty of space on it and allows you to use it as a USB flash drive as well.

I have had a go with using the video camera and it comes out pretty well - I'm afraid I haven't posted much on Moblog UK with it yet but some of the video and pictures can be found on flickr or my blog

14th Aug 2006, 04:43

540air says:


Have recently been in contact with Shozu about my inability to install their program. They were very helpful, but part of their reply was as follows:-

"Some bad news... we've been alerted that Vodafone UK have blocked installation of all security signed third party software on their Vodafone branded K800i. We have been in discussion with them recently and will be receiving some of their locked phones for testing. I'll let you know if there's a workaround in future."

6th Oct 2006, 13:26

wraith2 says:

I have had mine for 2 days now and like it very much so far, apart from not coming with a memory card , am quite impressed with the photos but I notice that some tend to have some sort of glare on them and that the camera resets the file numbers whenever I download the pictures to my pc.for some strange reason I got no service for the whole of yesterday and the guy at the service center could'nt figure out why either,however a master reset and firmware update sorted out the problem.overall I quite like the phone.

12th Nov 2006, 03:31

mat says:

there's an option somewhere to change the file naming convention for images so it keeps counting up. can't recall where off the top of my head though.

12th Nov 2006, 03:52

FilbertFox says:

i loves mine!

12th Nov 2006, 08:36

jon3.16 says:

Hi, i have recently purchased a K800i from a dodgy salesman, the phone has now been blocked and i feel like a fool, if i send the abroad will it work?

please let me know/

17th Nov 2006, 11:52

kevin says:

I have recently brought a k800i and it has the face warp software but the phone recently crashed and when I switched it back on the software had gone, does anyone know where you can download this software? or who originally made the software so I have a better chance of finding it myself? Cheers

22nd Nov 2006, 09:41

Matty (mwflynn06-at-hotmail-dot-co-dot-uk) says:

I had ma k800i fot a couple of months now and yesturdurday my face warp feture wouldnt let me save ma funny pics any more it cums up with error could not save ..... Can any one help me with tis problem? thnkz

13th Dec 2006, 18:43

KMX says:

best fone ever

1st Jan 2007, 16:12

sjogro says:

Menu > Cyber-Shot > Settings > Reset file no. > Reset file numbers for pictures stored on the Memory Stick? > No.

11th Jan 2007, 05:58

Deus says:

A dissapointing upgrade where camera quality is concerned. Bigger is not better, yes it takes bigger pictures but the pictures are of a poorer quality. Every picture seems to have been "sharpened" with an unsharpen mask effect. This leads to less definition than found on the k750i. The camera cover is very poorly designed. My advice is hang on till your K750i until you have at least been able to test the camera on this.

28th Jan 2007, 17:25

matt says:

the disc that came with my phone never worked, is there anywhere i can find the software online? customer service at the carphone warehouse blows.

8th Mar 2007, 15:50

seaneeboy says:

It's available on the Sony Ericsson site, I believe :)

8th Mar 2007, 15:57

Not Hapy at all(nothappy-at-sony-dot-ericsson) says:

Battery life if on a 3G network is garbage.

Speaker is not near loud enough.

Alarm volume is useless.

Camera has way too much noise to be usable.

In short its a shittier version of the k750i with 3G compatiblity.

14th Mar 2007, 04:11

ricky(boa_2142-at-yahoo-dot-co-dot-uk) says:

hi does anyone now where to download the software that you get on the disc for it


10th May 2007, 16:45

540air says:

You can find most of the software from the support page on the Sony Ericsson site.

10th May 2007, 16:50

Lamine says:

I too have a k800i. I turned off the 3G (select gsm/gprs) and battery life is now very good. obvisously slower for wap and downloads but frankly barely noticeable. u could always turn 3G on and off when needed

25th Aug 2007, 02:30

chris.A says:

Hi I have just bought the K800i phone and I love it I have the mobile t.v on it so that I can watch the football and stuff when I am at work I pay £10.00 a month for it which I think is abit to much for a small screened t.v dont you think?

1st Nov 2007, 23:49

Matt says:

In NZ we pay $2.50 a week

4th Nov 2007, 20:39

Muneer(muneer-dot-mansoor-at-yahoo-dot-com) says:

i have had my sony ericsson for a few months now and from yesterday i cannot access games or download games ,it keeps on telling me 'application failed'

8th Jan 2008, 13:29

rchz(rachael204-at-hotmail-dot-co-dot-uk) says:

I have brought SE K800i everythin else is good apasrt from i stupidly went to master reset and 4 abt 2hours still said please wait, i took the batt n sim out but still said it, how can it get back to normal unless i take it back to the phone shop had it 4 2weeks now

3rd Feb 2008, 19:29

Selina says:

When i got my phone in 2006 (i think it was then, when it first came out) my phone worked fine. now when there is messages in my inbox already, i get texts saying the same thing from the same person maybe 6 months after i had already received it. for example i get a text alert it comes up with the message that i already have and when i close inbox and open it again the text just received is back in the rightful place in my inbox. has anyone else had this problem?

24th Mar 2008, 15:52

norky-noo(stork-at-talktalk-dot-net) says:

i have a k800i whichi bought from some less than honest person through e-bay. The sound doesn;t work on it. Would a firmware upgrade solve the problem? Is this perhaps what has caused the problem? And are there any links someone could post where we can get info on such firmware upgrades?

1st May 2008, 15:48

Rhydonal says:

Well... I was stupid enough the other day to click the master reset option as the phone wouldn't let me change that "passcode" option. So now I've only been left with one theme on my phone and I don't even have the demo tour thingy. All I have is "Nightshot" theme and "Fly Away" video clip, and I've been left with only the "Cosmic" ringtone.

They were a waste of space anyway, but yes, I will admit, I am one of those weird guys that likes to keep their new things as they were when you bought them. So if osmeone could link me to where I could donload the replacement files, or maybe send them to me I'd be really greatful.

Thanks very much.

19th May 2008, 10:13

ray(raymondquirke-at-o2-dot-ie) says:

The battery ran out during a conversation, so I tried to turn on the K800i to get the phone number. Now it won't charge or turn on with a new battery! Whats happened? How do I fix it? Is there a reset button?

20th May 2008, 21:15

pete(pete-hq-at-hotmail-dot-co-dot-uk) says:

hello ive had my k800i 4 a while now! and when i want 2 go in my (games)or(applications) a message comes up saying (Operation failed) i dont understand this.everything els in the phone works? can any one help me???

2nd Jun 2008, 02:21

stanio says:

one friend told me that if i download softwarw for k800 mi k750 will have the same options and menu and it will be like k800 can someone tel me from where i can download it skype stanio_mc

8th Jun 2008, 17:42

Richie(richie-dot-mdluli-at-yahoo-dot-ca) says:

Hie my sony ericsson K800i doesnt want 2 open ( game) or ( applications) it shows a message that says operation failed. Can somebody help me please. I dont what to do.

10th Jul 2008, 13:03

Jo says:

I have had my sony ericsson w910I for about 9 months, about 2 weeks ago my games and applications won't open says operation failed.
I sent back to vodafone thay say it is liquid contamination.
I know I have never got it wet so what a cop out hey.
Guess what it is not covered under the warrenty suprise surprise.

24th Jul 2008, 11:45

Puspa(catty_upay-at-yahoo-dot-com) says:

I have a SE K800i series...
But I have a problem with the application..
Camera, recorder, and the video cann't open..
example if i take a picture, the pic can loose..
And if i used the video, will be return to the primary utama..
Please help if u know about this problem...

9th Aug 2008, 10:48

British(Britishprice-at-yahoo-dot-com) says:

I want to download media player on the phone so that i can use to listen online radio

2nd Nov 2008, 09:39

connorhaines (connor_l_haines-at-hotmail-dot-co-dot-uk) says:

my sony ericsson k800i video call doesn't work, whenever i try and call someone it immediately comes up with video call failed . any help?

6th Dec 2008, 23:15

kalim(kalim_02_06a-at-yahoo-dot-com) says:

hi my name is klaim i like this phone there are so many latest updates and cemra view my favourite set

10th Dec 2008, 11:24

Michelle slater says:

My sony is doing that thing too sayin operation failed on games can some1 help x

12th Apr 2009, 16:48

Amy Hall(farncombeslayer-at-yahoo-dot-co-dot-uk) says:

I received a message on my Song Ericsson K800i and as far as I can see its a photo message. When I press view (like i normally do on all text messaged) it says 'downloading message' and then 'download failed.' Why wont it let me see it? Please help.

28th May 2009, 13:31

keith(keithpalmer1979-at-hotmail-dot-) says:

my sony ericsson 800i keeps saying please wait does enyone no how 2 fix this

15th Sep 2009, 20:51

AJ says:

Omg same and i dont know what to do...:(

26th Sep 2009, 12:14

Kandi(whitney-at-gmail-dot-com) says:

I like the shades and tones.

30th Mar 2012, 07:16

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22nd Dec 2013, 20:58

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