Product: mobile phone
Price: €299 pre-paid/€129 on contract
For a long time the laptop market operated according to the principle that although prices stayed north of the magic €1,000 price point, what the consumer could get for that money increased exponentially over time. The same is now happening with mobile handsets: at one time a couple of hundred euro would have got you a phone with fairly basic features; now it buys you a multi-faceted communications and entertainment device.
The new K750i handset from Sony Ericsson conforms to this trend. As well as being triband and thus usable in virtually any country, the device incorporates a 2.0 megapixel (MP) camera with x4 digital zoom, digital music player and radio, video, polyphonic sound, personal information manager software and games.
In the looks department, the K750i breaks little new ground although it is unquestionably sleek looking. It has solid European styling, bucking the accelerating trend towards flip phones beloved of Asian and US manufacturers. The front is dominated by its large, 4cm x 3cm, display; the reverse has the camera with sliding cover. On the side edges are several buttons: music/media control, camera shutter and camera zoom/volume control. Also on the side is a compartment for housing a Sony Memory Stick Duo to store extra images, video, music and so on — the phone comes with a 64MB stick, but this is of course upgradeable.
It is the camera for which many users will be buying this handset because, at 2MP, the resulting images are of a high enough quality not only to be emailed or posted on websites but also to print out to postcard size. Moreover, judging by some of the sample images that were supplied by the manufacturer, the on-board camera is capable of producing some fancy effects such as solarising and image negatives. Where work is still needed is in the area of useability. Digital camera owners familiar with toggling between photo and playback modes will be irritated by having to go through the file manager menu option to look at pictures they have taken. But while certainly not as refined as a stand-alone digital camera, the K750i makes a clear statement that a good-quality camera and mobile handset can co-exist on the same device. It is something we are bound to see a lot more of in the future.
The K750i will be available next week from all three networks, priced at €299 pre-paid or €129 on contract.
By Brian Skelly