Monday, March 27, 2006

SE K750i (or, The New Phone In Review)

So I've had my new phone for 2 days now.

Cat Montage

In that space of time, I've taken 10-odd photos, 3 or 4 videos, recorded my voice, uploaded some mp3s, sms'd (or texted, if you prefer) a bunch of people, and played games.

I have not made or received a single phone call yet. In fact, while I've explored the Sony Ericcson K750i's capabilities in every other respect, the one aspect of its performance I have not measured is its nominal primary function - how it makes phone calls, its raison d'etre.

This would be a good point to insert some comment about how fast things change, but we already know that. 10 years ago, the idea was to own a handphone, and the idea of a handphone was to make voice calls. 10 years later, the idea is to have a sort of personal tricorder, so everyone can be their one-man away team.

I meant this post to be a review of the SE K750i, but after 2 days of use, there's really nothing to say about it that I didn't already expect. It takes photos. Photo quality is as can be expected - not up to scratch if you are used to a DSLR, but fantastic for snapshots, and probably better than any other cameraphone out there. Images are noisy under anything but good light, but the camera comes with a very impressive bright light of its own (and if that's not enough, a separate attachment allows for even brighter illumination or flash - all at the expense of battery life, but hey, we knew that). Auto-focus, white balance, and a macro mode all add up to a cameraphone that's closer to a camera in performance.

One irritating discovery was a grid-like pattern of pixelation in some photos (I appled a fair amount of Guassian blur to smooth it out but you might still be able to discern it in the photo of Patch, top left in the montage above), but not others - I haven't discerned a pattern yet, but I suspect it is most prominent in low light. For those interested in this sort of thing, check out the original sized image here, and compare the top left image with the one to the right.

In the end, the gap in image quality between this and a DSLR is (a) an unfair comparison and (b) somewhat irrelevant, since the phone is intended for snapshot photography. In fact, it's better than my D70 in this respect, by virtue of being in my pocket all the time, and being faster and easier to use.

I didn't buy this to record video, so I have no expectations there, and therefore no critical comments to make. As for interface issues, I've been a die-hard Nokia user for almost 10 years, but the transition wasn't too difficult. The most serious problem so far (if you can call it that) is that space bar button for texting is different from the Nokia's, and so a decade of muscle memory will have to be re-programmed. In other words, there aren't that many problems with SMS.

The one thing I will say about the interface is that the file system, menus, and hierarchies should be structured like a computer operating system - because that's what this is. As it stands, the menus don't really make it clear whether a file (like a photo) is on the memory stick, or on the phone's hardwired memory.

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3 comments:

ampulets said...

Hey, welcome to the "switch-from-nokia-to-sony Ericsson" movement. I have just switched from a decade of being a Nokian to Sony Erisson too. The 2 megapix camera is quite a blessing, which is not fantastic but good enough for those kodak moments, when my contax acts up and runs out of battery.

The best part about K750i is the keypad, which is far more sturdy and durable than Nokia's - I always have to be so concerned about "over-punching" my keypad when I was using Nokia phones. I can't quite remember the numerous time I have to queque up to get it serviced - only to find it faulty again in a few weeks.

Having said that, I have developed a liking for the K800i's orangey look (to match my sony palm). Too bad, it was quite pricey when I got mine.- TOHA

said...

me, i'll wait for the K800i. its got a 3.2 mega pixel camera. win already.

avalon said...

As usual, your cats are so cute! LOVE THEM!