back to article Sony Ericsson Cyber-shot K800i photo phone

I was reminiscing recently on days gone by when the only thing you considered before buying a mobile phone was its ability to make and receive calls. Today, such simple factors are taken for granted and have long been supplanted by how many MP3s it can store, what the games are like and whether it takes a good photo or not. Case …


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  1. Olly Wright

    Nice web browing too

    I've been using this phone for about a month. Whilst the camera is nice, what I found to be the most useful was installing Opera mini and google maps (midlet) on it and using it for web access on the go. The phone is really fast (performance and network), I managed to do stuff like online banking and MS outlook web access with no trouble. The screen resolution of 320x240 is a huge jump over the more conventional phone resolutions.

    An annoying downside with the camera is that the lens cover tends to slip open in your pocket. That can result in a lot of lost battery life as the phone sits in your pocket happily displaying a preview image of the inside of your pocket to no-one in particular.

    I liked the blogger integration. Take a photo, select 'blog this' from the menu and it was posting images up to my existing blogger (blogspot) account.

    All in all an amazing phone. I just want a flip version with a lock on the lens cover.

  2. Tommo_UK

    Opera browser

    This phone is the best I've ever owned, but the inbuilt web-browser is a bit crap although the RSS reader is pretty good.

    Download Opera10 Mini for Mobiles - its an incredible browser which reformats pages on the fly, and handles frames too, together with great navigation options and amazing legibility even when the smallest font size is selected.

    The first time I've found a web browser useable (and actually useful!) on a phone.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But what's this new memory format???????

    So, having investing in a 2Gb Memory Stick Pro du for my K750i, can I use it when I upgrade to the K800i????

  4. Steve Cady

    MP3 player

    The K800i's music player isn't lifted directly from Sony Ericsson's Walkman series handsets, it's from the non-Walkman series as it doesn't have the 'sort by album' feature. It has the K750 mp3 player rather than the W800 mp3 player.

    This makes it frustrating to use if you can't be bothered to make up your own playlists and really lets the phone down.

  5. Alan Pearce

    Nokia N93 Versus Sony-Ericson K800I

    I am stuck between what i think is the modest K800I and the outrageous N93. Cost is an issue, but the N93 surley must pack a biiger punch than the K800I.

    The N93's 3x Optical zoom is an impresive feature on a phone, the other features that stand out for me are the obvious 640 x 480 30 frames per second video recording and the not so obvious wifi. Down sides are size weight and short battery, but i am stil curious.

    When are you guys going to review the N93 and put my mind at rest. Does the camera perform, or is it just a gimmick?

    I do like the style and the simplicity of the K800I, but the lack of a optical focus is a bit of a let down.

    Please help answer the important questions like, will my pants fall down with the weight of the N93 in my pocket? Is the K800I still the best camera phone? and when will you review the N93?

  6. John McGhie

    Sorry? Is this a phone??

    I searched all five pages of your review, looking in vain for any information about the PHONE.

    You spend five pages appologising that it's not a very good camera. We already knew that...

    I *have* a 12 MP SLR digital camera. I don't want one in the phone: I have better things to do with the battery. Communicate in difficult reception areas, for example.

    Guys: This is a *radio telephone*. Let's talk about reception. Transmission. Voice quality. Drop outs. Ease of dialling/calling/holding and adding/editing/removing addressbook entries.

    If I want a camera, I'll go buy a camera (well... I *did* go buy a camera...). I want a phone: is this phone any good?

    Can't tell that from your review :-)


  7. Jamie


    In all seriousness John, if all you want is a phone, then why on earth are you even reading this?

    It's marketed as a high end CAMERA phone, not a low end phone with a cmos sensor.

    If all you really want is something to make calls with, then you're either a silly poser who wants the flashiest thing on the market to show off with but never use, or just woefully unaware of the fact that there are plenty of phones out there that would meet your requirements adequately.

    Testing a phone's liability to drop out is as much about the network as the phone, and it is completely unfair on a phone to rate it based on network performance which varies from user to user, location to location, and network to network.

    All sony ericsson phones of this type share basically the same menu setup - trust me, it's nice and easy to use and really not worth 5 pages of still images of the address book.

  8. Chris Mortimer

    Great specs, not very reliable

    I've had the phone for a month now and yes it takes great photos and everything else works fine and battery live is pretty good.

    However I have had problems with a loose connection on the earpiece so i had a week of not being able to hear anyone (they could hear me). It seemed to fix itself after it was in my pocket on my bike! The USB charging is hopeless compared with the K750i and it gets its knickers in a right twist when you unplug the usb cable with it often thinking it is still charging (and yes I do stop it first on the PC). Perhaps a new firmware version is needed or i have a dodgy phone but as it's intermittent it's hard to take it back.

  9. Craig Andrews

    Fill in flash

    In the article, the lack of fill-in flash is mentioned. In fact, the previously mentioned 'twighlight portrait' mode serves as a perfectly functional fill-in flash, allowing clear backgrounds and bright, vibrant foregrounds. It's an option I use often when taking pictures of people indoors to make sure I don't get the "white face and black background" effect of many camera phones.

  10. Liam the lemming

    Taking photos is all well and good, but...

    My other half is trialling a phone for work - a Sony Ericsson 3G model lighter than the T610(!!!). Of all the things that grabbed me about it, the weight was the stand-out.

    I scoured this article for that kind of info... and it's just not there. A specs page, at least, would be useful.

    Beyond which, where's the info about the battery life? The signal quality? (The Motorola Razr V3x, for example, doesn't hold a 3G signal anywhere near as well as a Nokia 6680.) The interface? The web browsing capabilities - is Opera installed, or does it come with some byzantine custom browser?

    These are all important questions, and answering them would be a bigger help than just focusing (pardon the pun) on the camera's capabilities.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is not a phone review

    I'm with the previous complaint - how does this work as a phone? "As a phone the K800i is every bit as adept as its predecessors" - at least a couple of paragraphs might be nice. Sound quality, pc sync for calendar and contacts, bluetooth implementation and battery life are still important as at the end of the day this is a phone with a pretty good camera attached rather than a camera with phone functionality.

    I still use my Nokia 6310i as every phone i've had since has suffered from poor battery life, poor sound quality and poor usability which just wasn't apparent from the reviews i'd read.

  12. James


    Hmm, yes, where is the review of the phone?

    I've had mine for a few days now, the intial battery life and indicators were awful, but after a couple of full overnight charges it seems to be running at a pretty similar rate to my K750i and W810i.

    The one downside is that no memory card is supplied with the handset, and I'd love to have used the one from my old SE phones but the apparent change in standard means that it's time to go and fork out for another one.

    The handset itself has an updated version of the Operating System which feels a lot smoother. The keypad suffers from one flaw for me, and that is I frequently press the button to launch the WAP browser whilst trying to press the back buttton.

    Another nice touch is the ability to configure the phone to automatically connect to the net when plugged in via a USB cable to a PC - and the PC assumes it's USB ethernet, which makes connecting stupendously easy. Now only to get it to work with my Mac...

  13. groovepoint

    Sent mine back!

    I got this phone expecting a big improvement from the feature set over my K750i but I was disapointed by the UI, it wasnt very quick, the music browsing wasnt very good. The most disapointing thing with this phone was how clumsy and badly designed it was, the lens cover looks set to break easily and it feels awkward in the hand. Sony have also decided to change the memory stick format again so the max mem you can get on this phone now is 1GB, I already had a 1GB card for my K750i and this is now useless, so...bigger phone, smaller/less capacity memory stick, more megapixels but less capacity from the memory stick.

    Very disapointing, I will wait for the new Nokia phones to arrive later in the year, hopefully they will have sorted out their UI in this time.

  14. Hanna

    Which is a better buy?

    if i had the option of purchasing either the K750i or the K800i which would be a better buy?

  15. Andy

    Nokia lover turns to Sony

    I got myself a Nokia N80 not long ago and found although i loved it the phone a tad slow still and the camera although much improved over my other Nokias i have owned no where near as good as the K800i

    I also wanted just a phone with a decent camera than a full blown smartphone so the k800i is perfect..

    but i will say the syncing with outlook is fantastic as i get all my diary, contacts and notes all downloaded to my phone without any trouble. only thing i would improve is the syncing being automatic where i can only seem to get it sync manually.. something i really miss from the nokia side of things

    so in roundup from someone who lives and breaths nokia and always hated sony phones i love this.. everything is very simple to use

  16. Ben Roe

    Decent phone, shame about the review

    El Reg's hardware reviews are never much good: look at their M600i review or N70 reviews, for example - little concrete information to base a purchasing decision on.

    I've owned a K800i for a fortnight now and am pretty happy with it. I was pleased with the slickness and speed of the UI compared to other phones I've used.

    The mail client works well, although its insistence on checking your mail every time you send an email is annoying. The built in web browser is functional enough, but I'm definitely going to try Opera Mini now. Java midlets run very well - it's got the latest J2ME VM, AFAICS.

    The camera is OK, but the shutter lag is very annoying and the image quality, especially in difficult lighting conditions, is not that good.

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