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Sony Ericsson K850 review part 3

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Here is the English version of mobile-review's part 3 of the Sony Ericsson K850 mega review. It is well worth the read. Here is the final impression.

The loudspeaker is average volume-wise and has a great deal of basses in its sounding, but sometimes it just can’t make it through the sound of a busy street. The silent alert is of moderate power or even slightly higher than this, but even this admission isn’t an excuse for the cases when it proves too weak to be felt. The reception part is in line with other products by the company – in other words, it’s very fine.

The volume level of the K850i has much to do with the space between the speaker and your pocket or table – if there is some, it will sound as loud as the Sony Ericsson K790i/K800i. But if there isn’t, you will run into the issue of barely audible sound – the loudspeaker aperture can be easily covered, so the sound just won’t come out. Perhaps this is one of the most vital shortcomings of the handset.

With this model the company breaks away from the consistent product development line and makes a big step in another direction – towards the mass market. Judge for yourself – three soft-keys, Media menu, revamped camera interface. In a word, it is still Sony Ericsson and the phone oozes all its trademark cues, but there is quite a bunch of new stuff in it. Is it a good thing? Frankly, I couldn’t think of an answer even for myself. Time passes by, products keep developing and eventually shapechange. The guideline they have picked over at Sony Ericsson is obviously aimed at getting close to Nokia functionality-wise. However, either camp sports certain features that are implemented better – I kept having this deja vu feeling sometimes during my quality time with the K850i.

The K850i starts shipping early in October for about 450 Euro. Is this a justified price tag? Well, for a flagship it is quite adequate. Nevertheless, the Nokia N95, jam-packed with features (GPS, stereo-speakers, nearly identical camera, better video recording abilities, etc), today retails for 550-650 Euro. By October it is price tag may lose in weight to make 500-600 Euro, and then it will be a really close decision. Undoubtedly, Sony Ericsson’s flagship will garner interest and will be sought after and so on. But, it is not a revolution, like the previous models in the range, it simply evolves from the predecessors, and while it is still a cutting edge device, it doesn’t break significant new ground. Too exhausted many rivals have become, so that the market now has three sustainable players - Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson. Motorola has decent solutions, but due to the confusion inside the company, they will be hopelessly late to the market.

The company’s handsets in 2007-2008 will build upon the solutions found in the K850i. The fact of the matter is that the update for this model is almost ready to go – this device comes armed with an inbuilt GPS-receiver, sports different design as well as certain software-related modifications. Will it be worth looking at? Definitely. Probably, the reason behind such restrained treatment of this model is that previously, Sony Ericsson’s portfolio was much smaller. But these days the company is trying to differentiate its offerings by target segments and positioning, so now there is something to choose from.

In any event, this device provokes mixed feelings, you have to take it in hands and play around with it for some time. And only after that you can decide whether it suits you or not.

P.S. One of the hints that the company is heading towards services, just like our makers, is the browser’s Scoopt option. You can compose video clips or make photos of events that can get mass media curious and then sell them. Many will find this ability very fetching. But for now, we are going to wind up the story and proceed with the discussion of Sony Ericsson’s impending models, as well as the future of A200 platform, in the VIP Lounge of our forum.

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