Upgrading to Sony Ericsson K800i

When my wife needed to upgrade her phone several weeks back, there was no question on which brand she’ll be getting. The question was which Sony Ericsson model best fits her needs and our budget.

I am a Sony Ericsson fan boy and my fanaticism must have rubbed off on my wife because she decided to dump Nokia. Not even a recent marketing fiasco by Sony Ericsson Philippines can dampen my Sony Ericsson fanaticism.

Sony Ericsson K800i A PHONE ANY BLOGGER WOULD LOVE. The Sony Ericsson K800i comes with a 3.2 megapixel camera, which makes it great for taking photos for websites and blogs. The 3G phone can also display RSS feeds. Click on photo to enlarge.

My wife chose the Sony Ericsson K800 or, as it is being marketed here in the Asia-Pacific region, K800i. The phone is part of the company’s Cyber-shot line, phone products with image taking qualities good enough to carry the Sony brand for standalone digital cameras.

The K800i is no longer the latest in its line. Sony Ericsson has already upgraded the line by launching the K810i and announcing the coming availability of the K850i.

What stands out in the K800 line is the ability to upgrade the firmware over the air. In previous Sony Ericsson versions, you need to attach your phone to your PC via a USB cable to upgrade your unit’s firmware. With the K800, you can upgrade your firmware from the phone itself.

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Upgrading Sony Ericsson K750i to latest version: R1DB001

I’ve upgraded a colleague’s K750i to the latest firmware: the much maligned R1DB001.

Had we been able to upgrade her phone earlier, we wouldn’t have been faced with the option of sticking with R1N035, an old firmware that still has the USB transfer bug, or upgrading to a new one with lowered volume levels, as reported in various forums by those who upgraded.

Sony Ericsson firmware upgrade UPDATING the firmware of the K750i using the Sony Ericsson Update Service. Click on photo to view larger image.

You see, Sony Ericsson’s firmware update service does not allow you to choose which firmware to install, it automatically installs the latest version for your country.

I’ve already decided not to upgrade to the latest firmware. My phone already has the latest prior version: R1CA021. The reason I’m not upgrading to R1DB001 is the universal complaint against its media player and sound quality, as can be gleaned from forum post after forum post in Sony Ericsson message boards.

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Manage songs in your phone, mp3 player with MediaMonkey

I have long stayed away from using music players such as iTunes to manage songs in my Sony Ericsson k750i because of the way these software organize the files in the mobile phone’s memory stick.

mediamonkey MEDIAMONKEY is probably the best software to use to manage your phone’s audio library from your PC. Click on photo to enlarge.

I find it more efficient to just use my favorite Windows file manager, Total Commander, to transfer the music files from my PC to the phone. I’ve tried using third-party software to make iTunes manage my phone playlist and they work but not to the extent that they’ve become the primary way I manage my songs. I hate the way synchronization with iTunes breaks apart files in compilation albums into artist sub-folders. You’d have to recreate your playlist by repeatedly clicking on album folders. I’m sure there’s a way to configure this but I’m just too lazy to find out how.

But the first time I tried MediaMonkey, I immediately knew it was a piece of software I could rely on to manage songs and podcasts in my phone. The free (but sadly not open source) music library software is easy to use and doesn’t require a lot of fuzz, hacking or third party applications and plugins to connect to the K750i.

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Upgraded K750i firmware to latest version

(Update: the latest Sony Ericsson firmware is now: R1CA021) I upgraded my Sony Ericsson K750i to the latest firmware version last night. The new firmware, R1BC002, fixes a lot of bugs and offers several enhancements to the phone. My phone’s previous firmware, R1N035, was three releases behind and still contained bugs.

To check the firmware version of your Sony Ericsson phone, do the following (for < push the joystick to the left, for > push the joystick to the right):
>*< <*<*

I have long wanted to try updating the K750i’s firmware using the Sony Ericsson Update Service but I kept putting this off because I read forum posting after forum posting of people botching their upgrades.

Prior to the latest firmware, the K750i had an irritating bug involving the transfer of files via USB to the Memory Stick duo. Every time I transfer files to the phone’s Memory Stick, I always encounter problems. Not all the files I sent would be transferred. The easiest solution to this was to detach the Memory Stick and use a card reader.

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