I spent two glorious days last week testing the latest model in the Sony Ericsson Cyber-shot line: the K850i. When Jonjie Gonzalez, Sony Ericsson’s press relations man in Cebu, invited me to test a K850i demo unit for a day or two, I jumped at the chance. I am, after all, a rabid Sony Ericsson fan-boy.
The Sony Ericsson K850i comes with a 5-megapixel camera and a slew of standard Cyber-shot features that distinguish the line among camera phones.
Sony Ericsson K850i. The latest in the Cyber-shot line comes with a built-in 5-megapixel camera and a lot of features that distinguish the line from other camera phones. The phone, however, no longer has the small mirror that helps you position yourself when taking self-portraits. Click on photo to enlarge.
It has a dedicated camera button and does away with the active lens cover of previous versions of the product line. I’ve gotten used to the active lens cover–a sliding cover that activates the phone’s camera when you expose the lens–and had to stop myself a few times from using my fingers to slide a non-existent cover. But doing away with the moving parts that make up the active lens cover makes the phone more compact.
The K850i, however, does not have the small self portrait mirror that had been a fixture in its phones. The small round mirror, which helps you align the phone to make sure that you get yourself inside the photograph, is very useful for taking self portraits, preferably beside belly dancers (darn, I missed them during the launch). I can’t understand why the company removed it.
Sony Ericsson has unveiled a phone that I’m sure will give second thoughts to those already set on upgrading units this Christmas. The company announced earlier this month the coming availability of the Sony Ericsson K660, a phone that the company said was engineered for the mobile Internet.
The phone will only be available early next year so you might want to postpone your Christmas phone upgrade by a month or two.
FUNKY COLOR FOR A COOL PHONE. The lime on white version of the Sony Ericsson K660i, an HSDPA-enable phone that has been engineered for the mobile Internet. Click on photo to enlarge.
The K660, which will be marketed as the K660i in the Asia-Pacific region, is an HSDPA-enabled phone. The phone can access so-called “mobile broadband” networks that offer higher connection speeds. This not only makes browsing on the phone faster, it also makes it a good laptop accessory—as mobile modem.
I don’t know how wide HSDPA coverage is in Cebu but in my previous experience with PLDT WeRoam, I got strong and consistent HSDPA signals within downtown and mid-town Cebu City areas. I got a consistent GPRS speed at home in Lapu-Lapu City but this was a few months back. I suspect things have improved since then, based on my wife’s experience with using her Sony Ericsson K800i as modem.
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.
There’s probably room enough for only 10 people on this islet of six trees (or shrubs) and a single hut.
Yet on this islet near Olango Island and for several kilometers near it, you can still connect to telecoms networks and send and receive text messages, make calls, and browse the mobile Internet. It boggles my mind when I thought I’d “get away from it all” during a trip to several islets yesterday that I was never out of range of the telecoms network.
E-MAIL ON THE HIGH SEAS. Checking Gmail on a boat in the middle of nowhere. Click on photo to enlarge image.
Up until two years back, I still heard of stories and jokes on how people on several areas of Cebu had to go to a certain spot or climb trees just to send and receive text messages. I seem to remember being told of connection problems in Olango.
I would give anything to have had this Scanr tool a decade ago when, as a beat reporter, I had to frequently photocopy documents for news stories. When I was still covering the Cebu City Hall beat, I did a series of news reports that exposed illegal collection of fees and various other transactions disallowed by government auditors. These stories were from documents officials never intended to be released to the media.
STEP 1. Scan the document using your phone camera. Fill as much of the phone screen with the document you want processed. Click on photo to view larger image.
I had a City Hall source whom I befriended after weeks of offering free cigarettes (there, smoking can do something good) at the hallway. We became such good cigarette break friends that I started asking him for documents officials did not want released.
STEP 2. Start the application. It will open with an image gallery. Browse the photos and look for the images you want processed. Click on photo for larger image.
The source would alert me during our cigarette breaks whenever a document I requested was already available. I’d then go to the press room, get a brown envelope, go to the comfort room and get the documents from him. I’d then rush to the photocopier and, while chewing on my nails, wait for her to finish copying the papers. I’d then go back to the City Hall comfort room and then return the papers.
STEP 3. Click on a photo and mark whether it is a document, business card, or a whiteboard snapshot. Click on photo to view larger image.
In one of these exchanges, I panicked because the source said I should return the papers immediately but I wasn’t able to find a vacant copier near City Hall. I had to cross several blocks.
Looking back while playing with Scanr these past days made me think how easier things might have been for me using the service and its mobile application.
In the run-up to Sinulog, the biggest festival in Cebu, I was invited to a demonstration of Globe Visibility, Globe’s HSDPA or High Speed Downlink Packet Access mobile Internet service.
The service, marketed by Globe with buzz phrases such as “3G plus,” “better than 3G,” and “mobile broadband,” promises download speeds of up to 1.4mbps. In the limited time that I observed the demo, Globe Visibility was browsing at breakneck speeds. Heck, it was even faster than the faltering and intermittent Globelines Broadband connection I had at home.
I finally got my Sony Ericsson K750i to work with the Gmail for mobile application released last week. The first time I tried it, I couldn’t get the inbox to load.
It was puzzling as I could access the Internet using Opera Mini. I kept changing Internet settings and I still couldn’t go past the “loading” screen for the inbox. Just as frustration was threatening to boil over, I spotted the solution.
ACCESSING GMAIL ON K750i. I finally got to connect to my Gmail account using my Sony Ericsson K750i and a Smart Buddy connection. Click on photo to enlarge.
It turns out that you have to specify the Internet settings for Java applications in the K750i. If you’re using a Sony Ericsson with a Smart account, this might do the trick for you: Go to Settings then Connectivity then Settings for Java and pick Smart Internet. That solved the issue for me and I can now use Gmail on my phone.
The application is indeed faster and better to use. I have never been able to use the K750i’s default email program to connect to my Gmail account. I remember spending days trying to make it work a few months back, to no avail.