Sony Ericsson K700i

As a successor to the hugely successful T610 series, hopes for the K700 were understandably high. However, by proclaiming it as a genuine dual-format machine (half phone, half camera) and casually tossing in some 3D gaming power, it seemed even the mighty Sony Ericsson were biting off more than they could chew. Could one handset really deliver all this functionality without skimping on anything?

Well, yes as it happens it could!

Whilst we’re far from convinced about the widely declared sexiness of the handset design - the official blurb mentions that you can “sense the pride in Creative Producer Henrik Jensfelt's voice when he talks about the K700” we think it’s a miniature brushed-steel brick - you can’t argue with the quality. Even at just 93kg, the handset feels reassuringly solid in your palm (even before you plop the battery in), the buttons are as practically chunky as they are funky and the perfectly positioned if slightly over mini joypad is given plenty of space. It’s just as well too as the embedded version of Super Real Tennis offers a truly thumb-testing challenge whilst simultaneously showcasing the phone’s visual and audio prowess. The slick 3D visuals make the most of all the 65K colours on the bright screen, whilst some convincing crowd and shot sounds add to the atmosphere.

Not that this is a one-game pony though, we tested the handset thoroughly on taxing games in most genres and from Colin McRae and Lemmings to Sensible Soccer and Townsmen and the K700i came through all challenges with flying colours regardless of whether you opt for pure pad control or (our favourite) a combination of pad and number keys. If we had to grumble we could argue that the battery does have a habit of switching from half full to off and the screen brightness dimmer is a little on the eager side. However these irritations are nowhere near enough to dissuade you from selecting this as your games phone of choice.

The performance elsewhere is similarly impressive. As a phone it’s got everything you need with an eminently customisable call management system, connectivity via Bluetooth and infra-red and a simple interface allowing you to rapidly browse messages and address book from the main screen with more complex options hidden in a secondary menu. And believe us there’s plenty to explore, from setting up voice control and 1-touch phone ‘profiles’ for different situations (e.g. office, in-car, outdoor) to browsing video and mp3s, listening to an FM radio or laying down your own music tracks.

If you want to get more creative, there’s a solid camera/camcorder with a 640x480 resolution and plenty of options from defining picture quality and light to adding fun-frames and even zooming in video mode. However, whilst the rear of the handset may arguably resemble a digital camera (if you squint) and certainly is up there with the majority of camera-phones in terms of quality it’s still no match for even the most basic of dedicated dc, especially in lower light conditions. So our advice remains if you want to take proper pictures, get a proper camera!

If we wished to be churlish, we’d have to add that for such a media-packed phone the 41Mb of memory just isn’t sufficient and the lack of an external plug-in solution seems an incredible oversight. However it would be just plain wrong to end on a negative note for a handset of this calibre, put simply the K700i is a jack of all trades, master of most and its gaming credentials are impeccable.

Sony Ericsson K700i

A cracking all rounder that excels at entertaining
Chris James
Chris James
A footy game fanatic and experienced editor of numerous computing and game titles, bossman Chris is up for anything – including running Steel Media (the madman).