The Sony Ericsson K700i tri-band GSM/GPRS (900/1800/1900MHz) mobile phone is a pleasure to use. It's not a smartphone, doesn't have a touch screen, but it seems to incorporate all good features from previous Sony Ericsson models. While not a big phone (9.9 x 4.65 x 1.95 cm) and light (only 90g), it brings a very nice, large and bright LCD screen (176 x 200 pixels) to the mix.
While I like the overall look of this mobile phone, I think the plastic keypad's white background makes it look "cheaper". Other than this, the back cover, although made in plastic, looks like a nice brushed metal, and it's very nice to hold.
The sony Ericsson K700i
The phone of course comes with standard features like SMS and MMS clients, plus a POP3/IMAP client, a good size Address Book and Calendar applications, synchronisation capabilities (including SyncML and Bluetooth PIM Synchronisation). In terms of multimedia, the digital camera (VGA with 4x digital zoom) is not something to write home about, but it does the job well (full size example). In addition to pictures, short movies (MPEG4 format) can also be recorded. It has a MP3 player, although 32MB can be limiting as storage, when no expansion card slot is available.
You can however enjoy long hours of music, though, by using its built-in FM radio. The external stereo headsets are used as antenna (the radio application will not start without the headsets being plugged in).
If you know anyone at ZM, let them know I listen to them (shameless plug)
The version being distributed in New Zealand is customised with Vodafone live! menus. For some purists (and I've seen long discussions here on Geekzone about this), the customisation impacts in usability, although I couldn't notice anything really - except for the fact that the upper right button always starts Vodafone live! and the user starts paying GPRS traffic sometimes by accident. Other that this, it is quite a fine menu system, with nice and easy to see icons, context sensitive help and tabbed browsing of menu options.
In New Zealand: ready to use Vodafone live!
In terms of battery life it promisses 360 hours standby and 7 hours talk time (not tested!), which is reasonable when comparing with my other mobile devices.
This phone is a Bluetooth wonder. I think Sony Ericsson does a really good job with its Bluetooth software (sorry, Nokia), and this is no exception. The phone implements a long list of profiles, including the HID (Human Interface Device), which is in general used by mouse and keyboard devices. There's a good reason for this: one of the Bluetooth options is a remote control for your PC. Yes, that's right. The K700i offers three remote control functions. Using the K700i keypad I can control a Power Point presentation, Windows Media Player and the mouse cursor. When selected the remote control function will show the key index on the screen, like a, well, remote control. It's very handy and it works well.
Managing my desktop media player from the phone
Bluetooth profiles supported
Another good thing on its Bluetooth implementation is the real File Transfer profile. It's possible to browse the phone, upload and download files directly via Bluetooth. The phone works really well as a dial-up modem (GPRS DUN) for Pocket PC and Palm devices as well. As a note, users of HP iPAQ with older Pocket PC OS 2002 may have problems when trying to pair with this phone. It offers seven profiles, which is the limit in the old Bluetooth stacks on these Pocket PC. For iPAQ h3870 and h3970 users experiencing crashes when trying to pair with this mobile phone, the way to go is updating to Windows Mobile 2003, which removes this limitation.
Easy to use Bluetooth for Pocket PC
In short, if you're looking for a good looking phone, with a good set of features, great screen and sound, this seems to be the (for now) ultimate mobile phone.