Sony Ericsson T650 review part 2

Brushed steel and mineral glass

T650 is a cool candy bar phone measuring a mere 12.5 millimetres in depth. T650 comes in both a blue and green colour variant and Sony Ericsson recently also announced a black variant. I tested the green one and it looks good. The materials used in T650 are high quality materials such as the brushed steel around the display and back and the display and pointy camera lens is covered by scratch-resistant mineral glass. The lower part of the phone is where the colour is – as said, either black, blue or green. The surface feels matt and rather nice to touch. However it’s a bit slippery and it can be hard to get a good grip of the phone.

The keypad on T650 feels pretty good to use. The keys are rather small and shaped like small boxes, and I must say, that they look uncomfortable to use. But actually they aren’t a bit 🙂 I had expected the soft keys to be weird to use, but again, this phone proved me wrong. They were very comfortable to use. Furthermore T650’s keypad has some cool lighting effects that will show depending on what’s happening on the phone (video below).


Nice materials and great keypad on the T650

This phone’s dimensions are 104 x 46 x 12.5 millimetres and is thereby one of the thinnest candy bar phones from Sony Ericsson. Only phones like W880 and W890 are thinner than this one. The thin and relatively small dimensions of this phone makes it very good to carry around and it fits easily in your pocket. It weighs 95 grams, which seems like a lot compared to the dimensions, but this is because of the materials.

 


Video showing the T650’s keypad lighting effects

The back of T650 holds the camera and the loud speaker at the bottom. The upper part of the phone is made of stainless brushed steel and the camera glass is in fact mineral glass. After having taken the backside off and on a few times, it started feeling a bit loose and said some weird noises.


Stainless steel and mineral glass on the camera

You’ll find the lock to the backside on the top of the phone. It’s like a small slider, that needs to be pressed to the side. On the left side you’ll find the FastPort connector, while camera keys are to be found on the right side of the phone. The bottom of the phone holds nothing.


Backside lock on the top • FastPort connector on the left side

In the T650 box you’ll also find a set of extra accessories. One of these is the black protective bag, which fits the T650 perfectly! Another thing is the “docking station” where you can put your phone. It’s also possible to charge your phone while being there.


Some of the accessories that comes with T650

Once you’ve removed the back of the phone, you’ll have access to the battery, memory card (slot) and SIM card. The battery is a BST-33 standard battery (930 mAh). This one is good for up to 300 hours of standby or 7 hours of talk time (official numbers). It lasted 3-4 days with me before it needed to be charged again, which is really good! The memory card slot is located at the left bottom of the phone around the speaker. The SIM card slot is located near the top of the phone.


Back cover, battery, memory card & SIM card

Lets go underwater

 

Like a great number of Sony Ericsson’s newer phones, the T650 supports Flash Lite menu styles. There are four different themes, and three of these make use of the Flash Lite menus. These menus are pretty cool and their appearance and colours change accordingly to the time of the day.


Standby screen • Flash menus

The menu is built up in a grid layout of 3 x 4 icons, each representing either a certain feature or a folder like Entertainment, that leads to a number of sub folders and applications such as the folder ‘Games’ or the application ‘videoDJ’.

T650 makes use of the A100 operating system. This means that there are two soft keys, where the left soft key typically will represent the Select-option and the right one will represent More-option, which brings a menu up with further settings, actions and such. This system is extremely easy to relate to and it’s highly user friendly.


Activity menu • Settings

T650 has been one of the most stable Sony Ericsson phones I’ve ever used. The fact that it makes use of A100, which has been developed for years now, is the main reason for this. You can use the phone for multitasking – i.e. having multiple Java applications and games opened at once while having the web browser open and having an active call going on at the same time. Pretty good for a ‘dumb phone’, isn’t it?

The menu system is very easy to use, as I’ve said earlier on, and it gives a good overview of what you can do. If you’re in Settings, you’ll notice that there’s suddenly a number of tabs, each representing something (Display, Calls, etc.). This makes it way easier to navigate between the different settings than it would have been to go back and forth all the time.

How’s the weather?

T650 comes with only one application pre installed, and I honestly don’t understand why. The T650 has such a good camera, surely a camera application would could have been on the phone as well. Anyhow, the application is called AccuWeather Lite and is a weather application for displaying various localized weather infos. It makes use of your mobile data connection (GPRS or 3G), but comes with low costs since it’s only a matter of a few kilobytes per update.


AccuWeather Lite (picture from GSMArena’s T650 review)

 

The file manager is not the same as in K850/W910, which I said was the best file manager on any feature phone out there. The K850/W910 one has been significantly updated, but T650’s file manager is by no means bad. It’s however not to be found in the “Organizer” menu like on A200 phones, which for me is a good thing.


File manager • Timeline view

Like on most Sony Ericsson phones it’s possible to set up to 5 different alarms and you can choose which days for them to ring on, when and if it’s a returning alarm or not. Alarms will also ring when the phone is off. Generally everything works quite well here.


Calender • Day-view • Calculator

I mainly used the calender for remember which classes in school I had at what time and such. It’s pretty good, but creating many calender posts on the phone does take some time, so I often found myself making use of the synchronisation possibilities between Outlook and the T650.

Notes can be created with (what seems to be) a unlimited amount of characters – surely there is a limit, but one much higher than anybody will ever need. These notes can then be posted on the standby screen.

The calculator is rather simple and can be used for dividing, multiplying, subtracting, adding and percent calculations. Furthermore you can add to memory and use the memory. I am missing a few features, but nothing serious. The length of calculations is limited to 9 digits.


File manager

If you go to the ‘Entertainment’ spot in the menu you’ll see a set of three “DJ”-applications; VideoDJ, PhotoDJ & MusicDJ. Each can be used for creating or editing the chosen media – i.e. you can edit and create videos with text, colours and effects with VideoDJ, while PhotoDJ can be used for basic fixing and editing photos and at last you can create your own polyphonic tunes with MusicDJ. TrackID is a service that can recognize music, but more about that later. There is also a Bluetooth remote control application for managing i.e. your computer or a presentation via Bluetooth. I’ve used this on several occasions in school. It’s also possible to record sound in AMR-format with T650 – this application is also found in ‘Entertainment’.

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