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Sony Ericsson T650 review part 3

Sharpshooter with a dress code

“3.2 mega pixels” and “auto focus” is written on the back of the T650, and that’s exactly what the camera specifications are. Auto focus makes it possible to take both close-ups as well as landscape photos, because the lens will automatically focus on what’s centred. A dual LED flash is right next to the camera and although it’s not a “proper” flash, it’s usable for taking photos in somewhat bad lighting conditions.

Photo capturing • Settings • A cool frame

Camera interface is pretty much the same as the one in K800 but without the Cyber-shot branding. It’s very easy and quick to use and it takes no time getting familiar with. Everything is horizontal, which gives you greater pleasure when taking pictures. Eventhough I like this interface, I do feel like the one on K850 is by far superior. Admittedly, it’s not quite as fast, but it simply feels better and more camera-like than the one on T650.

When using the camera, you have an arsenal of available settings and different effects to play with. Among some are the focus settings, white balance settings and funny frames. A number of keys (1, 4, 7 & *) on the keypad are linked to some settings – picture resolution, focus, night mode and flash. A simple press on the ‘0’ key brings up an overview of the keypad short cuts in camera.
As with all Sony Ericsson handsets with a camera, it’s possible to adjust the lighting settings (± 2.0 lux) and also to use digital zoom (up to 3x).
You can easily switch between photo and video capturing mode by either pressing up or down on the navigation pad. To view your photos, simply press the “View” button on the top right.

Here are some sample photos from the T650’s camera (press to enlarge).

T650 camera samples

Unfortunately the weather during the review period has been very bad, so there are no outdoor picture samples in good light, I’m afraid. I am however sure that this is where this phone would do its very best!

When looking at the pictures up close, you’ll see quite a lot of noise which has been caused by a mixture of bad lighting and a small camera sensor. The noise isn’t really that great to have, but it’s hard to get rid of it when it starts to get dark outside. There is of course the option to use the LED flash, but it has a tendency to make the pictures over-exposed if the subject is within a short distance.
If we look aside from the amount of noise in the pictures, we’ll see that the image quality is really good. Everything is drawn with a good amount of details and the outcome looks very sharp. Colours are pretty close to reality, but since I haven’t had a proper chance to take pictures in good lighting conditions, this is rather hard for me to determine.

Even though the camera hardware is the exact same as the one used in the Cyber-shot branded K770 and the software is very close to a perfect match, the T650 doesn’t feature PhotoFix for potential colour, contrast and light fixing of pictures.

Video capturing mode

T650 offers video capturing in a maximum resolution of 176 x 144 pixels (QCIF), and samples show that the videos are 10 frames per second. This is nowhere near being acceptable for such a good phone and especially because the phone is capable of doing much better than this. A positive thing, however, is that many settings are still available in video capturing mode.

A video sample can be found here.

Tune in and listen

The music player in T650 is the same as in most K-series phones and is pretty much a Walkman Player version 1 without the Walkman skin.
Songs are sorted by artist, name and album and you have the ability to add and import play lists, too.

The player itself will show various informations about the song from the ID3 tag of the song. It’s not possible to add album covers to the songs because the player is a bit outdated. There are a few equalizer presets and you have the ability to use a manual equalizer as well.

Player menu Main player

The sound quality is quite good with the bundled earphones. While not being absolutely perfect in any way, it’s above average.

The phone supports MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, WAV, WMA and m4a, to mention some.

The T650 also has an integrated FM-radio that works when a headset has been put in the phone (it acts as an antenna). The FM-radio also features RDS, so if the radio station, you’re listening to, supports it you can get informations about the song, station or alike. This also makes the phone capable of auto-refining the signal by automatically changing to a better frequency when available.

I’m very impressed by the excellent signal strength of the radio part – it beat my W910 on several occasions, so well done! Sound quality is also here above average, but dependant on the signal strenght and such.

Got game?

Unfortunately the T650 comes with only game, and this is called Lumines Block Challenge. It’s a game like Tetris, but instead of it requiring a full bottom line of blocks, this one will require a number of same-coloured blocks being connected in whatever shape it may be. The game is a bit troublesome to get started with and I didn’t find it very fun to use my time on. Luckily, you can download other Java games to the phone.

Lumines Block Challenge

3G is so yesterday…

The first thing that struck me when reading about the T650, when it was announced, was the fact that the fastest internet connection is 3G. In my opinion, Sony Ericsson should have been a bit faster with the release of HSDPA and should have included it in this phone, while still keeping the price tag at a fair level. Enough daydreaming, they didn’t do it and that’s what matters now.

T650’s web browser It’s possible to zoom and thereby enlarge the text

As you know, 3G gives about 400 Kbps download speed in optimal conditions. This is enough for making video calls and also downloading content from the internet – it’s not the fastest and most stable thing out there, but it’ll do. While T650’s web browser application, NetFront, isn’t the best option for cellphones with a relatively slow internet connection, it does do a good job with rendering web sites and browsing the web. I’d still recommend Opera Mini 4 any day, though.

You can exchange files with Bluetooth. T650 supports Bluetooth 2.0 and A2DP, but there’s no EDR support, so you’re stuck with transfers around 40-50 KB/s.

The data speed is more than acceptable when dealing with emails on the phone. Especially if you choose only to download the headers and not the content of the emails, when updating your inbox. The rest of the email will of course be downloaded if you press on the message title. It’s easy to set up email accounts on the phone and the phone supports most – if not all – sorts of encodings. It’s not possible to view attached office files and alike, but everything that is readable for the phone is also readable in the email application. All sorts of files can be attached on outgoing emails, though. Receiving / sending emails is done in the background.

The phone also has an RSS reader built-in and it’s very simple to use. You simple type in the RSS-address or press on an RSS-feed link in the web browser, and it will automatically be added to the RSS reader. You can update the feeds in the background.


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