26

NerdZone: SE K700i Review

I’m an avid early adaptor of gadgets of all sorts, a guinea pig for the blinking lights industry and therefore stupid as shit. But I love it.

So I decided to save you all from spending a lot of money by posting reviews of new product whenever I get my shaking hands on them.

Yesterday, the K700i arrived.

I will spare you the technical data that can be read much easier on SE’s pages and jump right into the dirty details, assuming you are reading this because you a) know what a mobile phone is and b) know what people usually do with it.

Handling the body

Roughly the size of the T610/T630 (the K700i is slightly shorter and just a tiny bit wider with about the same thickness), the K700i handles as good and bad as today’s other non-flip cover phones (Picture of phone in new window). Speaking of that, I hate flip phones. Why on earth do people think it looks cool to open up a phone? It’s impossible to use with one hand without suffering from serious hand muscle problems in a couple of years and it simply does look stupid. A phone is a phone, not a makeup mirror.

The size of the phone means the K700i can be easily carried around in your pant’s pockets without looking too excited. But it also means that while we’re still phone generations away from proper keypad and display layout (see my earlier post on this), typing on the K700i’s keypad is as awkward as on other small phones. It works since we’re used to it by now, but it is far from perfect user handling.

Handling the interface

If you own a T610 or a T630 (and many people I see in Berlin do), you will know how to get around using the K700i, but you’ll be delighted by some fine approvements.

First, the K700i is fast. The big disadvantage of colour screens over monochrome ones (speed) seems to be forgotten with the K700i. Menus react almost instantly to key presses and the screen itself is a delight, much brighter and sharper than my T630’s and excellent in bright sunlight as well.

Another major interface improvement is the selection of the number you want to dial from your address book. On the T630, you need find the contact, select it again, and then choose the number (mobile or office or home) you want to dial by scrolling to it.

On the K700i, you find the contact which then gets highlighted and transformed into a 2-line entry. You select the appropriate number (or email adress, if you want to send a mail from your phone) by using the right-left function of the „joystick“. One less click, very well done. (Picture of contact list in new window)

And while we’re fiddling with that tiny but pretty well designed navigational joystick: It is finally possible to assign individual apps or functions to the up, down, right and left positions of it. Thank you, SE.

Further interface improvements feature a better designed calendar view (the screen seems to have a higher resolution, but I don’t know if that’s true, it just looks like it) and very nice tab-driven menus. Now the 4-way navigation makes sense. (Picture of calendar view in new window, picture of tabbed menus in new window)

Sound and reception

The K700i sounds much, much better than my T630, which always sounded a little tin-can-ish. The K700i sounds warmer and a lot louder as well, my volume settings on the T630 was were always very high, on the K700i they’re halfway up.

Also, with the T630 I had very bad reception in our office but I have no problems at all with the K700i. But maybe they just installed a new vodafone antenna last night, I am too lazy to double check and compare reception rates. The K700i seems to be significantly better from what I can hear and see.

The camera

On the T610/630, the camera is useless. Just forget it. On the K700i, it is okay. With a resolution of 640*480 and a decent quality (example pic in new window), pics look like coming from a cheap digicam which should be enough for mobile blogging, my main intention for switching to the K700i. (Picture taken with K700i camera in new window)

Handling the numerous settings of the cam has improved a lot since they’re all accessible by simply pressing number keys and not having to go to the menu to change resolution, size, brightness or colour effects. Nice.

You can use the cam for MPEG4 videos, too, which is nothing more or less than a nice gimmick. Don’t throw away your video camera just yet. (Download .3gp movie filmed with K700i during the final minutes of the England:Portugal game in a portugese restaurant yesterday in very bad light conditions and not very exciting at all)

Of course, I didn’t touch the manual yet, so I haven’t found out if it’s possible to switch off the incredibly loud shutter sound (more like a shutter sound with an additional hand clap at the end) when taking pictures. This might be SE’s way of preventing perverts from taking pics of unaware objects, but it annoys me as hell since when I take pics of my kids, the sound will make them run to me screaming „let me, let me, let me!“ and all chances of taking a nice unposed snapshot of them will be gone.

Compared to the T630 again, pressing the camera button on the K700i’s side won’t switch on the cam immediately. Instead, you need to hold the button for about a second. If this is a technical neccessity (initializing the camera?), a usability feature (preventing accidentially switching on the cam) or another clever hurdle to prevent users with dirty minds from being able to make pictures too fast, I don’t know. Maybe it’s a combination of it all.

The best thing about the camera is probably the light, though. I was positively surprised to see that it is not simply a flash but a steady, constant-on, tiny flashlight, so it can be used when you use the camera for movies, too. And as a flashlight, of course. (Picture of K700i light on in new window)

Specials

The K700i has a built in radio. Which I will probably never use. For the sake of this article, though, I tested it and I was surprised by the good reception and sound quality, even if you don’t use the suplied headphones that act as an antenna (and must since be connected to make the radio work) but switch to the build in speaker instead. (Picture of radio player in new window)

The java games that come preinstalled look very cool, but I rarely play games on my mobile.

The installed media player (not, of course, a Microsoft Media Player, just a media player) plays MP3s and MPEG4s just fine, so the mystery remains why you can’t use MP3s as ringtones on the K700i. Well, .wav oder .mid will do for me, but I’m still asking.

Customization with themes is not a problem, as could be expected, and equally expected are the dozens of bikini babe based and Matrix wallpapers flying around on numerous sites. Why those people never make really useful themes (like cool and readable colour schemes instead of schemes that use every bright colour possible) is beyond me, but who wants to complain while not doing it better?

Mac iSync and Bluetooth

After initial problems of not being able to add the K700i to my iSync devices even though it was paired from my PowerBook, I paired again, this time initiating contact from the phone, not the computer, and everything worked fine. My contacts went to the K700i in a fly.

(Just some years ago, when switching phones, I always saw myself manually copying contacts from the phone to the SIM card on the old phone, then putting the card into the new phone, copying the contacts from the card to the phone and repeating that process over and over again because the card could only hold parts of me contacts. So iSync really changed a lot for Mac users.)

I am not an expert on this, but bluetooth feels a lot faster on the K700i than on the T630. I get 5kbit/s when sending pics from the phone to the Mac (at least that’s what the Mac tells me) and I believe it was only about 2,5kbit/s from the T630. You cannot send a pic straight after the other, though, the connection fails if you copy too fast, which is annoying. Waiting about 15 seconds until you send the next pic helps. One should think that the bluetooth connection is still active so it should be faster to send pics right after each other. This is not the case, aparently.

Battery life

I said it arrived yesterday, stupid!

Memory

There is no slot for external memory, but the internal seems to be something like 42MB, SE seems to have raised memory from the 32MB that were originally announced (I read that this is why they changed the name from K700 to K700i).

Drawbacks

When the phone goes into power saving mode after not having been used for a while, the screen is black, not even showing the time or date (I still need to find out if I can switch that off). When you start using the phone again, some keys won’t wake it up, like the joystick or the camera button, you need to press one of the „real“ keys.

This is a little irritating right now since the T630 woke up when touching the main control, the joystick. I guess I get used to it, but not seeing the time without waking up the phone and having to wait a split nano second is a drawback to me.

Summary

Pros: Fast. Great display. Okay camera for snapshot use. Some good interface improvements. You can actually make phone calls pretty easily with the K700i.

Cons: Sleep modus doesn’t show time or date. Waking up the screen won’t work with some keys/buttons.

Would I recommend the K700i? Absolutely. As usual, it depends on what you want, but for me it is the perfect mix of a decent digital camera for blogging, a bluetooth modem for my PowerBook and PocketPC and a simple, small but not too small and fast phone/SMS device.

26 Kommentare

  1. 01

    Hi, thanks for the concise and informative review.
    i’m getting a vodafone k700i next week.
    i saw in the photo, yours is also from vodafone.
    Is there any way to get rid of the vodafone menu?
    or are we stuck with it?
    Does it disturb you too much?
    Also, did you find a way to get the time showing as a screensaver?
    Any input much appreciated, with thanks, toby.

  2. 02
    Steve

    I was considering this phone.. but damn no external memory slot!???.. 42mb of memory leaves the mp3 player and media functions (video) pretty useless IMO.

    What a shame. *shakes his head at sony*

  3. 03
    Japhet

    Thanks for the detailed info…I got the Nokia 6230 as I think the 6600 is too large but the phone does not work with ISYNC

    Glad this does so I will change it next week

  4. 04

    I read that you can select the ‚meeting‘ profile to silence the camera shutter sound. Furthermore I think I also read it’s vodafone that disabled the any-mp3-as-ringtone feature.

  5. 05
    Si

    Voda and O2 have put their own firmware on the handsets and have disabled the mp3 functionality due to copyright laws. this is a joke as you can legally purchase mp3s!!!!! Im on the case!

  6. 06

    Odd that you can’t use MP3s as ringtones. I have the K700i on O2 and can use the included MP3s (baby, ring ring ring, etc) just fine. I’ll have to try using one of my own.

    The issue with the phone turning the screen completely off is easily fixed too. Simply go to Settings -> Display -> Light and change it from ‚Power Save‘ to ‚Automatic‘. Then you get the little floating clock a-la the T630.

    I was going for a 6230 but, when they didn’t have any in stock, I got the K700i instead. All I can say is that I’m thankful! My mate has the 6230 and the K700 is much more slick and the screen is soooo much better .It is higher res. than the T630, btw, 176 x 220 rather than 128 x 160.

  7. 07
    Ivar Klaas

    Hi Johnny,
    Could you provide me with the following: z600 and T610 have a addressbook, but without (!) postaddresses. SE told me this one does add the whole address to your contact. Is this true? Otherwise I will have to get a 6600, this one does it.
    Thanks and Danke in advance!!!
    Ivar (macman too!)

  8. 08

    the k700i doesn’t sync the addresses that you keep in addressbook on your mac, unfortunately. at least not with isync. I didn’t try to send the vc cards from addressbook to the phone directly, that is supposed to work and some people do that, but I need to sync since sometimes I do enter numbers on ther phone first and want them to transfer to the mac. speaking of that, I didn’t try if addresses get synchronised to the mac if they’ve been entered on the phone…

    the whole synchronization issue needs some more work at se and at apple, I guess. it works, but it could work better.

  9. 09
    Mauri

    Johnny it was a good description of your phone, congratulations.
    Well i’m italian and I bought a k700i 2 days ago.
    I have the iSync problem on my 17″, my PB can see the phone but i can sync my stuff on the phone. I heard people that say that you must download modem scripts..i don’t know.

    Someone know something about this? helppppp?

    thanks to everybody..hope someone can help me!
    Mauri

  10. 10
    Mauri

    Johnny it was a good description of your phone, congratulations.
    Well i’m italian and I bought a k700i 2 days ago.
    I have the iSync problem on my 17″, my PB can see the phone but i can sync my stuff on the phone. I heard people that say that you must download modem scripts..i don’t know.

    Someone know something about this? helppppp?

    thanks to everybody..hope someone can help me!
    Mauri

  11. 11

    you only need modem scripts to connect to the internet via bluetooth (if at all). you don’t need them to synch the phone. delete the phone of the computer’s list first (go to system preferences -> bluetooth and erase the k700i from the list of paired devices), then initiate the pairing from the phone, not from the powerbook (go to „connections“ on the phone, then to „bluetooth“, then to devices and choose „add new device“ or whatever it says in italian (nova devicio? :)). if you paired from the phone, isync should work fine.

    if you have more problems, the apple support site is of great help as well:

    http://www.apple.com/support/isync/

  12. 12
    DG

    You CAN use MP3’s as ringtones!

  13. 13
    marian

    I bought K700i one week ago in Vodafone UK. It`s great, has everything I need. There is only one problem, the battery life is very differ from what I expected. For the first time I charged it all night and next day battery went flat after about 12 hrs! of course I was using it a lot this day checking all the handset functions. The next day was same(it`s so difficult to resist the temptation to play with new handset ;). So far the longest working time I achieved was about 36 hrs and during those days I was using: radio about 1.5 hr, 0.5 an hr calling time, and gprs for 0.5 an hr. Irda and bluetooth are off and couldnt affect. I am not sure if it is normal or my phone/battery is faulty. I forgot to mention that battery in my mobile is Li-Polymer 700mAh (bst-35). Thanks in advance for any help.

  14. 14

    Many thanks for the indepth and personal review, it was much help in assisting me with my future choice.
    I will of course be getting the K700 after so many good reviews :D

  15. 15
    Gus

    Just a question with the phone. I bought one after reading that it had speakerphone which i use a lot on my other phone (Qtek 7070) but im damned if i can work out how to use it. On the Qtek you just hold the send button and it goes onto speakerphone. The manual for the k700i doesnt even mention speakerphone! And its a useless manual – even says the phone only has 32mb of memory not 41mb (and yes the actual phone does have 41 cause i checked to make sure :P)

    So if someone knows how to put it on speakerphone then please tell me! or this otherwise awesome phone is going back to the shop

  16. 16
    Chris Carroll

    The speakerphone function is on the joystick menu when you’re in a phonecall.

  17. 17
    Tim

    Jonny in the first message you say that you can use your mp3’s on the K700i if you turn them into mid or wav files this does not seem to be the case with my one as i changed it to a mid file by changing the extension and then the file logo changed from real one to ms media player, i then tested it on ms media player and it worked fine. This was not however the case when it was transfered to the phone as it came up with the message „Cannot play this sound“ Why is this?????????? its so anoying!

    Please help!!!!

  18. 18
    Tim

    Jhonny from the first message you say that you can use your mp3’s on the K700i if you turn them into mid or wav files this does not seem to be the case with my one as i changed it to a mid file by changing the extension and then the file logo changed from real one to ms media player, i then tested it on ms media player and it worked fine. This was not however the case when it was transfered to the phone as it came up with the message „Cannot play this sound“ Why is this?????????? its so anoying!

    Please help!!!!

  19. 19
    johnny

    you cannot simply change a sound file from mp3 to wave by renaming the extension. they are completely different file types. you need to open the mp3 in a sound program that lets you convert sounds (I use a mac, so you need to google around for a nice win program to do that) and then change the file type to .wav (I guess in the program there’ll be an option to ’save as…‘).

    then, you need to send the new file to your mobile, via bluetoth for examle.

    hope this helps!

  20. 20
    Tim

    Thank a bundle for reply’in

    I already had an mp3 to wav convertor called Easy Mp3 Convertor quit good actually but i just wordered about the end size of the wav file should i snip the mp3 first if so how?

  21. 21
    Alexies

    Like with Marian’s I also want to know if my battery is at fault. Seems like my battery only last for a day :(.

    marian Says:

    July 21st, 2004 at 19:49
    I bought K700i one week ago in Vodafone UK. It`s great, has everything I need. There is only one problem, the battery life is very differ from what I expected. For the first time I charged it all night and next day battery went flat after about 12 hrs! of course I was using it a lot this day checking all the handset functions. The next day was same(it`s so difficult to resist the temptation to play with new handset ;). So far the longest working time I achieved was about 36 hrs and during those days I was using: radio about 1.5 hr, 0.5 an hr calling time, and gprs for 0.5 an hr. Irda and bluetooth are off and couldnt affect. I am not sure if it is normal or my phone/battery is faulty. I forgot to mention that battery in my mobile is Li-Polymer 700mAh (bst-35). Thanks in advance for any help.

  22. 22
  23. 23

    thanks for the tip on getting it to work with iSync.

  24. 24
    haikel

    Could someone help me “ How to SILENCE the incredibly loud shuttering sound“ on the SE k700i

  25. 25
    G

    no review on number of phone book entries to be saved in the phone..

    i was disappointed to find out you can only save 510 lines(way too little for me)

    is there a software to improve this?

  26. 26
    M

    johnny what would you prefer to buy? se k700i or nokia 6670?….

Diesen Artikel kommentieren