A positive 3G experience

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 17 May, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 17 May, 2005, 12:00am

Sony Ericsson's new Z800i mobile phone may not be the best 3G handset in every category, but it provides a positive user experience.

Unlike other 3G handsets, the Z800i was not designed to be a digital camera hybrid. This makes it one of the slimmest products in the 3G mobile phone market segment.

It measures 102x49x23.6mm and weighs 144grams.

The Z800i supports the one-gigabyte Sony Memory Stick Pro Duo, which is the largest removable storage device used on 3G handsets. This offers users more room to download or save digital photos, video clips or music files.

The Z800i has a built-in media player that supports most music formats. Users can also create personalised playlists, and in their preferred order.

The handset also comes with a 1.3-megapixel camera, 4x digital zoom, 72-tone polyphonic sound, a personal information manager program, a sound recorder, a speaker phone, a WAP 2.0 browser, Bluetooth and infrared connectivity, and picture and video messaging functions.

Talk time is up to 10 hours on second-generation GSM and GPRS networks, and up to 2? hours on 3G.

Video call time is up to 1? hours, with standby time of up to 240 hours.

The quality of the handset's 2.2-inch main screen is not quite as high as that of the Sharp SX813. Its colour display offers a resolution of 176x220 pixels compared with the Sharp phone's 240x320 pixels.

Also, the LG8180 outperformed the Z800i in downloading games.

Using the game portal of 3 Hong Kong, the Z800i could only support eight games. The LG phone supported all 55 games available in the portal.

The Sony Ericsson phone also downloaded a one-minute video clip five seconds slower than the LG phone. A similar time lag was experienced logging on to other mobile network portals.

CSL offers no handset subsidy to buyers of the Z800i. SmarTone provides discounts of $400 to $1,300, depending on the package.

Hutchison Telecommunications' 3 offers the biggest subsidy for the handset at $1,600.

Sony Ericsson Z800i 3G handset


Price: $4,280

Pros: Good price and performance package

Cons: Limited support for network-downloaded games