Stylish camera phone: Sony Ericsson S700i

The most striking thing about the S700i is its design - from one side it looks like a camera, from the other it looks like a phone.

Unlike most camera phones, where the picture-taking part is an application in the main menu, the S700i separates the two functions. Slide open the lens cover and it'll switch into camera mode, with a horizontal interface and menu system not all that different from a Sony Cybershot camera.

Pictures can be saved either to the internal memory or Memory Stick Duo storage card, providing plenty of space for expansion. Despite its 1.3Mp rating, capable of 1280x960 resolution shots, the S700i - like other devices in its class - is let down by a comparatively poor lens. Give it a bright sunny day or a well-lit interior and it'll deliver passable images. But try to use it in a dingy pub or at night and the results will be less impressive even though the inclusion of a photo light helps.

The phone side of things hasn't been forgotten. With a twist mechanism, the S700i is compact without sacrificing usability. When closed, the four-way joypad, soft keys and Cancel and Return buttons mean you can access the primary phone functions, such as answering a call or dialling a number from the phone book, without needing to open the case. For more involved use, such as adding a number to your contacts or writing a text message, simply slide out the keypad and it's ready to go. Sony Ericsson hasn't skimped on the specifications either, with features such as triband coverage, Bluetooth and a 260,000 colour display that you'd expect in a high-end model.

The interface, while given a visual overhaul, is similar to the T610's but includes extras such as Sony's PlayNow content service and MusicDJ to compose your own ringtones.

Price: $1399 Vendor: Sony Ericsson Phone: 1300 650 050 URL: www.sonyericsson.com.au

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Will Head

PC World
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