Review Price free/subscription
Sony Ericsson’s K550i is a Cyber-shot handset, which means it’s designed with photography as a key feature. In this instance the 2-megapixel camera is, in pure pixel terms, a bit behind the times, but the Cyber-shot metaphor is held together with features like auto focus, some image doctoring and built in picture blogging. Of course, as a Sony Ericsson handset the K550i can also play music, so tune-fans won’t miss out on that feature by taking the Cyber-shot route.
The quad-band Sony Ericsson K550i is pretty widely available. You can get it from free from T-Mobile and Orange, and O2 has an i-mode version of the handset available. Yes, i-mode is still alive and kicking.
There are two colour schemes available – black and silver, and white and silver. My review sample was black. Either way this is a reasonably pocket friendly phone. It is 46mm wide, 102mm tall and 14mm thick and weighs 95g.
It can’t match the emaciated 9.4mm thick W880i, though it shares that handsets approach to the numberpad. I loathed the thin and narrow number buttons on the W880i, preferring the slightly wider format they were given on the W610i. Fortunately, we are back in that territory again here, with the number buttons a mere single millimetre tall but 8mm wide. That’s 2mm wider than on the W880i. Believe me I found that small increase made all the difference when it came to speedy texting.
Sony Ericsson likes to use round shapes for its other buttons but tends not to go for full circles. So, beneath the screen we have a round navigation button with top and bottom sections lopped off and semi-circular buttons at the edges of the handset for accessing the internet and getting to the Activity Menu. This is a series of tabbed screens, which cater for things like skipping between running applications, seeing alerts like missed calls, and accessing web bookmarks.