Between these and the navigation button are tall lozenge shaped buttons with concave arcs. At their top ends are the softmenu buttons, at their bottom ends Back and Clear functions. As is often the case this arrangement looks pretty nice. As is not always the case, the buttons are easy to use.
Sony Ericsson has compromised a little when it comes to the screen of this handset. It delivers 262,000 colours, but measures just two inches corner to corner and manages a mere 176 x 220 pixels. It is bright enough and sharp to look at, but still pales beside higher resolution and larger screens.
There is a web browser on board and you can run this in full screen mode or switch the screen into landscape mode to make the most of the available space, but doing either this doesn’t really have a huge effect on how much of a page you can see at any one time.
Before looking at the rest of what is on offer, I’d better address the camera. The lens is protected by a cover, and to activate the camera software you just slide the cover down. Along with the lens the cover protects a small self portrait mirror. Twin LEDs provide the flash as well as doubling up as a fairly effective torch which you can set to stay on for a minute or turn on and off manually.
Image quality is pretty good especially for photos taken outdoors. The sunflower was photographed using the phone’s macro mode setting and the yellow is quite a true reproduction. The purples on the other flower photo aren’t quite up to the same standard. The lighter coloured flower is a deeper bluish purple in the real world, but this photo shows that the K550i can capture a reasonably good level of detail.
The coloured dish, shot indoors and as usual under normal household lighting, has reasonably strong colour definition. An application called PhotoDJ lets you fiddle with some aspects of photos including altering the light balance and contrast and having a stab at redeye removal before applying effects, frames and suchlike to images. The editing isn’t up to much, but it might save a photo you want to share from being an absolute disaster.