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While I wait to get my hands on Sony Ericsson's 5 megapixel K850i I'm going to take a look at the Tri-band 3G K810i, a predecessor model which is still a good seller.

The K810i is a Cyber-Shot mobile. While not up to the 5 megapixels of the K850i its 3.2 megapixel sensor is a notch up from the widespread 2 megapixel models in the numbers game, should shoot a passable picture and has a fair few neat tricks up its sleeve for the photographically inclined.

There is nothing remarkable about the format of this handset. Its 103g makes it quite light but not excessively so, while it s 106 x 48 x 17 mm dimensions mean it needs a reasonably sized pocket but feels comfortable in the hand.


I am pleased to say that the ergonomics of use are much improved over some other Sony Ericsson models. I found the tiny number pad keys of the W880i simply too small for comfort and even the slightly larger keys of the K550i were sometimes a challenge.

Here we have a number pad whose round and very well-spaced keys are easy to find and hit while still managing to look distinctive, sitting as they do like silver gems in their black surround.

Sony Ericsson has made the shortcut keys that sit above the number pad somewhat small in size but they are raised from their surroundings which is an aid to use. My least favourite navigation system - a miniature joystick which you push and pull about and press to make selections - has been chosen. It works well enough; I just wish it were a flat pad instead.

Sitting in the central band that contains the Call, End, Back and Clear buttons are two further keys. On the left is what Sony Ericsson calls the Internet Key, which opens the Web browser.


On the right is the Activity Menu key. Press it and the Activity Menu pops up. This offers you four tabbed windows that you scroll through using the mini joystick. The first of these lists ‘new events' such as missed calls and messages. The second is the running applications list and you can use this to either close running apps or switch to them quickly.

The third tab is the My Shortcuts list. You can configure this to include whatever applications, settings or other features you like, and can set the order in which they appear.

The fourth tab is for Internet related features and can be used to manage bookmarks for quick access. This Activity Menu system is really easy to use, and if configured to your taste and requirements will make using the K810i a doddle.

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