Whether you choose Truffle Brown or the Ultra Violet purple available exclusively on 3 Mobile, you're sure to receive comments on the colour of the Sony Ericsson K770i. Our review model came in the former, and although we received mixed reactions from curious passers-by, we're quite fond of the brown hue, which isn't quite dark enough to be chocolate and gives the unit a subtle, perhaps businesslike look.
The K770i is very sleek, with no protrusions and fits comfortably in the palm of your hand. At just 14.5mm thick, it's also one of the slimmest Cyber-shot phones to date.
The lens cover sits flush with the back of the phone, and can be used to activate the camera, although there is also a dedicated button on the right-hand side. The keypad employs a traditional layout, with keys on the small side that manage to be quite responsive despite their slightly plasticky feel.
Keypad aside, buttons on the K770i are minimal, with the power button across the top, next to a slider to assist in opening the phone to get to the battery, SIM card and memory card. The battery doesn't cover the cards like some other phones, but it does have to be removed to change the sim. The memory card pops out of the side giving it much easier access.
Our biggest design annoyance is the proprietary headphone port which doubles as the power connection. Positioned on the lower left-hand side of the phone, it's fiddly, awkward and just about impossible to carry in your pocket when the headphones are attached.
This 3.2 megapixel camera phone carries Sony's Cyber-shot phone branding though we were disappointed to discover it doesn't use a Carl Zeiss lens or Xenon flash, both of which are present on high-end offerings in the line. Instead there is a LED photolight and unbranded lens with autofocus and micro mirror for taking self-portraits.
When you activate the camera -- via the lens cover or dedicated camera button -- a thin blue strip is illuminated, as are the outer eight keys on the keypad which double as camera shortcuts.
There's a "Photo fix" application so you can touch up your shots directly on the phone, as well as PhotoDJ which lets you adjust things such as brightness and contrast, remove red-eye and do silly things like adding clip art and frames to your pics.
This camera phone is also a pretty good music mobile, featuring an FM radio and music player similar to those found on the Walkman phones.
The phone includes a paltry 16MB of internal memory, but also comes with a 256MB Memory Stick Micro (M2) memory card for music and photo storage. If you're big into multimedia phone features, you'll need to splash out on a higher capacity card as the supplied one will fill up fast.
Rounding out the feature set on this triband phone are 3G connectivity, Bluetooth, and video calls thanks to a VGA sensor above the LCD.
As far as camera phones go, the K770i is easy to use and offers decent image quality. As we mentioned, it misses out on a Carl Zeiss lens and Xenon flash despite its Cyber-shot branding but fares quite well anyway.
The 3.2-megapixel shots we took during our testing were fairly clear and show good colour reproduction. The LED photolight in place of a Xenon flash is noticeable especially in low-light, as it's too weak to capture a scene clearly. The auto focus also lags slightly but again, we don't expect a camera phone to compete with a traditional digital camera. Likewise, video quality is low-res and nothing to boast about, but convenient to have on your phone for those unexpected moments.
The FM radio and music player performed well, challenging its Walkman-branded cousins in terms of ease-of-use and sound quality. While we dislike the proprietary headphone jack and awkward positioning of the port, the included headset is unimpressive but not completely awful.
General phone functions are straightforward and we had no trouble with calls, texting and file transfers, although we found the T9 predictive text a bit quirky -- as an example, it refused to let us type "are", instead choosing to insert "cre" into our written conversations.
Battery life is rated an average 10 hours talk time which we found pretty accurate, recharging the unit a couple times a week with light use -- calls, text and occasional use of multimedia features.
While the K770i fits the description "jack of all trades, master of none", Sony Ericsson has produced a great all-rounder phone for an affordable price.