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SE K700i (page 2)

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Features: 8
Now like I mentioned, the features offered by this phone is the main reason why I purchased it. And I couldn't be happier for doing so because there are a lot of things that I can do with the stock stuff that was packed with the phone ... and even more via free downloads. I will be discussing some of the most notable features or those that I find really cool/useful.

Entertainment section host 3 items: Games, MusicDJ, and Record Sound (w/c shouldn't be a part of the Entertainment section IMO). The games section is obviously where the games are located. The phone by default comes with 3 games: RiverRiders, Darts, and Super Real Tennis (w/c is the only game worth playing among the three IMO).
The pre-installed games are a nice plus. However like I mentioned, its only the Tennis game that is worth playing. It uses 3d graphics with points system that adds a bit of depth to a simple mobile game. Darts on the other hand will only give u a moving dot on the screen, and its up to u to time ur shot ... that's pretty much it. Same goes with RiverRiders, its a side scrolling 2d game wherein u have to move left or right to avoid the obstacles ... something a 5yr old kid would love yeah ... but c'mon!
MusicDJ should give u a few minutes of entertainment because it will enable u to compose ur own midi tone using its pre-installed cuts. U can add drums, bass, chords, and accents cuts simultaneously using pre-defined genres.
The Record Sound function pretty much does what its name tries to imply.

Camera section is basically where u can take pictures and videos. Positioning the phone vertically takes pictures in landscape, while horizontally positioning it takes portrait pictures which sound odd but it can be immediately rotated right after clicking on the "capture" button, pushing the camera button itself, or pressing on the stick. The phone is only equipped with a .3MP camera and it is maxed at 640x480 res. The extended mode however extrapolates the picture and was said that it generates better looking pictures when compared to stretched pics using photo editors (though I haven't proven that myself .. yet).
There are multiple resolution to choose from (160/4x max zoom, 320/2x max zoom, 640, and 1280 extended) when taking pics w/c can easily be accessed by using the "1" shortcut key. There's also a pic quality option (normal and fine) w/c AFAIK increases/reduces the file compression. The typical effects, frames, nightmode, and self-timer (w/c respectively uses the number 3, n/a, 2, and 7 shortcut keys) are on offer. One thing that is quite a nice addition is the face frames that is quite entertaining to look at. Not to mention the light ("5" shortcut key) that helps a lot when trying to take pictures of objects on dim areas. The camera click or "kashak" sound (w/c is irritating at best) can be disabled by setting the phone in silent mode (thought it doesn't work with all firmware versions).

Panorama Mode

The overall picture quality totally depends on the amount of ambient light. If there are lots of it, picture quality should be pretty high at any given resolutions. Otherwise u'll feel like ur using an older mobile phone that suffers from blue dots and magenta on bright white areas due to its CMOS sensor. On the bright side the phone has this "Panorama" effect that takes up to 3 pictures and stitch them together to give u a 180deg effect. Let me give u an idea how it works: U start off by taking a single picture, the camera will then store that picture and move a small portion of the pics right side to the display's left side ... u can now move the camera going to the right and using the edge of the first pic as a guide enables u to position the camera perfectly so that the next pic will look like its the continuation of the first pic. Ugh! I got a headache just trying to explain that. Try clicking on the sample pic on the right to have an idea. That picture, believe it or not is composed of 3 pics that was stitched by the phone itself.
The video on the other hand works pretty much the same as the picture camera. U have an option to limit the video to 10secs or to whatever free space is available. However there are only 2 resolutions available, 128 and 176. The effects, nightmode, and light are still available in this mode. The quality in this mode is pretty much what u can expect on a mid-end mobile phone. Fast moving objects or moving the camera quickly will cause pixelation. Holding it steady generates acceptable to clear videos.

Radio and Media Player is K700i's audio/video dept. The radio function is pretty simple. Plugging in the headset (required for radio) that comes with the phone will enable u to listen to the phones FM tuner. Tapping and holding (manual / auto-tune) the stick left/right will make the tuner tune into a particular BW. U can save radio stations plus the usual stuff that u'd expect with a typical FM Tuner. Signal is a bit on the weak side with my experience. There are a few stations that was skipped when I tried using the auto-tune. Signal strength should vary depending on where u'r located though.
The Media Player can play both audio and video. It supports wav, mp3, midi, amr, 3gp etc. Now I only play mp3's with this phone. The sound quality of the external speaker is maxed out at around 32kbps / mono (although 24kbps will suffice for classical and pop music). The built-in speaker is pretty loud and doesn't distort on high volumes. However if u'r using the earphones, u should at least use 64kbps. Well I'm not saying the included earpiece are made of high quality speakers, but they have more detail (though high and low freq is obviously lacking) and it is using stereo instead of mono only ouput of the external speaker.
U have the option to display the remaining time ("1" shortcut key) or the usual count-up display ("2" shortcut key) for both audio and video. U can use the stick to move fast fwd/reverse audio tracks (not an option for video). The audio/video will pause for a few seconds if an incoming text message arrives, and resumes a few seconds after. There's a few preset available for the equalizer as well as the option to manually set the sliders, and they noticeably affects the audio quality. The usual audio/video info and random play are also available.
File Manager is basically where all ur files and apps are stored into. Managing ur files here is pretty simple. Now I have only tested file transferring using a 3rd party bluetooth dongle with its packaged software with this phone. And I can directly transfer files on the ff folders: pictures, sound, videos, and themes. The games and applications folder are not visible and transferring of .jar etc files to the said folders are possible by pasting them to the main directory, the phone will automatically give u the option to store them on either the games or apps folder afterwards. U can create an additional folder on the main directory but not inside another folder. U can mark multiple items that will enable u to move them to another folder or delete them, but u do not have the option to queue and send them to another device (w/c is possible with other phone models). Those little things are not deal breakers but its frustrating to send multiple items one at a time.
U can view ur pictures and videos here w/c are stored by default on the Cam Pics/Vids folder. The pics will be resized to minimize by default to fit the width or height so u can view it in full screen. If u however want to maximize every pixel the phone has to offer u may want to edit and resize ur pics to 176x220 or 200x176 and view it as a slideshow. The phone will automatically rotate the pic to either a landscape or portrait orientation and will be displayed in fullscreen. This is great especially for viewing group pics. U can then use the upper left button to pause/resume the slideshow. On the down side, if u want to view a high-res pic or doesn't want to edit pics ... the phone weirdly enough doesn't have a zoom function. However as an alternative u can use the "edit" feature to view the pics on its original size. There u will also be able to add frames, icons, text, adjust colors etc to ur pics. The icons quality is pretty high unlike other phones that uses child looking sketches for icons.
The Themes can be easily applied by simply pressing on the "Set" button. The nice thing with SE's themes is that u can have a max of 3 backgrounds: one that serves as the wallpaper, another for the main menu, and the pop-up menu. Themes can really change the overall look and feel of the phone because it changes a lot of things like the background, buttons, font/highlight/scrollbar colors, add transparency effects, etc. Add to that the phone's capability to display animated wallpapers that can be customized inside the profile section. And oh, another cool thing is that the phone enables u to create ur own theme. Weirdly enough though is that the CD that comes in with the phone doesn't have that software. You have to download it via SE's website. Check the next page out for more info and downloads of some of the themes that I have created.
Messaging packs the usual SMS and MMS options. There are some things that I would like to add to what I mentioned on the previous page though. First off, this phone supports animated icons, sound effects (etc) that is also supported by other cellphone brands. U can also insert the original message when replying on any part of the message by accessing the menu. And one thing that really struck me by surprise the first time I received an SMS message is that the phone also display the picture (inside the phonebook) when receiving a SMS message (same goes when receiving calls and dialling out). That kind of feature helps heavy texter's like me ID incoming messages. I'm not sure what other phone brands/models have this specific feature but although this might not be a big deal for some folks, for me its an excellent feature that helps me continue on working even after receiving a text from some guys that I know has nothing important to tell me =p I no longer force myself to read every single text messages that I receive because I know exactly who texted me even before opening the message. One thing that I like mention regarding this feature though is that if u have 2 or more unread message, the picture will turn into the usual envelope icon instead of the picture of the sender/s ... that is regardless if the message came from a single person or not. And if u want ur phone to look even cooler, add an animated picture/slideshow of ur friend (u need a special software for this though). It really looks cool when u receive a text or when ur talking with someone using a headset and the phone continously display the animated picture of ur friend ... kinda makes some people stare on ur phone in surprise when ur doing it lol!
A couple of other things ... the 10 last/most often texted phonebook entries are presented to u when sending the message (along with the usual manual entry of the phone number and option to open up the phonebook). The inbox and sent items share the same "list options", so if u don't want ur sent items to be viewed all that easily, u will be forced to hide the details with ur inbox as well. U have the usual copy option for numerics on the message and a shortcut to give the guy/gal who sent u the message a call. And if ur creating a lengthy message, the phone will display a 20 letter countdown to the next SMS message w/c is IMO a bit late 'coz it may be a little bit too late to conserve letters when composing (not really a big deal if u have unlimited text message though).
Making a call is something of what u could expect from ur typical phone. U can conference someone in ur current call, record ur call (it makes a beeping sound every 20sec that makes the other party suspicious though), text while in a call etc. U cannot however play a game/mp3 or open up apps while in a call. Bluetooth detection works smoothly, well at least with my Creative CB2460. The packaged headset works pretty well too! The mic is nicely positioned and is pretty sensitive even when ur only speaking softly.
Speaking of ID, the Phonebook has the usual input features like email, additional phone numbers, caller specific ringtone, picture, voice command, web and physical address, etc. U can create a group but the phone doesn't allow u to set a specific ringtone for a specified group ... yes u can always manually add ringtone's but that's tedious.
The Organizer is where u'll find the extra features like calendar, notes, tasks, stopwatch, alarm, timer, calculator etc are located. Unless u haven't used a cellphone before ... I'm pretty sure u guys already know what those features are for. One thing I would like to mention however is the phone's "alarm" feature. The alarm is by default will start using the phones Level 1 volume and will increase its volume every 3secs (or so) after that. That's pretty cool if u don't want to wake up everyone in ur room or pee in surprise when u wake up in the morning. The alarm system also makes the phones backlight blink and it will turn ur phone automatically even if its off.
The Profile section hosts the usual volume, vibrate, etc adjustments. This phone however has an increasing ring feature w/c might be helpful for some who doesn't wanna bother other people because of their loud ringtone. However u might also end up missing calls when ur callers are not patient enough to wait for u to hear the tone. Another add-on here w/c is already a typical feature for most phones is the screensaver and power save mode. The said features are by no means flexible and the user cannot give a specified amount of time before they are displayed or taken off the screen. The power save mode however is almost a necessity for this phone because it drains the battery like a thirsty camel on a desert. The phone will only usually last for a day and a half with regular usage. Otherwise u'll find urself plugging ur phone every single day ... and yes that is even after upgrading to a newer firmware version that was said to fix the battery issue ... sucks huh?!
Overall / Value: 8.5
I could have given this phone a much higher rating but there were little things that could have made this phone even better. The battery issue may not be a big deal for some since its easy to plug the phone and charge it. But it takes aroud 2hrs to fully charge the battery (while its turned off with a 450mAh charger), and that by no means can be considered "quick". The picture zoom and numerical entries shortcut key while texting are some of the other lacking features that prevented me for giving this phone an overall score of 9. But despite that, I still highly recommend this phone to anyone who is looking for a cheap (well maybe not so cheap) solution for a phone that is packed with features and is easy to use. The ability to create ur own themes and download apps and games also help extend the phone's functionality. The addition of bluetooth helps a lot when transferring files with other cellphone's or to ur own computer.
I always find my phone getting passed around the office for different reasons, some want to listen to music, some want to take pictures with the face frames (w/c I also love for a laugh), some want to play games with it, some just want to check the themes that I created (and hope they can do the same w/ their phones) etc. With that said its not hard to recommend this phone. And if u have enough moolah to purchase the even better K750i ... I suggest that u go for it. Its got 2MP auto-focus camera, more display colors, expandable memory, better exterior looks etc. If u can't afford either of the two and is willing to lose the bluetooth and portrait camera function, as well as only have 12mb of memory, u can grab urself this phones little brother, the K500i. The K300i is pretty much the same as the K500i with the exception of its smaller screen and is also IMO a good buy. I recommend checking their LCD's first because I find the K300i's screen quality pretty low when compared to K700i. Not sure about K500i's screen though.

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