Monday, April 7, 2008

MWN - The Sony Ericsson vs The Nokia

Nokia and Sony Ericsson have been at war for long. The last Flagship Nokia the N95 series which includes The N95 Classic, the N95 8GB and the American edition have all packed quite a punch. Their features are still cutting edge - so much that even the upcoming N96 doesn't offer anything groundbreaking compared to them.

But is it that bad? The lst battle between them was on the 3MP ground (n73 vs k790i..remember?). And now we have the 5 megapixel autofocus battle of late 2008 - the N95 vs. the just-released K850i. We think the 6 month later intro isn't such a bad thing for a variety of reasons, including
  • Two phones target different users: smartphone to the max vs. elegant feature phone with stunning looks.
  • Nokia always needs a few months and firmware updates to iron out the imaging gremlins.
  • Once import prices settle, the K850i will be a significantly lower priced device than the feature-laden N95 models.
This is a "K Series" Cybershot phone, and that puts the camera on center stage as fa as SE is concerned. The 5 megapixel camera has an autofocus lens, automatic lens cover and a Xenon flash. There's 16x digital zoom, Sony Ericsson's BestPic feature, image and video stabilization and red eye reduction. Fancy stuff for a camera phone, and in fact, the K850i, a bit more than the beloved Nokia N95, makes us want to leave our dedicated point-and-shoot camera at home. Nokia fans defends the LED flash of the N95 by saying that xenon is not suitable for video capture. But inorder to use the LED during video capture you have to do a little hackng yourself, which could void the gaurantee.

The Nokia N95 and the Sony Ericsson K850i are both GSM phones with 3G, a music player and a 5 megapixel camera with autofocus lens. The close similarities end there. The question is Do you want a smartphone with WiFi or a GPS while staying with looks that are minimal?? If the answer is yes, the N95 is your hone. If these aren't important to you, then the K850i is in the running. K850i is arguably more attractive and is bit smaller, has better voice quality and a much better music player. The N95 is stronger on the video playback and video recording (VGA on the N95 vs. QVGA on the K850i). Both do equally well on reception and both have good build quality (those obsessed with wobbly sliders will probably feel better about the SE's solid candy bar design).


The K850i improves significantly on the Cybershot K790i that it expects to replace. Though on the surface it looks like a face-lifted version of the K790i and K800i, inside there's a lot of good new stuff going on: the 5MP camera with improved still images and much improved video, quad band phone rather than triband, worldwide 3G with HSDPA, the new media player (we love the interface), improved music player, Bluetooth A2DP and a much brighter and a bit bigger display. This is a phone that's hard to not like.

Pros:Beautifull camera with faster imaging performance than the N95, fantastic display, excellent Bluetooth with a large selection of profiles and good range, has both M2 and microSD card slots. Good battery life for a 3G phone with a Xenon flash. Finally, standard call send and end buttons on a Sony Ericsson phone!! Phone is responsive and stable, good HTML browser by feature phone standards with support for MS Exchange and push email.

Cons: Keypad isn't good for heavy texters. Great touch controls, but funky d-pad. Night time and dim scene imaging on automatic setting is bad. Fast port connector instead of 2.5 or 3.5mm stereo jack (you'll have to get yourself another headphone!). HSDPA speeds could be better.

Courtesy MobileTechReview.

Other MWN episodes:

N95 vs iPhone
N95 vsiPhone Imaging
3G Wars

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