Review of the Sony Ericsson Cyber-shot K850i mobile phone

Manufacturer: Sony Ericsson
Model: Cyber-shot K850i
Price: £349

Mobile phone manufactures will have you believe that the digital compact is on its last legs and that soon every mobile will have photography capabilities comparable to that of compact cameras.

The K850i sees advancements of the type that make this theory feasible.

In the few months between the launch of its predecessor, the K810i, and the launch of the K850i, Sony Ericsson has transformed a phone with a camera into more of a camera with a phone.

Improvements come in many shapes and forms; the sensor has been boosted from 3.2MP up to a more compact-comparable 5MP, and shutter lag has decreased substantially, yet the main development is in its usability. While the K810i’s camera seemed to appear as an aside, the K850i allows operation through specific function buttons.

The camera is activated via a dedicated on/off button. A mode button allows the user to switch between capture, video and review modes, and one-touch accessibility is available to shooting modes, scene modes, the self-timer and flash operation.

Unfortunately, image quality remains at the level previously seen with camera phones. On closer examination, an abundance of flaws such as over-sharpening and fringing blight images. However, image quality will be more than adequate for the small-scale printing and social networking needs that the K850i is targeted at.


Overall, the design, ease of operation and improved camera functionality are great, yet image quality is still poorer than that offered by basic compacts.

Design, improved operation

Image quality no more than a basic compact

What Digital Camera Score: 84%