Sony Ericsson T650i Fortus Mobile Phone Review

By Martin Fortus

Whereas Samsung could arguably be called king of the slider design phones, and Nokia leader when it comes to features in their handsets, Sony Ericsson has always been the strongest manufacturer when it’s come down to normal candy-style mobile phones. Their latest model, the T650i, is another solid entry to this category, although this time Sony Ericsson may have priced it outside their core market.

One of the first things you’ll notice about the Sony Ericsson T650i is the rather unique design. With a stainless steel top half couple to a more traditional plastic bottom half, it’s certainly a model that stands out from the crowd, especially with its assorted colour schemes. When you hold this handset, it definitely feels like something that could take a bit of damage.

Design-wise, though, it’s not all substance with style. The handset buttons are a lot smaller than your average handset, even those from Sony Ericsson in the past, which have been small enough. On the T650i, however, the keypad buttons are almost too small, and as such may cause problems for a lot of users.


The screen on the T650i is a lot better than on previous models, though, due to its mineral LCD build. Just by looking at it you can tell that it won’t scratch easily, which is always a bonus in this day and age of combined work and personal use. The only real drawback with the front design is that the expansion slot is located behind the battery cover – you have to remove that first if you want to expand the memory. It’s a design that more companies are going for, though it seems a strange decision in practice.

Another problem is that although the screen is heavy-duty when it comes to standing up to pressure, sadly the same can’t be said for its image quality. Sony Ericsson are quite rightly congratulated for picture quality on their Cyber Shot range of camera phones that you’d think it’d be easy to at least transfer some of that knowledge to the rest of its handsets. Not so here – although images look fine of the phone itself, if you’re transferring to a computer the story’s different. The stills look washed out, and for a lot of people who use their phones to upload to MySpace, etc, that’s not acceptable.

Sound quality is better, though, which isn’t really surprising considering the company’s reputation in this area. Everything from MP3 to AAC and eAAC+ are supported, as is an FM radio, and when you listen to these through a dedicated Bluetooth headset, the results are fairly impressive. This transfers to the call quality as well, which is clear and loud enough without ever being too loud.

One really cool feature is the light show that Sony Ericsson has deemed to include with the T650i. Although it might appear gimmicky, having a series of luminous lights traveling up and down your phone when a text message arrives never gets tiring! As an added bonus, you get time-controlled themed wallpapers – so if it’s Christmas, you get a festive backdrop, whereas on Valentine’s Day you’ll see hearts. Not groundbreaking, but a nice little touch.

Add in a little desktop stand for you to place the phone in when not in use, and you’ve got yourself a pretty good little package with the T650i. However, at the price that Sony Ericsson is aiming at, you would be forgiven for expecting just a little bit more.

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