[Nov 18, 2007; Miscellaneous]

Quite a few blogs are praising the new Sony-Ericsson K850i and its camera. So let me just add a few points to the contrary side:

As you can see on the picture to the right, the camera is no good at all. It appears the phone is trying to compensate bad optics with an image sharpening algorithm. The algorithm is pretty stupid and tries to produce contrast by brightening pixels next to dark objects. This adds a sort of aura around those. Everywhere else in the picture it just enhances noise. And once again there is no way to turn this off. I did not expect high quality images without proper lenses, but I did expect to get access to the little data that was captured before some brain dead algorithm ruins it all.

The phone presents itself as a camera, but lacks some important features like the ability to force the flash on. So no pictures against sun light or windows, unless you prefer your friends to be portrayed as unrecognizable black blobs.

Hooking the phone up to your computer is inconvenient. To use it as mass storage device that can be used under Linux, you have to press two buttons after hooking it up to the usb port. This will actually reboot the phone into a mass storage mode. In this mode its phone capabilities are fully turned off. Yes, no one can call you while it is hooked up like this. Afterwards it reboots again to become a phone once more. Thats actually pretty daring for a product sold in stores. I'd be willing to accept a hack like this in a hobbyists project.

If you are a noise sensitive person, the alarm is guaranteed to drive you crazy. You cannot just stretch your arm out in the morning to hit snooze, because the alarm is controlled with the touch-less sensors. The one for snooze is the middle one. The one for turning the alarm off completely is at the left. So if the phone is right of you, you have a good chance of turning the alarm off by accident, while believing you hit snooze. So you have to really wake up, take the phone in your hand, look at it and hit snooze. At the same time the phone is applying pressure on you as the alarm gets louder and louder very quickly. There is no way to control the volume.

On a side note: Click on the image to see what is likely the most bizarre cloud model ever built by mankind. The cell structure makes it look like some alien breeding hive.