First Looks: Sony Ericsson T650i

Illuminate!

Illuminate!

Think of reflections. Think of lights. Then say hello to an illusionary mobile phone from Sony Ericsson, the T650i. Hailing in colors of Midnight Blue and Growing Green, this mobile phone is intended to dazzle as it comes in matching themes that are mirrored on the lighting display of the keypad.

Dazzling Design

Having the Sony Ericsson T650i made of stainless steel and mineral glass is one of the things that the engineers at Sony Ericsson have done right. However, the chassis of the T650i is still only partially made of steel. The bottom half of the mobile is essentially still typical plastic material.

The mineral glass LCD screen however, is a winner by itself. Being scratch resistant, we had no worries putting the phone together with our keys. And despite our less than gentle handling, the screen has yet to be scratched.

Among some of the concerns that have surfaced about the T650i, the tiny size of the keypad buttons and how comfortable they are for general usage has to be on top of the list. After testing the phone out, our initial worries were debunked. The T650i not only served us well for extensive text messaging, our thumbs were hardly feeling the stress at all. Still, those with large hands may find the size of the buttons cumbersome.

Realistic Subtlety

The latch to open the battery door is located at the top of the T650i, just beside the power switch. To match the design of the mobile phone, the latch is very small and requires the use of fingernails in order to open the battery cover, which seems to favor the fairer sex. Once opened, inserting the SIM card is a no brainer.

The next feature that you are going to notice will be the starry light display on the screen and keypad. And these light effects are one of the main attractions of the T650i, supposedly to create a bond with the owner, but that, we'll let you decide on your own. The themes that are pre-installed in the T650i are also exclusive to the mobile so as to maintain its uniqueness and they even change according to the different major dates and festivals.

Although the T650i is not part of Sony Ericsson's Cybershot series, it still offers a powerful 3.2-megapixel camera with auto focus capabilities as well as an LED photo light. A slight nitpick: the camera is not fully flushed with the casing, so it could be prone to scratches and other damage. As a 3G phone, the T650i carries a secondary camera on the front to facilitate 3G video calls.

The battery life of the T650i stands at a reasonable estimated talk time of seven hours. However, Sony Ericsson could have added a tad more onboard memory than the stock 16MB, even if there is a Memory Stick Micro M2 slot. Nonetheless, all these are icing on the cake. This is one phone that does its job well and call quality is top notch. Making calls in different surroundings and conditions, we found it to be clear without any interference.

A Beautiful Combination

In all, the Sony Ericsson T650i should be a hit with people who love a good mix of design and functionality. Its stainless steel body and scratch resistant mineral glass screen provides ruggedness, and yet exudes an understated tastefulness of a finely crafted mobile phone you won't minding flashing with pride on the streets. It is also a more than capable 3G mobile with great call quality. Initial pricing may have been high, but you can now find the Sony Ericsson T650i for as about S$608 (~US$420) standalone or an average of S$368 (~US$254) with a 2-year carrier subscription plan.