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Sony Ericsson P800 Phone - Next Generation (AT&T)

Sony Ericsson P800 Phone - Next Generation (AT&T)

List Price: $499.99
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Product Info Reviews

  • World's first seamless integration of a wireless phone, PDA, MP3 player, and digital camera
  • Touch-sensitive display handles over 4,000 colors and makes it easy to navigate applications, phonebook entries, music files and more
  • Download and playback MP3 audio files and MP4 video clips
  • PDA functions synchronize with your PC, storing contacts, events, reminders, and tasks
  • Integrated Bluetooth connectivity for data transmission to other Bluetooth devices


One of the most-feature packed cell phones in the world, the P800 integrates a slick PDA, digital camera, MP3 player, and a MPEG-4 video player into an elegant package.

Sony Ericsson’s long-awaited smartphone is here and there’s no question that the P800 lives up to its hype. The body is a little large for using the phone features, but the bulk can be excused when you consider that the P800 integrates a tri-band GSM phone, Symbian-based PDA, digital camera, MP3 audio player, and MPEG-4 video player into one handheld unit—and does it very well.

At first glance, the P800 appears to have a small screen and few features besides dialing and viewing your call list. However, flip down the translucent blue plastic keypad and a full 40-by-61-millimeter screen with a loaded menu is revealed. The buttons on the flip-down keypad are a bit small so if you have larger hands we recommend accessing the phone features from the touchscreen with the stylus. This may take a bit longer to dial, but the touchscreen functionality is much more polished and impressive. For those who prefer to only use the touchscreen, the flip is detachable. A trim panel included with the phone replaces the flip for a clean appearance. Accessing your contacts is easily facilitated with the jog dial, keeping all your phone numbers quickly at hand.

The P800’s integrated digital camera is simple to use -— just aim the CommuniCam at your subject and press the Cam button on the right side of the phone to release the shutter. Photos can be assigned to a contact in the phone book; doing so will enable picture caller id for incoming calls. Images can also be sent to friends’ e-mail addresses or phones that are equipped to handle images. In our tests, e-mailing an image to our laptop was instantaneous. This smartphone’s 12 MB of internal memory can store about 100 photos at the best quality level (640 x 480) and double that for lesser quality photos. An additional 16 MB removable Memory Stick Duo ups the ante, providing additional storage space for more pictures, data, and applications. Max resolution on the CommuniCam is 0.3 megapixels, and it lacks a built-in flash. However, it’s great for taking spur of the moment shots or close up images. In comparing images taken with the P800 against those taken on competing camera phones, we found them to be a bit more grainy and with slightly less color saturation.

MP3s were easy to load onto the P800 and transfer speed was a few minutes per file—about what we’d expect. We tested the volume on an MP3 of Fred Eaglesmith’s Carmelita while driving on a noisy highway and found that this phone can really crank the tunes. The sound is pretty sharp when using the phone’s built-in speaker, but a little muddied when listening through the included headphones. A pre-loaded video clip showcases the wide range of motion and sound that the P800 can handle. We were impressed with the crispness of a child’s laugh and the boom of an announcer’s voice on a movie trailer. The fast movements in the video clip are easy to follow but, similar to the issue with photos, the picture lacks vivid color on the 12-bit display and is a bit fuzzy.

The PDA functions of the P800 are integrated very nicely. The P800 comes with a docking station to sync up information with a desktop computer, or you can use either the built-in IR or Bluetooth connection. Resting the phone in the docking station took a bit of practice, as the phone rocks back into position. There is a convenient notch to store the stylus in as well. The calendar, task list, and jotter are easy to populate using the excellent handwriting recognition tool, or a virtual keyboard as an alternative. We were able to write notes and schedule appointments pretty quickly with both. Installation of the included software suite was straightforward and successfully synched information between the phone and our laptop. The PC Suite software only works with Windows 2000, Me, and XP so Windows 98 users will want to wait for an update before purchasing this smartphone.

The P800 has a multi-functional browser that allows Internet access and supports e-mail and MMS. A button on the right side of the phone gets you right to the browser and while connection time is not swift it’s comparable to that of competing phones. There are four games included with the phone: Chess, Solitaire, Men In Black 2:Alien Pursuit, and Stunt Run. The first two are basically what you would expect, and the second two are pretty capable Java-based shooting and driving games. The large touchscreen lends itself very well to this application, and many more games & applications are available for download via the Internet. Additional P800 goodies include support for animated screensavers, 10 preloaded wallpaper images, and 16 rich polyphonic ring tones.

This phone is designed to appeal to the business set, but the ideal owner for this phone will be an early adopter with a craving for the latest elegant innovations in smartphones.

--Cristina Vaamonde


  • Seamless integration of phone, digital camera, PDA, MP3 and video player
  • Tri-band GSM band for worldwide use
  • Crisp sound on MP3 player
  • 12 MB storage space plus removable 16 MB Memory Stick Duo
  • Intuitive layout and responsive touchscreen


  • Keypad buttons a tad difficult to depress
  • PC Suite software not compatible with Windows 98

How We Tested Battery Talk/Standby Time

When reading our reviews, you should view the test results of mobile-phone battery talk time and standby time as relative information only. Many variables, including carrier signal strength at your location, signal consistency (including incoming and outgoing calls), display and ringer settings, and battery charging methods and history, will affect performance. When handset manufacturers and mobile phone carriers list talk-time and standby-time ratings, they usually include disclaimers about variable performance and often refer to the times they publish as maximum times. Some quote expected battery life ranges, and in this case you're probably safe to assume you'll experience at least the minimum rated range. Note that manufacturers of dual-mode digital and analog handsets publish battery-life rates for both digital and analog modes, as analog mode consumes much more power than digital mode.

Our Tests: We tested digital-mode talk and standby times with each phone. Prior to each test, we fully charged the phone's battery according to the manufacturer's directions. To test digital-phone talk time, we turned the phone on, established a digital carrier signal, dialed a number in our test lab, and, when the call rang through, took the receiving phone's handset off the hook. When all went well, we didn't do anything else except record the time when the phone died. In a couple of cases, the phones lost the signal and dropped the calls. If we were right there and could redial, we did so immediately and continued running the test. Otherwise, we halted the test, recharged the battery, and started the test over. Assuming consistent carrier-signal strength, this test should represent best-case talk time. And it's worth noting that several phones' talk-time performance significantly exceeded the manufacturers' ratings.

To test digital-phone standby time, we turned the phone on, established a carrier signal, and left the phone in standby mode. We checked the phone every few hours (for what was often days on end) until the phone finally cut out. Since no outgoing or incoming calls occurred during testing and because the phone was not moved, this method should represent best-case standby time, again assuming consistent carrier signal strength.

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