Tri-band GSM 900/1800/1900MHz support
Holiday time? Keep in touch wherever you travel with the K500i – the handset is tri-band enabling it to operate fully on three of the different GSM networks used around the world.
GSM 900, 1800, and 1900MHz are the networks supported, and you will find countries using these all around the globe, not just limited to the Australasia region.
65,536 colour TFT LCD display @ 128 x 160 pixels
Although not one of the largest displays on the market, Sony Ericsson have incorporated a 128 x 160 pixel TFT display capable of up to 65,536 colours into this K500i model. This is perfect for playing games and capturing images and video – two of the things the K500i can do!
The user interface is bubbly and welcoming, and with customizable themes, wallpapers, and screensavers available for you to fiddle around and get just the way you like this display is a perfect match for the handset.
VGA digital still and video camera with 4x digital zoom
Weather it’s for MMS/e-mail messaging, a new background or just for fun, the inbuilt VGA digital camera on this Sony Ericsson handset is fun and easy to use. A dedicated camera button on the left-hand side ensures you’ll never miss another perfect moment for a picture or video to be captured.
The camera is explained in more detail in page two of this article, and there you will also find example shots of the camera in action.
Polyphonic and MP3 ring tone support
Have your favourite band or song playing as your phone rings with the support for both polyphonic and MP3 ring tones. Heaps are already pre-installed on the handset (polyphonic tones that is) and extra’s can be downloaded from virtually anywhere.
MP3 ring tones are really cool and sound just like the real thing – because they are the real thing! :) The polyphonic ring tones on the K500i can be anything including and below 40 chords.
Polyphonic Music DJ application
Into making your own music? Well with the K500i you can compose your own polyphonic ring tones with the Music DJ application. There are a load of sound clips to choose from and mix together, all from different instruments. The ring tones you make are compatible with the K500i and can also be sent to other handsets or a computer and be used elsewhere.
Really show off your creative side with this application! I tried, but failed miserably…
Media player application with streaming support
The media player on the K500i allows you to play video clips captured from the
integrated camera or downloaded elsewhere, and also play your music files including MP3’s which can also act as ring tones on the handset. Streaming media is another supported format with the media player over a GPRS data connection.
The media player has its own icon the main menu, and when opened will show a list of the audio files currently loaded on the handset. When you press the options key and select “Play video” you can select the video you want to watch. Videos and sounds cannot be listed together, but I don’t see this as a problem. A little icon next to the name of the file shows what type of file it is – for example sounds will say MP3 or MIDI, and so on.
SMS/EMS, MMS, and e-mail messaging
These four messaging formats are all easy to use and quick thanks to T9 predictive text built into the K500i. Once you have set up MMS messaging you can be sending images, text, sounds, an video’s in a flash to anywhere around the globe, to either an e-mail address or phone number. E-mail messaging takes a little more fiddling around with but once set up you can receive and send messages as you would on a computer.
SMS, EMS, and the other two messaging formats are explained in more detail in the Messaging section of this K500i article – that’s page one for those searching!
GPRS over-the-air connectivity
To keep your games updated and to always have your favourite new song ring tones, the WAP browser over GPRS is your new best friend on the K500i. GPRS connectivity can connect to wireless services at close to 48kbp/s, which is nice and fast for downloading images, sounds, ring tones, games, and WAP sites where you can find an endless amount of information available.
Java gaming platform with 3D graphic enhancement
The java platform on the K500i enables users to download and play MIDP 2.0 games, and with the added bonus of 3D graphic enhancement gaming on the K500i is much different to any other Java-support handset. Enhanced 3D graphics can be experienced in the games that are preinstalled on the handset, and also other games downloadable via Sony Ericsson directly to the phone or via a computer.
12mB internal memory
For this type of phone and the aimed market, 12mB of user accessible shared memory is a decent amount. The VGA camera with it’s video capture ability will use up memory quickly, as will MP3 ring tones. You can however store a lot of images and other files on the handset without having to worry to much about ending up with no memory.
If you do end up with only a little amount of memory left and need to free some up – don’t delete, just transfer to a PC or other device with one of the offered connectivity options.
The K500i offers basic PIM application to store information and keep some aspects of your life on track. From the organizer main menu on the K500i you can access the calendar, a tasks function, notes function, the Java applications folder, a timer, stopwatch, and calculator. There is also a code-memo function for those notes you need to keep private!
The K500i also has synchronization capabilities which allow you to sync with either a local PC/laptop or remote server via SyncML.
Hands free loudspeaker
The loudspeaker on this Sony Ericsson handset is located on the back, just above the camera lens. It can be used when in call as a hands free loudspeaker when you don’t have access to a hands free kit, and also to play MP3’s or other video files. Java games with sound are also routed through this loudspeaker.
There is a small rubber key below the dedicated camera key with two bumps; this is the volume adjustment key. The top bump increases the volume when pressed – can you guess what the bottom bump does?
Need to transfer your pictures to and from the handset? Well you need to utilize Infrared! The infrared window on the K500i is located on the side and can be connected with computers and other infrared enabled devices. Not only pictures can be sent to and from the handset, almost anything on the handset – providing it’s not copyrighted.
Synchronizations can also be performed using an Infrared connection to a PC/Laptop with the appropriate software.