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Thread: My Sony Ericsson K790a review:

  1. #1
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    My Sony Ericsson K790a review:

    I've been a strong proponent of the K790a for quite some time now. It's clealy the best featured camera phone on Rogers, and in the Canadian market place. However, i actually finally was able to use one myself after a busy period @ the store and always meaning to get to it but never materializing.

    The K790a I'm using now is a generic branded Unit running R1JG001 generic SW.
    so let's take a look then, shall we:


    Quick Specs
    The K790a is comprized of:
    *Triband 850/1800/1900 operation
    *Class 10 EDGE
    *Bluetooth 2.0
    *A2DP audio profiles
    *QVGA reflective screen 240x320
    *3.2Mpix camera with autofocus
    *Xenon flash
    *64meg onboard memory
    *M2 Memory format
    *FM Radio (requires headset to be connected)
    *IR
    *USB Mass Storage
    *Supports MP3 and AAC

    Note:
    at the time of writing this review the Rogers branded K790a's on 3 year terms will received a free 2 gig M2 card courtesy of Rogers.

    Reception
    The K790 was a decent performer. In and out of my daily travels it didn't disappoint me. From the Cantina test to my DRive test* The K790 worked fine for my needs.

    The only place the K790a had issues and started to digitize the sound and garble up was on 19th ave going west of bayview, crossing the train tracks. It was there that the conversation became poor.

    I was actually impresed with the K790a however on that stretch of bayview south of bloomington road to stouffville road. It didn't garble up once and it didn't drop the call on the left turn from bayview onto stouffville road. Good stuff!

    *The drive by test is:
    Yonge and 16th, east on 16th to woodbine. North on woodbine to 19th. West on 19th to Yonge. North on Yonge to Bloomington. East on bloomington to Bayview.
    South on bayview to Stouffville sideroad. East on Stoufville sideroad to Leslie and Leslie back to the Hill


    Sound Quality
    Incoming
    The K790 is a good sounding phone. There was no detectable buzz in the earpiece even in the weaker areas. The volume on the K790a earpiece however was average. I found myself wanting a few more "clicks" to go up personally.

    The K790a also doen't have any descernible transmitter buzz in my usage of the unit as well.

    Outgoing
    The outgoing sound quality of the K790a is fair. It's easy to for your caller to hear what you're saying, but ti's also easy for them to hear what's happening in the background in noisy enviroments as well. Although the K790a is physically larger then the W810 so this puts the mic closer to your mouth it still exibits "bar phone" outgoing sound. A Flip phone will usually sound better, since the mic is physically much closer in my experiences.



    Camera




    stills
    The Camera on the K790a is the main draw. Basically housing a Sony cybershot on it's back the K790a takes amazing pictures and has a range of settings to take them with from full macro mode to a true xenon flash to "best pic"

    Clearly, if you're looking for a phone, that can take a picture you may actually want to print or keep, the K790a is for you.

    The camera also has 2 shortcut buttons on the top of the phone (similar to W600)
    you can use these buttons while taking shots to:
    *Select scenes
    *Select your shoot mode (normal / best pic / panorama (3 pic stitch) / Frames

    The camera will take pics in these sizes:
    3.0
    2.0
    1.0
    VGA






    it also features a Macro mode and an infinity mode that won't focus.

    On top of that the K790a features a best pic setting that will shoot off 9 pics and you select the best of 9 to save which is a great feature if you tend to shake while taking shots.



    Video
    The K790a will also record video and does so in 176 x 144 format
    interestingly however, the K790a video mode has quite a few options in the video section:

    *Focus: auto / macro / infinite
    *Image Stabilier
    *Night mode
    *Effects: black & white / negative / sepia / solarize
    *White balance: auto / daylight / cloudy / fluorescent / incandescent
    *Metering Mode: normal / spot
    *Turn off MIC

    it remains to be seen if you'll actually use these features however. I didn't.

    External Memory
    The K790a uses the M2 memory format. As mentioned earlier, Rogers is providing 2 gigs of memory with the phone via an online redemption if you purchase this phone on a 3yr term.

    The Door is housed on the left side of the phone and is fairly sturdy and non intrusive when you're trying to get at the card





    Connectivity
    The K790 has a long list of connectivity features which tends to be the case of SE's mid and high end product lines.

    USB
    The K790 comes packe with SE's USB cable so you can move large volumes of data at high speeds from your phone to PC or vice versa

    When the cable is hooked up, and you've selected File mode, the phone will shutdown to provide USB drive access. This, or a card reader, is the most effecient way to move data to and from your phone. Especially if you're dealing with 3.0Mpix pictures or movies here.

    Bluetooth
    The bluetooth system on the K790 is SE's tried and true implementation.
    Featuring A2DP you have one set up BT package

    Visibilty
    With SE's bluetooth system you can have the BT on and have the phone shown to all, or hidden so only your paired devices can see the phone.

    power save
    The K790 and other recent SE's from my memory, have a power save option on the Bluetooth profile. This will basically limit the phone to only 1 bluetooth connection instead of the possible 5.

    A2DP
    the K790 is a media rich phone, and has what the W810 was lacking in my opinion. A2DP is a great addition. I was easily able to use A2DP headsets to play music as well as stop and go to the next or previous track wirelessly. I was also able to pair the K790 with my Pioneer car radio that has A2DP as well. The K790 streamed music to the unit effortlessly and took direction from the headunit when i wanted to skip the track or do any other audio control.

    The A2DP also worked seamlessly with the handsfree profile so that when i was streaming music on my headunit and a call came in the music would stop, i could answer the call using the headunit, end the call on the headunit and the music would start up again. Pretty nice stuff if you ask me.

    IR
    it's there. Did i use it? No
    however, IR is still a viable connectivity option for many although as the years move on i don't see it sticking around much longer to be honest. However, just because I don't use it doesnt' mean that others don't. So you'll be happy to know it's there if needed.

    Memory card
    as mentioned, the K790 runs the M2 memory format

    Aesthetics
    The K790 is not a small phone. It's got a huge screen and huge keys and a huge camera. Love it or leave it this is a big juicy phone. The build quality on the SE K790a is also excellent with very few creaks and moans and a quality feel















    Screen
    The Screen on the K790 is brilliant. It's large and crisp and reflective in direct sunlight. You can easily make out text and call logs and any other pertinent info.
    Being a QVGA model as well it makes for great clarity in themes and when using as a viewfinder for your camera



    The screen will also display a standby clock because of it's reflective vs transmissive nature. Basically, becasue the screen on the K790 reflects light, unlike the W810, you can have a standby clock and other indicators since the backlights don't need to be illuminated


    Keys
    The Keys on the K790 are nice large chiclet sized units. If you're one who doesn't like keypads that have the ends flush, you won't like this keypad. However, if you don't really care, you'll find the K790 has a very accurate and useable keypad. The keypad is a bit on the stiff side. Tactile feel is excellent and the keys move just enough to know you've pressed them




    There are also 2 shortcut keys uptop by the earpiece. When not in camera mode these keys will call up your pics. The Right key showing a 3x3 thumbnail view of your camera shots. The Left pic showing a full size view of your camera shots 1 at a time

    Sizing



    The K790 isn't a small phone by any stretch.
    while numerically in the dimentions it doesnt' seem any bigger, physically it feels a lot bigger

    Take a look:






    Operating System
    the OS is tried and true SE.
    with a 3x4 grid layout of icons it's very intuitive and easy to use


    a few new tweaks in this os that i've noticed:

    contacts
    You can now view contacts ijn their entirety instead of having to edit them like on the W810. So if you want to see someone's info you just scroll to them and select more / open contact From there you can scoll around and issue commands right from there.

    so if your contact has a few #'s and some email addresses by scrolling over them you can issue commands like send message / send contact / send to (email / mms / voice message / sms) and it makes using multiple #'s in a name very easy.

    Battery
    the battery life on the K790a is excellent.
    It lasts me full days with heavy usage, Email, MMS and WAP browsing.
    with the screen set to 50% brightness I can extend that usage even longer.

    I would have thought that with such a huge screen the battery life would be worse them my W810 but it's proven to be even better for my needs.

    SMS
    The T9 sms system on the K790a of any recent SE for that matter is definately cream of the crop. On top of all the benefits of the W810 the K790 goes one step further with common sentance completion. if you're one to message common phrases the K790a will detect that and prop up the next word it think you'll logically go for

    for example, the phrase "do you want to go for a coffee" is pretty recurring with me. The K790 will display:

    Do you
    so I can press right to select you
    then i'll get:
    do you want

    etc etc etc. I can keep pressing right to complete the whole sentence which is a great time saver.

    PRO's
    *Huge screen
    *nice keys
    *best camera in the business
    *A2DP
    *SE classic bluetooth implementation
    *new contact review option
    *Battery life
    *Aesthetically pleasing phone
    *Build quality
    *shortcut keys
    *real xenon flash
    *2 gig memory (when purchased on 3yr term @ Rogers)


    CON's
    *Big phone
    *Triband (instead of quad for travelling)
    *OS speed (slower then W810)
    *Camera cover to obtrusive
    *earpiece needs to be louder
    *phone shuts off when in USB file transfer mode

  2. #2
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    A little late to the party? Still better than never. I noticed yours isn't Rogers branded.


  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by JwY
    A little late to the party? Still better than never. I noticed yours isn't Rogers branded.
    Lol,
    I know it's late but i actualy had some time and never put a K790 through its paces so why not

  4. #4
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    Blah... Mine is a R1GB001, Trust me IT SUCKS! It wont let you take out their crappy music store! They replaced the "Menu" with crappy "Music" (On the screen that display the alpha-tag)... Seriously Rogers people need a friggin brain... Why the hell do you need a Java Music player which is all "RED" and not removable when the phone has a music player that's built in and not friggin ugly! Also the K790a Is not designed to be a music phone, its a dam camera phone! I would see why they would put it on the w810i, but this is ridiculous! If I didn't get my phone replaced it would be Physically branded as well! @[email protected]''

    Also!, you missed some the Con's about it... Joystick malfunctions on a lot of the K790's, and the speaker is fuzzy when on loudest, and Mp3 ring-tones are blocked (To rogers ones).

    Its a sweet phone without the rogers crap on it. THIS PWN'S CHOCOLATE PHONE ANYDAY!

  5. #5
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    nice review! Im considering getting this phone if my deal with the TyTN doesnt work out.

  6. #6
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    Whoo! Go K790a! I just ordered mine yesterday! I hope it arrives by Friday so I can play with it over the weekend. It comes with headphones right?

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    Couple things:
    • I think R1K_ firmware is noticeably louder than any of it's predecessors, someone correct me if I'm wrong, but between R1J and R1K, one of them increases the earpiece volume and I strongly suspect it's the R1K
    • Pro review
    • Even proer 'treatz' Logo!
    All thoughts and opinions expressed are strictly my own.

  8. #8
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    im the biggest nokia fan and ive got to say, ive owned 3 of these k790a's and ive loved each and every single one of them, im on the lookout for another actually...lol

    great phone and great review.


    for those wondering, it is a triband phone but it has 850mhz = good reception here.

    Its a sweet phone without the rogers crap on it. THIS PWN'S CHOCOLATE PHONE ANYDAY!
    comparing a k790 to a chocolate is like comparing a ferrari to a civic.
    Last edited by Rob187jj; 06-06-2007 at 06:58 PM.

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    Excellent review as usual.

    I was wondering, for those with experience how does reception compare to the W810i or better yet how does it compare to the D600. I ask because I live in a horrible spot for reception and the D600 is just not cutting it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyLHoang
    It comes with headphones right?
    Decent ones that also double as the aerial for the FM radio. One thing that impressed me about the phone was how good the FM tuner was. Silly but true.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for the review, Treatz. I was actually waiting for your review of the phone because you're always very thorough and I respect your opinion.

    Where's your usual numeric rating system at the end of the review?

    ~Rashid
    ---------------MY ARSENAL--------------


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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by RASHID007
    Thanks for the review, Treatz. I was actually waiting for your review of the phone because you're always very thorough and I respect your opinion.

    Where's your usual numeric rating system at the end of the review?

    ~Rashid
    i haven't decided yet
    I was debating not even doing the # rating system anylonger since it was something howard asked me to do and my original reviews never had them

  13. #13
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    Coming from an E61, I actually find the K790 pretty decently sized!
    Formerly FidoFan

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    Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry8800/4.2.1 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/107)

    Good job Treatz

    very pro indeed!!
    Last edited by mobile_pheen; 06-06-2007 at 10:28 PM.

  15. #15
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    Wirelessly posted (Opera/8.01 (J2ME/MIDP; Opera Mini/3.1.7196/1684; en; U; ssr))

    Late but excellent review as always, one phone that i've kept on my shelf.
    Treatz your photo skills have improved and what's i see, a watermark? lol nice job!
    Last edited by rip; 06-06-2007 at 11:01 PM.

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