Sony Ericsson K550i Review – Mid Range Candybar Style Phone

Sony Ericsson K550i Review: Released in 2007, the Sony Ericsson K550i had some solid history. This was an update of the K510i model which in itself was an update of the K500k model. These models sat in the middle of Sony Ericsson’s range, with the ‘K’ denoting Cyber-Shot branding. This indicated that the strength of the phones lay in imaging. This was not strictly the case though, as other models released into different niches (for instance, the Walkman phones) had similar specifications.

One thing that was evident from this handset is how quickly phones were going upmarket. The K550i featured several premium items that were usually reserved for higher-end models. The design was a higher quality than seen previously in the mid-range. Most noticeably more attention was paid to the camera and the phone featured a new lens cover which also activated the camera when opened.

Full specifications here.

The phone had some interesting variants. The Sony Ericsson K530 was actually released a little after.  This was a remarkably similar phone that featured a more standard keypad layout. And as the number suggests was a little inferior: the flash was removed from this model. The Sony Ericsson K550im was even rarer and the changes were software-based; allowing access to i-Mode which was a greater multi-media experience. In time the K series would be replaced by the newer C-style models.

Sony Ericsson K550i Review Pros:

  • The design was heavily changed since the K510. The front of the phone gained 4 extra function keys and a slightly bigger screen with upgraded resolution. The phone was virtually the same size and weight.
  • Imaging was the main improvement. The camera doubled to 2 megapixels and also added a flash and active lens cover.
  • Memory drastically improved to 77MB on board, and the K550i also added a Sony card slot which supported cards up to 2GB making it a genuine multimedia device.
  • The operating system was upgraded and featured more apps and multi-task support.

Sony Ericsson K550i Review Cons:

  • The camera still lagged behind some of the top models at the time. For instance 2MP was seen in the 2005 version of the K750i. There was no improvement to the video capture resolution which stayed at a small QCIF.
  • Additionally the screen resolution was still on the low-end for a mid-range phone despite being upgraded.
  • The keypad may not suit all people, as the buttons can be pretty small; a more standard keypad layout would be beneficial.
  • In a very congested mid-range market there was plenty of competition both from new releases and older models now falling into the price range.

Current Pricing and Future Prospects:

These mid-range handsets are not as sought after as the older ones. This is not surprising as they didn’t really break any new ground. However, with many accessories compatible between these handsets it may well worth hanging on to.#

Where can I get one?

Both Ebay and Amazon have second-hand and refurbished models.

Interested in more phones? See a list of phones I own here.

Sony Ericsson K550i Disassembly

If you are interested in taking apart the Sony Ericsson K550i for repair purposes, here is a useful link.

Sony Ericsson K550i Video Review

Here is an interesting review showing the main features:

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