Following on from the company's T Series, the Sony Ericsson T650i is a comprehensive update of the venerable T600 chassis. But is it a case of style over substance? We get calling to find out.

Pitching up in the same area as Nokia's 6300, the T650i is a phone that focuses on being just that. Of course this being the 21st century there is a digital camera, music player, FM radio and a host of other stuff on board, but the emphasis here is style and making calls.

With that in mind, the 3G phone is now finished in stainless steel, obsessively worked in an eight-stage process (apparently) to capture the light and give a classy "ray" effect we are told.

Unfortunately, the lower half is less impressive. The number keys have shrunk to vestigial metallic nubs and the initial two colour options – Growing Green and Midnight Blue – have a yawn-inducing dullness that suggests they were the last two colours left in the box.

So, back to the sexy top half, where the 1.9-inch screen boasts a scratchproof "mineral glass" coating with a viewing angle of 170 degrees.

Beyond this and the T650 sports a funky looking illumination effect on the keypad and the sides of the phone that interact with animations on the screen. As these animations move across the display they set off waves of light around the keypad, which stand-out against the reflective stainless steel finish. It one that will appeal to the creative amongst you, but for use in a boring office may come across as rather wanky.

Where it does win out however is the T650i’s 12.5mm slimness. This thin design - which is almost as thin as the Walkman W880 (just 3mm in it) is marred only slightly by the protruding autofocus 3.2MP camera lens on the back.

As for performance, it's business as usual with good image quality from the camera, a good selection of software and an interface that is easy to use.


It's a mixed bag really with an almost Jekyll and Hyde approach - we like the top half but not the bottom.

If you can get past the styling issues - something that affected the company's Z610 model, then the phone underneath is good enough, but won’t get multimedia fans too excited.

For those looking to stay within the Sony Ericsson family but not get carried with faffing about with dedicated camera or music buttons the T650i should do the trick.