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The Sony Ericsson W850i is only going to be available in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East/Africa. Not in the United States. I know this because it’s a TriBand – using GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900 and UMTS 2100 frequencies. (See my article which discusses GSM among other concepts).

So why the heck am I talking about this phone if I can’t use it? Because it has some really cool features and I’m sure those Will be available everywhere eventually on most cell phones. They are too cool not to. I can see people rioting in the streets to get this stuff!

Now many Smart phones have cameras which can include Video recording, a Photo light for use in low light situations and sending images from the phone to someones’ email. However, the W850i can do ‘Video Calling’ if you have UMTS service. You can SEE the person you are talking to on your phone’s display. For those historians among you, this ability was predicted as ‘the next big thing’ during the 1965(ish) New York Worlds Fair. Golly, it only took about 40 years. I’m still waiting for the car that runs on eggs being thrown in the tank (I kid you not).

Most phones can have some sort of animated Wallpaper, usually made in the gif format. On this Sony, ‘Macromedia Flash Lite’ is available for some interesting animated menus and wallpapers. There’s also ‘SVG Tiny 1.1’ which stands for ‘Scalable Vector Graphics’ and is also used for menu elements and wallpapers.

The next list of interesting features are connected to its being labeled as a ‘Walkman 2.0 music player’. There’s a Built-in FM radio with RDS (radio data support) – which is digital text feeds that are transmitted by radio stations. Now, most Smart phones have Media players. And so does this one, of course. However, you also get to be a ‘MusicDJ’. This is a sampler music tool with MIDI drum, guitar, keyboard, bass and brass loops. Combine your selected samples in different styles to make your own polyphonic ringtones. You get to be a ‘VideoDJ’ by combining your videos with music. Now, I’m a professional effects artist and this is certainly NOT the tool I would use to make movie shorts, but for regular people dressing up a little family video with a bit of music and simple editing it’s just fine. (I sure hope that didn’t sound TOO snobby). Stay tuned for the next Paris Hilton Porn cell phone video to show up on the internet. (insert laugh track).

This phone has 3D games. It’s got ‘Three-dimensional looking game graphics’. Now, I admit I tend to be very uninterested in games. So far the only game I’ve played on any phones is tetris and that’s basically my speed. However, I do think it’s interesting that 3D graphics are showing up on cell phones.

Of more interest to me is that the phone can connect to other devices like laptops via its Infrared capabilities. It can also connect via USB cable. Yes, the phone can be used as a Modem and it can also receive RSS feeds. But the good news is that the the phone’s memory appears as a mass storage device. You can expand the storage with bigger and bigger Memory Sticks. Holy connectivity, Batman! It also has Bluetooth!! And there’s ‘PIM Sync’ for synchronizing organizer software in your computer with the phone. I prefer using a File manager to organize my files. It really annoys me to be in the dark about where everything is stored. I guess I’m just old-fashioned about things like that. But then I’m still waiting for the car that drives away with egg power.

Written by Cecilia