My aunt recently upgraded from her mobile phone, the classic Ericsson T28m which was previously mine when I was with Vodafone some eight years ago. After some much deliberation in the Carphone Warehouse in Brent Cross we decided on the Sony Ericsson K800i.
It was between this or the sexy Nokia 6300, but because the K800i was £10 cheaper than the 6300 and had more features despite being fatter, she decided that the K800i was technologically the better purchase. She uses a fresh pay as you go sim card but we bought the 'O2 version' as it was the cheapest. It costed £80 in total which I consider a bargain because it wasn't branded with the operator logo and it was unlocked. In fact this was what I found out with the excursion, apparently all Carphone Warehouse PAYG phones are unlocked. You will still need to get a PAYS sim-free for them to subsidise the phone for you, but that is like a ten quid top up. In a shifting industry where a so-called fruit sue-happy company is attempting to wrestle control from consumers and retailers, it is a breath of fresh air to find a retailer who gives customers a choice.
I haven't had much chance to play around with the phone. It is a pretty old model, but the camera works very well with auto focus and macro mode. The feature phone OS works fine and is speedy. The keypad needs getting used to due to its rubbery feel. The UI is the same as from my old K700i which is a mixture of grid, tabbed and list based. The 320x240 resolution screen is a joy to look at. Colours are vibrant but the screen isn't too bright even at the highest setting. The phone is pretty light too, but made it felt 'cheap' due to the thickness. The Nokia 6300 with a thinner body felt more 'expensive'. For only £80 (this already includes the £10 mandatory top-up), this is a fine purchase that I recommend, considering it is factory unlocked.
Here are some pictures with my XDA Orbit and the classic super slim Ericsson T28m: