Sony Ericsson V800 3G Phone Review

This is a review of the Sony Ericsson V800 handset and was undertaken in December, 2004 by Kevin Thomas of

This review covers the phone only and does not address the performance of Vodafone's 3G Network.

The Sony Ericsson V800 is a clam style handset that will wow many many people. In fact, this is the phone I have just chosen as my own phone. Its black and refreshing. This review covers the Sony Ericsson V800 on the Vodafone Live with 3G network in the UK.

The review is supported by a number of relevant photos - click thumbs for high quality photos.


The Sony Ericsson V800 in black is a very cool handset. You will either love its looks or not at first sight. The V800 supports all Vodafone's Vodafone live's services.

To see how it compares to the current best selling 3G handset - the LG 8120 - click on the thumbs.

The SE V800 stands up well against the LG for size and weight. This makes it a considerable competitor. Personally, the Sony Ericsson wins the looks category hands down for me.


Key attributes for V800 versus LG 8120

V800 102 x 48 x 23 mm and 128 grams

LG 8120 95.7 x 49.5 23.1mm and 126 grams


My first impression of the V800 was wow. Whats going on here - a sort of retro look yet so refreshing and sexy. I must have one.

This handset feels good in the hand and looks as though it won't let you down.


The Sony Ericsson V800 is a great looking handset. See for yourself via the thumbs.




The left hand side of the phone houses the volume buttons and the infrared port.


The right hand side of the phone houses the shortcut keys for browser, camera, clear, power and the headphones socket.
The back of the phone houses the rear cover only.
Bottom This houses the handsfree connector, charger connector and the USB port.
Antenna Internal antenna.

Screen navigation is via the visual menu overview. This is easy to use and user friendly.



Standard 12 button keypad with three quick keys : videocall, menu and media player. There is a standard 4 way navigation key, with another 2 buttons for selection and another 2 for back and clear.

Intuitive user interface. 4-directional navigation key.


Main Screen ( LCD )

Size : 36 x 47 mm

Colour LCD 262K screen
Resolution 176 x 220 pixels

Crystal-clear 262K-colour screen and intuitive colour menus.

When the phone is closed a smaller screen on the outside becomes the viewfinder and displays the caller ID and the picture associated with that person – in colour.

With the phone flipped open the high resolution 36 x 47 mm colour LCD 262k screen displays the intuitive user interface and also the phone’s images or those of incoming calls.

Picture Camera

1.3 Megapixel Digital Camera
- Integrated Camera Light
- x 4 zoom

Eye rotating lens that lets the user point towards you or, with a simple movement of the thumb, redirect it away from you.

In low light, the inbuilt photo light provides illumination to capture video or still images. Very bright flash light indeed.

Video Cam

Video camera is dual-purpose with picture camera.

Video calls are easy with QuickShare - just one press of the dedicated video call button is all that’s required to initiate a call.

Video capture, playback and download MPEG4.


32 MB memory via supplied Memory Stick.



The V800 is supplied with a 32MB Sony Memory Stick Duo, and supports Memory Stick PRO Duo up to 1GB, providing good storage for video, still images, music and games.


3G WCDMA Tri Band : GSM900, GSM1800 and GSM1900. Tri-Band can be used in five continents.

WAP - WAP 2.0 / WAP 1.2.1

Will work on WCDMA 3G from Vodafone and on GPRS when outside 3G area.


128 grams

This is the weight of the phone (with battery) and is measured in grams (g). The LG 8120 weighs in at 126 grams.

Not available

V800 102 x 48 x 23 mm

A comparison

LG 8110 : 95.7 x 49.5 23.1mm

Battery Life

Battery life

Battery : Li-ion 900 mAh

Standby: up to 280 hours
Talk time: up to 180 mins
Video call: up to 150 mins

Note : Battery life is affected by lower signal strength and to which network you are hooked up to.



Connect by Bluetooth, Infra Red and microUSB, which used in conjunction with applications such as Adobe’s PhotoShop Album, provides a great route to mass storage.

USB Port
Allows access to Vodafone’s 3G content services, ranging from news and weather to games and entertainment.


MMS (Multimedia Messaging)
MMS templates
MMS Video


Polyphonic ringtones 72 voices

The V800 has an integral music player and can play previously stored tracks from Memory Stick or download tracks at high speed and set them as ringtones.



The phone features a superb 3D Java gaming engine and brings multiplayer gaming, either online or via Bluetooth, to a new level of interactivity.

A Java 3D™ engine, the large 262K-colour screen, and sound and force feedback : the V800 has gaming power.


MPEG4 Video

Video calls are easy with QuickShare™ - just one press of the dedicated video call button is all that’s required to initiate a call.

2 Way Video Call
With an integrated digital camera and high speed data transmission, you can enjoy the next best thing to being there.

Location Based Services- Yes
Multimedia Messaging - Yes
POP3 E-mail
Yes -Email , Instant Messaging and SMS long (Text Messaging)
The Sony Ericsson V800 has an MP3 player on-board for playing music to the loudspeaker or to the supplied stereo headphones. Sound quality is good.
Vib Alert


External with excellent quality
In the Box

1 x Sony Ericsson V800 3G Handset

Memory Stick Duo 32MB / Adaptor included

1 x Mains Charger

1 x Li-ion Battery

Portable Stereo Handsfree Headset

Cleaning Pad

1 x USB Data Cable

Vodafone Live Quick Start Guide + User Guide

Software on CDROM - Sony Ericsson V800 User Guide and PC Software

This review covers the Sony Ericsson V800 only and does not address the performance of Vodafone Live with 3G Network. The score is based on a checklist developed by Kevin Thomas of
Wowish looks
Good size and weight
262,000-colour screen and a 1.2 megapixel camera
  Expandable memory to 1 GB
  Infrared included
  The black finish needs continual cleaning.
  Looks retro may put some people off

I really like Sony Ericsson phones and as soon as I saw this one I knew that I must have one.

Kevin Thomas scores the Sony Ericsson V800.
  88 out of 100

Find out more about this phone and take part in discussions at 3G Forum

  Click links below for earlier reviews
Past Reviews Motorola E1000 = 87 out of 100.
Motorola A1000 = 87 out of 100.
NEC 228 = 84 out of 100.
LG U8110 = 87 out of 100.
  Motorola A925 = 84 out of 100
  NEC e616 = 85 out of 100
  Motorola A835 = 84 out of 100.
You are advised that this material is the copyright of Kevin Thomas 2004 on behalf of and is my own personal view only. (C) All rights reserved 2004.

Whilst every care has been taken in the preparation of this review, Kevin Thomas nor 3Gcouk cannot be held responsible for the accuracy or authenticity of the information it contains, or any consequence arising from it.

Terms used
Different countries operate at different frequencies, which means that if you wish to use your mobile phone outside your home country, you generally need a handset that supports multiple frequency bands. A dual-band phone operates on two frequency bands, 900Mhz and 1,800Mhz, allowing you to use it in the UK and Continental Europe. A tri-band phone operates on three frequency bands, GSM900, GSM1800 and GSM1900, allowing you to use it in Europe, Africa, Asia, nearly all of North America and Australia. Quad-Band - Different operators are allocated different frequencies for GSM phones to work on in Europe / Asia this is 1800 /900 MHz in the Americas this is 850 / 1900 MHz. Therefore a Quad band phone works in all four frequencies and consequently works in most of the world. Short hand - 4 operator frequencies
Battery/Video Times
Battery / Video Times - The total time a battery can power a phone for mobile calls. As the phone drains the battery during a call, the talk time left in the battery is diminished until the phone is turned off or the battery recharged. The longer the talk time the less frequently you will need to recharge.
Battery Standby
Battery Standby The time a battery can power a phone in the standby mode, switched on and ready to make or receive a call, without being used for an actual call. The longer a phone is in standby mode, the less standby time remains in the battery.

Bluetooth® is a revolutionary new technology that allows different electronic devices to share data and communicate without using wires. These devices include phones, printers, personal computers or laptops. In order for it to work, both devices need to be “Bluetooth® enabled”.


Location Based Service

Combined with services from the network service provider, integrated AGPS technology enables you to find your way around.

AGPS helps you find your favorite stores or restaurants at a moment's notice

Global Satellite Positioning (AGPS) enabled for enhanced location services

MIDI Musical Instrument Digital Interface
MMS Multimedia Messaging Service
POP3 E-mail
The POP3 e-mail function allows you to use your phone to access e-mail. (The e-mail is retrieved from a server over the air).
USB (universal serial bus) is a fast (1Mbps) path for data transfer between the phone and an external device, such as a pc.
VOD  Video on Demand
WAP  Wireless Application Protocol