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Review Ericsson R600
Ericsson R600 is a definitely entry-level phone taking in account its specifications and the price. It's interesting that the phone was announced about a half year before the selling. It even seemed that more advanced model would have been sold instead of R600 and the latter wouldn't have launched at all. Today we can find it in shops but not in all countries. This phone has only two bands - GSM900/GSM1800, it is its peculiarity.
The phone is produced in two colours: Ice Blue and Luminous Champagne. It has average dimensions - 105x45x20mm and weighs 82g. Handy phone with atheistic design, it can be called elegant and harmonious. All small details - call indicator light on the top, dynamic holes of original form blend well with each other.
The graphic display is not big but can contain up to 4 text lines and 1 line with auxiliary information. The contrast can be adjusted but the default settings are quiet good, text is clearly visible in all lighting conditions. According to advertisements there are several colours of backlighting here (green, red and orange). All three colours can be set for defining incoming calls. The function is useful in the evening when the silent profile is set and the phone lies not far from you. You can easily understand whether you need to answer or not (if it is not a VIP).
Other features of the display are traditional wallpapers (5 pre-default). You can also draw your own picture with a help of a simple included graphic editor. Also there is a screen saver (2 types) in the phone. It turns on in the standby mode automatically, unfortunately you can't set an interval. However, it's possible to set a doze mode to save the power, in this case there will be nothing on the screen except a signal level and the phone could work a little bit longer.
As always a font size can be changed, three variants are available - small, standard and large. The quantity of visible information will be changed depending on your settings. Due to the high display resolution and a good font there are no problems to use a scalable effect.
A 4-position navigation key of an oval form is placed under the screen. In my opinion it is more comfortable to move up and down than right and left. Under the navigation key there are three other keys: send key, clear key and on/off key.
The key-pad disappointed me greatly. All keys are in rubber but they are rather hard to press. Another weak point is the bad green backlighting which provides scarce night visibility. The letters are too small and very difficult to read.
The double volume key is positioned on the left side, it's made of rubber too but it's rather convenient as far as its form and position is concerned. You can see a standard system connector on the bottom of the phone. A rear lid doesn't hide anything interesting except a hole covered with a rubber cork that can be used for an outside antenna.
As in many other models from SonyEriccson the battery and a rear lid are separate. But there is no backslash, the cover can slightly move in the vertical direction but it brings no discomfort. The phone has a lithium ion battery of 700mAH (BST-20). The manufacturer declares that the phone can provide a 4 hour work in the talk mode and 150 hours in the standby mode. While test (15 minutes of talking (Beeline network), 20 minutes usage of different applications such as alarm-clock, organizer, games) the phone worked three days without recharging. The full time of recharging was approximately 2 hours.
The structure of the menu is common: a set of bookmarks with the tiles of submenus, which consist of numbered lists. Using number shortcuts allows to move quicker through the menu. The main features are the following.
Phonebook. The phone memory can store up to 200 entries, one name can be accompanied only by one phone number. When you add a new contact, you can press a left scrolling key and than you'll be able to choose a phone number from lists of calls. It's possible to set caller groups but this operation is of no practical use because you can't associate a ringing tone with it. However, you can assign a personal ringing tone to up to 10 callers. The phone has 4 pre-defined tones and 11 melodies. But if you like you can compose your own ones (up to8).
Sometimes it's not very convenient to personalize a phone because some personalizing settings (changing of specific ringing tone or a backlighting of the screen) are hidden in different submenus, not in the phonebook. On the other hand it's logical that the first function relates to sound settings and the second one - to screen settings.
Messages. R600 supports EMS standard and long messages. Also it has a mobile chat function. To save the time you can use to pre-default or your own templates (up to 10). The phone doesn't have a full e-mail client, but there is an address of a gateway with a help of which it's possible to send short messages to e-mail address (gateway in a certain network). The phone can store up to 10 SMS, SIM-card memory is also available (messages that are saved there are indicated with a special sign).
Call log. You can view hare two call lists: the list of missed calls (up to 10 numbers) and the general list (up to 20 numbers). You can also check the date and time of each call. If you reject an incoming call this number will be registered in the list of missing calls. The counters of call duration and the volume of sent and received data are activated here.
Settings. Almost all phone settings can be adjusted here, sound settings in particular (any tone for the incoming call and alarm-clock). You can imagine yourself as a composer and write a melody (without a staff). R600 has a minute minder that works within the talk.
Profiles are standard.
There are different settings of the screen in this handset. You can adjust contrast, set wallpaper (up to 6, preview is available), create a greeting and regulate a backlighting.
You can set values for package data exchange (GPRS 3+1). It can be used not only just for viewing WAP-resources or sending SMS messages but also for being in the Internet (from PC via the cable). This function works good .
Extras. There are several useful features in this submenu. An organizer can store up to 100 notes, each one has a heading (a title), small text description, start time and time of ending, repeat time (daily, weekly, every 2 weeks, monthly, yearly). You can also add a time zone to each note that is very convenient during the trips.
T200 supports two ways of viewing the calendar - by week and month. There is a function of the alarm deactivation in case if the phone is switched off in the organizer settings. Besides, there is an automatic switching on of the reminder that informs about the profile changing when the specific event comes.
The phone has two alarm clocks: one of them sounds once, the other has the recurring settings by the days of the week. It works even when the phone is switched off. Any default tone is available. There is also a countdown timer and a stop-watch here.
A calculator is ordinary and not very convenient.
Pictures. A standard set of different pictures, which one can use in the phone book and in EMS-messages, is located here. The pictures are divided into several thematic groups. You can view the whole list of the phone numbers that are associated with these pictures and change these numbers immediately.
There are 3 games in the handset: Erix, Path, and Contrary. Erix is a well-known game, it was in previous models. Path and Contrary are two logical games
WAP. WAP-browser in version 1.2.1 with usual settings.
Shortcuts. You can place often used functions on this submenu. This feature is standard for handsets from Ericsson.
If you've read these review attentively, you'll find many similarities with SonyEricsson T200. Almost all main features are the same. The differences are minimal. R600 has a different set of games, the phone memory is wider, it can store 100 phone numbers more than T200. What's new? A positive moment - a call indicator light appeared, a negative moment - the absence of the third band (GSM 1900). So these handsets are very alike by the specifications but, in spite of this, they are aimed to different market segments.
The sound and connection quality is wonderful. So far as these parameters are concerned, the phones are comparable too. A vibrating alert is weaker but it is felt rather good.
As a result I'd like to say that Ericsson R600 will rival with T200 most of all because they have much in common. Other competitors are the rest handsets of this class, for example, Siemens M50, Siemens C45, Nokia 3410. The price will be rather low as the price of a low-entry phone should be.
Published 02 September 2002
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