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Review GSM phone Sony Ericsson S600

Sony Ericsson S600. Live pictures


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The company of Sony Ericsson attracts attention with its leading products, and for several years its top solutions have become bestsellers in their segments. At the same time middle-class and low-end models are not as notable and popular, they are treated coolly. The company has brought up an entire army of worshipers awaiting for only functionally saturated top devices and getting upset on receiving middle-class models. And that is the reverse of the medal in a rush for technological leadership, since a cheap product can't have the maximum functionality, it would turn all the reference points on the market immediately. Just imagine, Sony Ericsson sets the price for Sony Ericsson K750 on the level of 200 against the current 450 USD. The margin of this extreme price will form maximally 5-10 percent. And the sales level will remain the same due to the limited manufacturing possibilities. The appearance of such a cheap device could change the whole market situation, destroy even own model line. Why buying an expensive phone if a top solution costs so little?

And this way a necessity to offer middle-class models with lower functionality and more available price appears. It's very important to choose the target group correctly, position it precisely, since the excess of the offer is here (the most of the devices belong to middle-class segment, 150-300 USD). Every manufacturer solves this trivial task his way, Sony Ericsson decided to produce a youth model with the maximum possible set of attractive functions. Attractive functions certainly mean the ones interesting to the target group the most. The project was called Ellen.

It's an open secret we accept beautiful things better than their plain copies. A beautiful thing has more weight in our eyes, and if it is technologically imperfect, so be it, the emotions that appear when using it outweigh disadvantages. And this very emotional perception of a model makes arguing about some models senseless, since tastes differ. Let's remember the last announcements, here are the Motorola RAZR V3, Motorola PEBL V6, Nokia 7270, Nokia 7280 and others. The foreground is taken by their design, but not functionality anyway, it is on the contrary on the level of the current middle level. And thus the lion's share of the price is formed by design, and people pay for it.

And now imagine you have to create an unusual phone; on the one hand it would run emotions, and on the other hand combining all the last developments. That is ideal for youth audience, since it combines a rush to be fashionable and not sacrifice functions, get whatever it's possible from the phone. Sony Ericsson S600 is an attempt of taking youth needs into account and making a comfortable instrument.

Similarly to the Sony Ericsson S700 a Rotator form-factor was selected for Ellen. No automatic finishing mechanism, like in the elder model. So, it should be opened with hands. It's possible to open with one hand, though not very comfortable. You hold the device with its screen up (vertical orientation) and open it down. The easiest way is to do it with both hands.

The opening direction plays no role; you can rotate the upper part both to the left and to the right. But you should remember the device is closed in the same direction, closing it the other way is impossible. There is some logics in it, since the majority gets used to working with the device in the same manner.

A loop-antenna similar to the one in Sony Ericsson Z200 may be seen on the top of the closed device. And so many hurried to conclude that like the Z200 the discussed model is an ODM-product. But to tell the truth, the device is developed inside the company and is technologically based on the Sony Ericsson K750i, though has some significant changes. Some of them are for the better and some show cut functionality, for instance, an absent expansion slot for memory cards. But let's return to the antenna. Working with the phone is possible in a closed mode, when the antenna is on the top of the device like in the majority of today phones. But having opened the model we get the antenna on the bottom. This antenna disposition is unusual at first sight but quite logical. Almost all the phones with internal antennas suffer from that users close them with their finger or two, or even the whole palm, when speaking on the phone. And here is no such a problem. Wherever you hold the phone, you can't hold the antenna, so no worsening connection.

One more event is connected with the antenna; it also concerns such devices as Sony Ericsson Z200, Siemens CF62. Many users call these models bottle-openers by association with an opener. To tell the truth, there is some similarity.

A good tradition is to use Style-Up panels in youth and even business phones, they allow changing the appearance of the device in no time. The S600 is not an exception, an extra (to be precise, two panels - one for the face and one for the back surface) are primordially included into the kit. One of them is monochrome and has a soft touch surface. That is a velvety plastic familiar by the Z200 or Motorola models. This very pleasant to touch plastic makes it easier to deal with the phone. Panels with graphical drawings may be bought extra. Standard colours are Universe Blue, Radiant Yellow, Orchid White.

The dimensions are 93x46.5x22.5 mm and the weight forms 121 grams. The size doesn't stand out against a background of this segment phones, due to the absence or direct rivals the phone may be called quite comfortable, but it's not typical, has no copies. Many users though the dimensions are much less judging by the photos. This is an average-sized bar like a standard clamshell, not a little one.

There are several loudspeakers in the phone, three, to be precise. And the S600 is the first phone by Sony Ericsson equipped with stereo sound. Unlike the Korean models, where the solution was plain and direct, here the developers revealed remarkable mother wit. The plainest disposition of loudspeakers means distributing them to the both sides of the common axis, stereo effect is achieved by the sound coming from different points. Like in phones by LG. We see a central loudspeaker and extra loudspeakers on both sides. As a rule, they are on the side surface and the sound is directed to the both sides of the device. This looks quite plain and logical for an ordinary user. The fact the volume with such disposition is lower that of the frontal one is not taken into account, they think it will be enough. The second disadvantage is when carrying the phone in a holster, extra loudspeakers are closed, and as a result the signal is heard worse. In actual fact, we have stereo sounding to amaze us in a shop more than in real life, and this stereo is not very interesting.

The S600 designers' task was to find such a disposition of loudspeakers to maximize the clearness and the volume of the sound both in a user's hands (for instance, when playing a game or listening to the music) and in clothes or a holster. The very first experiments with a "traditional" loudspeaker disposition like in rival products showed the volume suffers in some cases, when closing one of the loudspeakers with your hand or clothes, it tells upon the quality negatively. The result of these experiments was the selected disposition of one loudspeaker on the back of the phone in the top-left corner, and the second one was placed on the right surface in the bottom (that is a one diagonal - from the top to the bottom and from he left to the right corner). This turned out very well-taken, and the sound is heard well in the majority of situations. That is important, only these two loudspeakers are engaged in reproducing a call signal, music, the main one working during a conversation doesn't work.

This unordinary disposition allowed using full-size loudspeakers that are a bit smaller than the ones of the Motorola E398. Another question is the S600 is the loudest model on the market now; one should try to look for a louder mp3 signal. Metallic nets closing the loudspeakers are decor elements.

Two separate buttons taken for decor elements also are quite an unordinary thing. Pressing them in the standby mode urns the display backlighting on, no other actions. The main destination is games. These buttons were added to the S600 similarly to the A and B buttons on game consoles. And due to the fact the device is quite workable in a horizontal mode; these buttons play a very important role. The company plans developing this hybrid trend later on, one more model with A-B buttons will appear this year. The innovation seems positive, no rivals for the moment (we do not consider the N-Gage, since that is exclusively a game console, but not a phone first). The left button has a Bluetooth indicator inscribed; it may blink in blue when working.

The form of a navi button was changed especially for games; it looks like an intricate figure-of-eight. You can feel the form by passing your finger over it, without stopping, in a circle. In the majority of the modes the button is usual 4D, but in all the games and menus where you can move in diagonal, you can bravely press it in these directions. And that is really convenient in games, comfort rises. Though in the main menu, this way of moving is not very interesting. So, the navi pad is 8D.

Traditionally, tags for navi pad deviations are adjusted in the phone, and here we could expect 8 tags, but there are only 4 of them still. Probably, the developers considered accidental pressures in this mode, not in a game, will be too frequent and thus refused of any expansion in this direction. A large Ok button is inscribed in the navi one.

The buttons under the screen are dull, that is an attempt to make their facture closer to the panel surface. The key size is quite comfortable, the backlighting is orange like of the entire keyboard.

The back button traditionally allows returning to the previous menu level, and the C button acts only for erasing one or several entered characters. Running a wap-browser and calling an Activity Menu are represented with separate buttons. Here fast switch to the silent mode and change of profiles using the traditional C button are impossible. And the Activity Menu also doesn't contain them. Similarly to Nokia phones silent mode and changing profiles are possible by the On/Off button on the top of the phone. That's pleasant the company adopts well solutions, the Sony Ericsson K750i provides no such possibility now.

In actual fact, the screen should be completely the same as in the Sony Ericsson K750i. All the characteristics coincide. Showing 262 K, 176x220 pixels (29x36 mm, 1.8"), TFT. No dirty trick was expected from the younger model, and a picture quality was tested then. And the first comparisons of the screens showed greater brightness and picture saturation of the Sony Ericsson K750i, and the results repeated in all the samples. Thus a seditious idea that an elder model has an artificially worsened picture, in order to the elder model could have priority. But the very next day, in a daylight we managed to open the secret. In fact, the S600's screen is the same, but has another mat, with less transparency factor. That influences the indoors photos, they get less right and saturated. At the same time, in the sun light outdoors the S600's display is seen the same way, no changes, but the K750's one gets dull, and you'll have to peer at it. This technology was mass used in Siemens products till today, but there they served for the entire product line (CX65/M65/S65), here we see a selective approach. A compromise screen version was made for those who are often outdoors. The picture quality is a critical factor for a youth device, and the S600 shows a good solution.

Up to 6 text lines and 4 service ones are shown on the display (two headings, a status bar, tips for soft-keys). The font is good and well read. The model is comparable to the Motorola ones in the screen quality, though is a bit inferior to Samsung in this price niche, but still wins over some devices. So, generally, Siemens phones are the copies in the screen behavior in the sun.

Similarly to the S700 a keypad locking toddler is placed on the left-side surface. It will be useful to you, though accidental pressures of functional keys are rather seldom, but when opening you'll often touch the Music button on the left of the phone, so the device will start playing music. This button activates the last running application like in the K750, whether that is an mp3 player or radio. Its behavior can be adjusted from the menu, set only radio or on the contrary mp3 player by default.

A volume button is placed on the right side, this strange transfer from the left side is caused by the phone's duality. One the one hand, that is a usual phone, and on the other hand, it is maximum close to a camera interface. Having turned the phone horizontally with these buttons to the top, you get a small digital camera. An 1.3 MP camera objective is placed on the back surface (f=5.0 mm 1:2.8), and a lamp near it. Also there is a small mirror.

As different from the S700 a CMOS-matrix is used in the model, that was quite expectative since the company needs no competitor to the younger model. That's curious Ellen had a VGA-camera from the beginning, and only the mass announcements of megapixel middle-class phones made the company change the phone's characteristics.

We could expect the CMOS module similar to the Sony Ericsson K600 and that is completely right. But there are slight differences, almost not influencing the picture quality. Thus the K600's focal distance forms 4.85 mm.

A backlighting lamp may be used as a usual lamp activated through Activity Menu. There is a special SOS mode and a possibility to select the lamp's temporary work time up to 1 minute.

A camera button is placed on the right-side surface, and an IrDA gap is also there. It is fully-functional here and supports OBEX fully. So, let's return to the volume coupled button placed here. Short phone characteristics are shown in the stand by mode when pressing it. They are the model's name, time and date, current profile, alarm clock settings, free memory and what is the main battery charge in percent. This extremely useful function vanished from Sony Ericsson phones about two years ago. And here it is in a new phone generation. We'll hope all the later models will provide with it.

So, shortly about the number keypad. The keys are projecting, well placed and comfortable to work with. And this concerns both men with large hands and small ones. Girls with long manicured nails suffer no problems also.

There is a Fast Port on the bottom end, which is a new company standard that we could have seen only in the К750 before. S plastic shutter is included into the standard kit in the S600, it may close the interface connector. It is not fixed to the body and may be taken off completely, it makes no special sense.

According to the manufacturer a 900-mAh Li-Pol battery can work for up to 400 hours in the standby mode and up to9 hours in the talk one. I'll specially stress the battery is Li-Pol, that is mentioned in the developers' documents, though some sources tell that is Li-Ion. And the battery itself has a note telling it is Li-Pol. In Moscow the phone averagely worked for about 3 days in case of one hour of talks, up to 45 minutes of using other functions, two hour of listening to the radio. When used less, the device may work for 4 days. Full battery recharging takes abut 2 hours. That's curious to see the data on how Bluetooth work influences the battery life, on mode <0.9 mA, voice transmission mode 24 mA, data transmission mode 25 mA. This information allows getting a clue of how the battery life decreases when Bluetooth is on all the time.

The last thing to highlight is the SIM-card holder construction. To economize the space, the holder is movable, just press the card, and it will go into the slot till the click.


We have already told the model is based on the K750 and has much in common with it. Though there are many differences. The main changes include a really reworked menu, interface, bookmark icons have changed, they look more suitable for a youth device. The max number of names increased to 1000 against 500 in the Sony Ericsson K750 (more phone umbers and other data). Also the phone book got the second field for address, not you can keep two addresses for a name. A separate menu line is taken by the automatic renewal of the software, you can set reminders for that, and the phone will then alarm when renewals are ready. The function is convenient, and all the main manufacturers start integrating it into their phones. Sony Ericsson is one of the first (Siemens provides these service even today including Russian networks). There are 64 MB of memory in the phone. Here is where the main differences finish, all the rest points show similarity, except for another preinstalled themes. And I've completely forgotten to say there are 40 MB of primordially free space, all the rest is taken by preinstalled applications.

As for the menu organization, it is typical Sony Ericsson style with only Activity Menu added. You may assign tags or speed dialing of this or that function to the joystick deviations. The main menu is represented with four rows with three icons in each. You may also use fast navigation with the number series, and then switching to a needed item will only take a few seconds.

The input convenience remained on the same level, by pressing the # key you will bring up available language list, and be able to switch between them while text input.

The manufacturer decided to take care of additional horizontal theme bookmarks. This means that now when you are in the call list menu, which is called by pressing the Call button, you will see not only the last dialed numbers but gain the ability to switch between bookmarks with last missed/received calls (horizontal joystick presses). In the phone's menu such navigation is used in all possible places, it strongly simplifies usage of phone; menu's ergonomics in this model is extremely high. I'd like to point out those similar horizontal panels present in the phone book, settings menu and several other menu items as well.

Phonebook. As different to the previous models up to 1000 names with all the fields filled in are supported. Summing up, we get more than 5000 numbers that are more than enough for the majority of users.

Several phone numbers, e-mail address, IM number and other contact information may be kept for a name in the internal memory. In settings you can choose the required fields, as well as sorting by various fields including name, surname, but the input field remains single. Such sorting is important only while transferring data from PC, for phone's entries it's actually useless. For separate names you can setup custom ring tones and own picture, while the incoming call you will hear the custom ring tone, as well as chosen image.

While information input you are free to scroll between bookmarks, on the first one phone number entering and their sorting according to types. Actually this organization reminds Outlook for some reason, it is convenient. Ability to add voice dialing to separate numbers stored under one name was introduced as well, there can be up to 40 of them in total. If you remember, earlier on voice dialing was supported only for names, and you had to make additional voice dialing bookmarks for other phones stored under the same contact.

While viewing the phone book you can scroll the numbers by the horizontal joystick's keypress, as well as watching other information. Of course the default number will be bind by you.

Traditionally the company believes that SIM-card and its memory will be used only in emergency situations, and not for storing information continuously. Viewing the entries on the SIM-card is possible from the separate menu item; they are not displayed in the common entry list.

Messages. All functions are basic for messages; templates and ability to create your own ones are present. For messages storing phone's memory as well as SIM-card's is used. Chat function is supported, on the whole I can say that the features are pretty common for any other phone.

MMS realization deserves high praise, you can actually create clips, there are a lot of settings and it is not hard to use them, a truly unique quality that other phones lack.

E-Mail client supports sending and receiving messages, all possible encodings are supported.

In this menu Instant Messaging is present as well, sort of ICQ analogue.

Call lists. In common list you will see up to 30 entries with date and time assigned to each. Near each of them an icon will explain to what type of call it refers (missed, received, dialed). Besides this in common list additional icons are present, they show if the phone number is present in the phone's memory, or SIM-card's. The list of missed calls can be viewed separately, it can store up to 10 entries. In the same menu item information about cost and length of last, all calls can be viewed. Moving through the separate lists can be made with the help of bookmarks, this actually saves your time greatly.

Entertainment. This menu item contains access to picture album, list of music files. Function MuiscDJ is interesting, although it is rather niche and will not be in demand around most of users. In this editor you can create your own ring tones and edit up to 4 tracks.

VideoDJ is an advances version of a MusicDJ function. It allows editing not just music, but adding pictures, notes and the result is a 3GP file possible to send via MMS or E-mail or just sent to another phone.

A graphical editor for drawing simple pictures is for creative people. Sometimes it helps to while away the time, though mainly the function is unnecessary.

Organizer. In organizer menu a lot of functions are stored at once, first of all - let's review the calendar. There are three types of event view, monthly, weekly and daily. In last case you see the list of all things to do and reminders, in two other modes you will notice the highlighted time with events or the day. Fast transfer to the required year, day and month is present. Everything is pretty simple and traditional, as well as schedule entry. Basically you get the chance to choose one of the 6 icons assigned to the action type, specify the place where it will occur, length and setup reminder (beforehand or in the entered time). I was unable find a way to setup reoccurrence rate; in my samples this feature was not present at all. From the editing menu for separate events you can choose another time and date, and that's it. Reminders work even if the phone is turned off, in case you turn on this function in the settings menu. Pleasant peculiarity of this model is that you can turn on/off automatic switch of profiles after the event had occurred, as well as return to the earlier set profile after the event is over. Basically we get analogue of Time Profile function in Nokia's phones.

To do list of rather ascetic, only two modes of events, call or reminder. On the other hand this is pretty enough, simplicity has its own advantages as well.

The phone has fully-functional search, which is organized for calendar, you just enter the words (or part of it) and after few seconds see all events which suit for the searched words. Function works very fast even if there are more than 100 entries, fast teleportation to the event is supported as well.

The phone has normal support of sending schedules to different devices (like always - IrDA, Bluetooth). You just choose the required interval (day, week, or month) and send all entries. I'd like to point out the fact that receiving device must support PIM function in order to receive and display these data files correctly. When we tried to send our own schedule to TV-set it was successful, although it could not be displayed (via IrDA). Same thing can be sent from your office or desktop PC without any additional software for synchronization.

Notes. The phone supports recording short text notes; in common list first word from each is displayed. This is not always convenient since you have to enter every note with "marker word", in order to remember what it is all about.

Alarm clocks. The phone has single as well as reoccurring alarm clock, which can be setup by the defined days of week. The alarm clocks will work even if the phone is turned off.

Countdown timer. Everything is pretty simple here, although same thing can be said about the stop-watch, it supports intervals. The phone has code storage, which was loved by many, working with calculator became more convenient.

Also a world time function are present.

Connectivity. From here you can setup all communication settings of the phone starting with WAP, GPRS, bluetooth and ending with synchronization. The standard usage will not be mentioned, it is pretty obvious, everything works. I'd like to stress that no problems were encountered while synchronizing; synchronization with devices runs smoothly, all profiles are supported.

The same menu provides local and remote synchronization settings, everything is also standard. The device supports the HID profile that allows using it as a remote controller for a computer or other device.

The following Bluetooth profiles are supported:

  • Dial-up networking profile
  • Generic Access profile
  • Generic Object Exchange Profile
  • Object Push Profile
  • Serial Port Profile
  • Handsfree Profile
  • Headset Profile
  • Synchronization Profile
  • Basic Imaging Profile
  • File Transfer Profile
  • HID Profile
  • SyncML OBEX binding
  • JSR-82 Java API

The model is Bluetooth 2.0 compatible, though, I'd like to stress it, has no support for EDGE.

WAP. The browser was given separate menu item's sport, its version is 2.0 and it supports secured transfers, which is important for electronic transactions. With the help of browser you can download new wallpapers, themes, ring tones, everything is available on the original web-site.

The standard Sony Ericsson browser is NetFront, it supports viewing pages in a line (automatic formatting for mobile devices), html pages. Useful things are creating personal folders and bookmarks. The browser is one of the best, but limited phone possibilities do not turn using it into a plain deal. In general, those using the Internet often should think about a PDA or a notebook, it is not so interesting on this device. At the same time the support for RSS Feeds that allows using the phone to read news and announcements is interesting.

Settings. Basically all settings related to the work with the phone are stored here, partly with the appearance of screens. I will not describe this menu item, since everything is too common. The presence of updated themes should be mentioned though, one of them is youth.

Radio. The phone has a built-in FM tuner; it is different from other versions in RDS support that is a creeping line with information transmitted by the radio station, a copy of the same function in car radio player. The phone's memory can store up to 20 radio stations; the stereo headset that is shipped in every package plays the role of antenna. In case you are using auto-search the phone will find about 6-7 stations with the strongest signal's coverage (at least it did it in Moscow) and store them in the memory. At the same time radio stations with weaker signal, but pretty suitable for listening will be skipped. They can be added into the list manually. This parameter is identical to Nokia phones, in which same problems are noticed.

Signal's playback quality is rather high, the headset allows setting up almost any volume, maximal level is extremely loud, and the music will suppress everything. The user can switch the radio into the loudspeaker mode; in this case people around will hear it as well. The radio's volume is pretty high.

Unfortunately, all control is made from the phone's keyboard. Channel switch which are stored in the memory - joystick's vertical deviations. You can regulate the volume with the help of side-buttons. In case you want to turn off the radio and move on to other menu item's functions you will have to minimize it the way you are doing it on your desktop PC. In order to have the ability of changing channels again you will have to call Radio mode again. In minimized condition appropriate icon will appear.

Brief impressions from the radio can be described as positive, this phone's parameter is interesting, more than that, it offers quality realization. The radio is not worse than in Nokia's products and this speaks out for a lot of things, as well as the fact that the radio works in stereo mode.

File manager, memory capacity. The user can have about 40 Mb of free space (and if erasing everything, it will form about 64 MB), on which his data, files (pictures, video clips, and applications) can be stored. Remaining memory is occupied with pre-installed applications, which you cannot delete. Part of phone's memory is used as phonebook, call list etc.

The phone also gained simple file manager, with its help you can sort files into various folders, create directories in the phone's memory and store files in them. Basically we face the fact that using a cable the phone can be turned into a file storage device for very important files.

Player. The phone has built-in mp3 file player, as well as 3GP, mpeg4. The player is actually a nice tool for listening to mp3 files. Equalizer setup is present among the other settings (Bass, Voice, Tremble etc), as well as the ability of creating your own settings. Depending on these settings the sound will actually change, this is noticeable.

Java. The phone supports Java (MIDP 2.0), as well as 3D-engine, which allows launching truly three-dimensional games (not only Mascot Capsule is supported but JSR-184 also). Some games already known by other models of the company are preinstalled, and popular Worms among them.

Productivity. The test results were close to the K750 and differed slightly. The models are built on the same platform and have equal possibilities. We used JBenchmark to measure the device's productivity, and its supporting 3D Java allowed launching a corresponding test.

It gave the following results:

JBenchmark 3D
HQ 75
LQ 129
Triangles ps 17583
KTexels ps 819
3.0.2 version
M3G Version 1.0
Antialiasing false
True color false
Dithering false
Mipmapping true
Perspective correction true
Local camera lighting false
Max lights 8
Max viewport dimensions 1024
Max texture dimensions 256
Max Sprite Crop Dimensions 1024
Max Transforms Per Vertex 3
Number of Texture Units 2
Other properties
Color Screen true
Number of colors 65536
Transparency (alpha level) 256
Double buffer true
Total memory 524284
Free memory 436256

Comparing the results with Sony Ericsson Z800, K600 we see the S600 a bit loosing. Tests of the renewed version of the software showed the results are similar; the HQ parameter grew up to 92 points. As for me, the resulting operating speed will be comparable with Sony Ericsson K600, no any great increase.

This rather low score as compared to the rivals (averagely 120 points) is caused by a relatively "row" 3D Java in the model, the company integrated the standard to compete with other manufacturers. The main emphasis of the model is put on Mascot Capsule Engine providing higher operating speed and being less resource demanding. Unfortunately, we failed in finding games for 3D Java similar to the preinstalled ones, but subjectively, Mascot Capsule's productivity is much higher.

The second version of the test package gave the following results:

Jbenchmark 2
Image manipulation
3d Transform
User Interface
176x176 True 65536

The results of the previous devices were high, and here it is almost the maximum of all the phones on the market. The model looses only to Linux solutions and some smartphones. Just to compare, Nokia 6630 showed the score of 246 points and that is much less.

The first version of the package showed also the productivity growth as compared with the previous models, including the K600:

JBenchmark 1
2D Shapes
3D Shapes
Fill Rate

The productivity is also very high and close to the maximum. Indeed, as for the Java virtual machine speed the phone is one of the strongest in its class, even comparable with smartphones.

Camera. A 1.3 MP camera is integrated into the phone; in difference to Sony Ericsson S700 the matrix is CMOS that worsens the picture quality even in a sunny day. Noises are clearly seen on indoors photos, especially when lacking lights. The flash is optional and making no any influence on the quality of the photos. The camera is completely similar to the one in the Sony Ericsson K600.

Three possible resolutions are supported - 1280x1024, 640x480, 160x120 pixels. There are teo quality types for photos, they are normal and high.

The camera settings look the following way:

Automatic camera off. When not used the camera turns off automatically in 30 seconds, 1, 2 or 3 minutes.

Shutter sound. You can choose on of the three shutter sounds but not turn the sound off.

Spot photometry. The function is unusual for a mobile phone.

White balance. A possibility to choose between an automatic mode or Incandescent, Fluorescent, Daylight, Cloudy.

Light. Backlighting activation, also may be turned on by shifting a left-side cover.

Effects. Several effects may be applied to the photos, they are Negative, Solarize, Sepia, Black & White. Effects in one file – 1.39 MB, ZIP>>>

Timer is activated for a certain time period for self shooting.

Night mode is for shooting in the dark. Noises raise on a photo, exposition is increased (you shouldn't move the device in order not to get a blurry photo).

Shooting mode. Normal mode, that is taking usual photos. A multiple mode (Burst 4) allows taking four photos for a series. The last mode is taking photos with frames; there are 14 of them in the phone.

Let's acquaint with various photos taken in various conditions. Let's start with the best photos taken in the street.


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The frames are various and known by other models. In principle, you can apply a frame in the graphical editor, and here the function is for lazy ones.

Landscape mode is very interesting; you can reveal creative skills here.

Noises get noticeable indoors; they are high even in good lights.

  (+) increase, 1280x1024, JPEG

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In a dark room the noises get unacceptable, and the picture quality decreases greatly.

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Video may be recorded in two resolutions (176x144, 128x96), file format is 3GP. Clip duration may be limited (up to 10 seconds) or unlimited. The quality of the clips is average and E720/E730, for instance, make more qualitative records.

Video sample (3GP, 394 KB)
Video sample (3GP, 253 KB)

A short summary of the camera is the following. There are no evident problems, outdoors the camera corresponds with a medium level and is typical for modern devices. Low resolution for video may be considered a minus. Such cameras get mass for the company, that is a standard solution.


The polyphony is 40-tones, no differences from the K750 in the sound processor. The volume of the phone is really improved by the presence of several loudspeakers. It is heard everywhere. The vibra is averagely powerful with no evident improvements. No problems with the connection quality, everything is typical of the company products.

The S600 is one of the first to support the Flash Lite that theoretically allows viewing flash files on the device. The device recognizes the format and assigns special icons to the files. But the youth is ordinary; no specially prepared files prevent not just from activating the function but even from viewing an example. There are about 8 samples on the Macromedia site in the Lite standard, they are all made for the 60th platform, here they can't be launched, the device reports a mistake. The number of the samples on the manufacturer site shows the development level of the technology, it is impossible to expect it widely spread in short time. Such resources will probably be demanded in a year or later. Now Flash Lite remains a professional tool for creating interfaces for devices, and even here there is only one sample.

And if the Flash Lite support is optional and not mentioned in any general specs, then vector graphics should be supported, SVG as a common format. The situation is the same as for Flash, the support is provided, but no files are given for such class devices. In fact, a user has the phone with a technology that he can't use. Both the technologies should be treated as a start for the future, a systematic development of the software component of the platform, now they are useless.

The model will come to sale in the middle of September and will first cost about 350 USD. Already in the end of the 1Q 2006 the price will fall to 300 USD. The alternative solution is Sony Ericsson W600 designed in a Walkman style (as for me, a plainer orange colour spoils everything) and 256 MB of internal memory that allow using it as an mp3 player. But the price will be about 120-130 USD higher.

The S600 uses the entire leader K750's ideas though brings own solutions in both design and functionality (game buttons, screen, sound). The model has no direct rivals and can't be trivially compared with any other. Such an absence of direct rivals usually means the device will be either niche or extremely popular. And here, I think, the S600 originality will reveal, it won't be a bestseller, though will have stable sales in its segment. Also such models as the Nokia 6101, Siemens CX75 may be selected as ersatz alternatives. But both functionality and positioning of these models are different, they don't cross directly.

The S600 is interesting as a youth solution, it is quite suitable for the Motorola E398's role, this product also outstripped its time. A possible disadvantage is the absence of EDGE, since the function is demanded on some markets. On the other hand not so many young people use this function, and they are the target group of the phone.

P.S. The minuses of the sample we had. When starting a conversation in a closed mode there are some problems with the main loudspeaker, metallic gnash is heard. The problems caused by the mp3 signal sound, slow reaction of the answer button. The icons showing the outgoing call are not redrawn, they remained the same as in the K750, and this concerns EXIF data in photos. Zoom doesn't work in the max resolution, in VGA-resolution it is x2, though the manufacturer claims x4. No other serious disadvantages were noticed.


The appearance and the structure of the device (3.20 MB)

Comparison with the S700 (2.07 MB)

Display compared with the K750i and S600 (1.22 MB)

Menu operating speed (2.29 MB)

The menu (2.58 MB)

The appearance and work in a closed mode (6.20 MB)

The appearance, comfort opening the phone (3.64 MB)

Eldar Murtazin (eldar@mobile-review.com)
Translated by Maria Mitina (maria.mitina@mobile-review.com)

Published — 27 June 2005

Have something to add?! Write us... eldar@mobile-review.com



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