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Review Ericsson T68i

Seemingly, what for to devote separate article to phone being only the new version of already sold model, let even such successful, as Ericsson T68. To make it I have induced by some reasons: first, the new device is sold under SonyEricsson brand, second, amount of minor alterations (in the majority positive) is so great, that they deserve separate description. Т68i, certainly, it will be sometimes compared with the predecessor - there is no way to go from it: the platform of phones is identical. By the way, it has allowed Ericsson Company to promise finishing of bought Т68 up to Т68i by simple update of the software version. Till now the similar information is placed on Sony Ericsson site in section of questions and answers devoted to this model. By hardware stuffing the models are one-type so, that size of the installed memory coincides for them up to kilobyte; phones differ in size and amount of programs.

On dimensions and weight T68i it is similar to Т68 (100х48х20 mm, 84 grammes), but differs from the last one by case color. Designers have decided to add lightness to phone, having made the case matte-silvery, and a border around of the screen has the color of heavenly metallic (whether there is such color, I do not know, but such association was born for me in head). The form of speaker hole has changed, and on this external distinctions between devices are ended. T68 will be delivered only in one color solution (Arctic Blue). Later has appeared one more color - Stellar Grey - the device of not striking dark grey color.

It is a pity, but at manufacture of T68i is using other, rather than in Т68, the type of plastic. In base model the back panel to the touch reminded more rubber, than plastic, in tested phone all is standard - in result the device slides on inclined surfaces.

The keyboard is fulfilled from plastic and painted in case color. Black color denotations on keys are well visible both in a sunny day in street, and in darkness. Backlight of the keyboard is blue; on misunderstood account 3 and 6 keys shine less brightly, than others. Alphanumerical keys are carried on decent distance and therefore are convenient in operation. Under the screen the navigation joystick is located, besides 4 traditional directions, it has the additional degree of freedom - it can be pressed. In my opinion, the joystick is convenient in circulation, and it is possible to get used to it fast, but for some reason it irritates some users.

Few words about the display. I'll remind, that Т68 was the first mass device with the color screen, and its descendant till now remains the unique phone of similar sort in the market. I'll result a quotation from Т68 review.

In Т68 the graphic display is installed, allowing to display up to 256 colors and having resolution of 101х80 pixels at the physical size of 34х28 mm. On the screen it can be displayed till 8 lines of text, that is not bad and allows looking through short messages or wap-pages without difficulty. In the standby mode with the switched off backlighting the display is blind, it is necessary to peer, it is impossible to make out the screen without backlighting... With the switched on backlighting you see the screen rather good, the text is precise, images are clear. There is an opportunity to leave backlighting constantly switched on, and then the phone will suffice per day of work, for the night it is necessary to charge it. Besides all, you can adjust contrast of the display (10 divisions). There is an opportunity to setup three types of fonts: standard, big or small - I have more as desirable standard. And, at last, last decision concerned with cecutiency of the display in standby mode is a clock. In standby mode on the black background moves light digital clock, due to contrast they are rather good visible and rather pleasant on kind. On direct solar light the image on the display is visible, but, naturally, not so good, nevertheless the work with phone does not present just a few problems. Backlighting of the screen is fulfilled with the help of the LEDs located sideways.

As has shown present testing, in a sunny day the information on the screen is badly read. The similar divergence in estimations speaks that previous model (Т68) was tested in November when the sun shined not so brightly.

On the left lateral surface the key of volume adjustment is located. In standby mode it's possible to find out the date with its help, and also approximate operating time of the lithium-polymer battery in capacity of 700 MAh. According to the manufacturer the device works up to 300 hours in standby mode up to 11 hours in talking mode from one charge. In conditions of Moscow networks the phone operated about 5 day (at 15 minutes of talks per day, use of alarm clock, reminders and games). The received result completely coincides with those for Т68. At 2 hours of talks per day phone works about one day and a half. Time of the full battery charge takes about 2-2.5 hours.

On the right lateral surface is IR-port window, in the bottom end face - the system connector, standard for Ericsson phones (the majority of firm accessories approaches to this model).


To get in the main menu, it is enough to press on joystick or bend it in horizontal plane. The main menu represents a set from 9 icons, opening access to the list of items and subitems, each of which is numbered, that allows to take advantage of shortcut number navigation and to quickly call an interesting item. Further I'll examine only modified functions, to description of the others I send you to Т68 review - there all is told enough detailed.

The first, that is evident - changed icons of main menu. There are still 9 of them, but the list of functions disappearing behind them has extended, as well as opportunities of the device. We'll start under the order, in particular with phonebook.

Phonebook. Externally here all remained the same. The voice dialing has the same lack: phone saves two identical labels for various numbers. The new voice command Repeat has appeared, allowing to send a call with the help of voice dialog - very conveniently in a car. The built-in speakerphone function both was not, and is not present, and it is a pity - it would be nice.

The opportunity of fields' indication for input of the information has been added. Now some fields, in particular Name, Office, Home, Mobile are adjusted by default. All other fields (Fax, Another, E-mail, Name, Company) are latent; to enable them, it is necessary to check them in Properties; settings are simple and accessible. In Т68 10 fields (one of them was named Surname) were available. It is curious, that in T68i's menu, which is responsible for sorting phonebook, it is possible to choose such fields, as Name or Surname. Moreover, in all items providing data synchronization with other devices (handheld computer, phone), the field Surname is also present. When synchronizing the data with PC the information from field Name is substituted in corresponding field, and item Surname remains empty.


From innovations it is necessary to note an opportunity of picture correlation from device memory with names in phonebook. Seemingly, naughtiness, but the interface becomes more various, and phone is not so quickly bored. By the way, for management of contacts with pictures the corresponding item has appeared.

At chosen Russian language of menu fast search of contacts is carried out only in English, it is lack of the phone's software. Though, having bended joystick to the right and keeping it for pair of seconds it is possible to call a window of search where it is possible to type in Russian, here problems are not present.

Sound recorder. This function has undergone appreciable changes for the better. Now the user has an opportunity to record both his voice, and voice of the interlocutor, general time of the record has increased. Formally it makes up to 1879 seconds, but free from them there are only 1049 seconds, or nearly so, 18 minutes - perhaps, it is a record (we don't take Siemens Sl45 into account: there the memory card is used). To activate dictaphone during talking it became much more convenient - it's enough to choose corresponding item in the context menu where it, by the way, appears the first. During the record the keyboard is locked, so if you need to confirm this or that choice (for example, to answer the invitation of system), the dictophone should be switched off.


Messages. In this menu the new item has appeared - Multimedia messages, or simple MMS. I shall remind that to send and accept MMS-messages it is possible only with support of the operator. For example, having placed in body of the MMS-message text, picture and animation, the user can sound the message by using one or several melodies. Having studied by example of the structure of 5 MMS-messages installed in the phone, further you can create them by yourself. All is very simple and intuitively clear, opportunities for creativity are practically are boundless, but there are stipulated some templates. Data input is made on separate pages, on each of which it is possible to place both text, and image, and melody, having specified thus, with what delay this or that element should be displayed. In general it needs to be tried.






Specially for MMS in phone have brought 55 static pictures, and also 17 new small melodies, accessible in Entertainment menu, and also practically everywhere where they can be applied. The device is distinguished with big transparency: so, if the picture corresponds with a name in phonebook so you can call it, when editing number. Same this picture are available when typing messages and can be used as wall-paper. The same with melodies: they are not only attached to MMS-messages, but also appoint as ring tones. By the way, melodies can be typed directly in the built-in editor or sent from PC.

Fun&Games. In this menu pictures, melodies (not everything, but only 17 intended for messages), adjustments of melody editor, dictophone and graphic editor are kept. Last, by the way, is rather simple - to receive a high-quality picture will be impossible in it. Memory in T68i will be allocated dynamically, therefore to save a lot of pictures, without removing a part of old or standard, is impossible.


Games are hidden in this the menu too. Not only their amount has changed, but also names. Now there are 8 games in the phone: Arimona, Contrary, Erix, Four piles, Naval Fleet, North territory, Q and Yukon Struggle (more than half of them are patiences). In my opinion, games became much more interesting - to take for example classical Naval Fleet, in which in school days have played, I think, everybody. Active games, except for traditional Erix, are not present.

The last what it is necessary to mention, is Themes item. In Т68 themes were named variants of menu color schemes - in T68i this idea is treated more widely: besides color of interface windows, graphical themes, sounds, wallpaper in standby mode changes. Very good innovation - the phone can be adjusted according to the mood, that potentially increases life period of the device.

Органайзер. Externally all functions of organizer have remained the same: installations, memory size. Changes have touched first of all synchronization facilities: the updated version supports to the full SyncML, which allows synchronizing phonebook, and also the data of organizer with other devices. These functions should be considered as the first signs, soon similar opportunities become standard for the majority of business devices. To receive contacts from other handheld computers it is possible without effort, but entries from the organizer, the phone for some reason does not accept. Thus on handheld computer there is message with mistake during data transfer. There is an opportunity of synchronization both through IR-port and using Bluetooth, besides SyncML allows to receive remote (for example, through wap) access to a database with subsequent synchronization. To check up the last function it was not possible because of necessary of the base.



It is necessary to note, that synchronization process aggravates phone's susceptibility to language, more exact to the encoding. To receive the contact information in Russian it was possible only from phones, and from Palm, alas, no. Certainly, today this function is not claimed yet, but in one year it will become popular, and, I think, in the following model all these moments will be worked more carefully.


It is really very successful model. Problems with sensitivity are not present, sound in dynamic is good, loudness of ring is sufficient, vibration alert is average. There are no frank minuses in the phone. It is possible to name defects some cecutiency of the display at bright solar light, and also absence of alternative colors of the case. Small problems with data synchronization should not be considered as a lack: it is a new function added already besides the fact that was.

In comparison with the predecessor the phone became more debugged (in fact Т68 was licked device without serious lacks!). In new model the software became, in my opinion, better: moving through the menu occurs faster (though not instantly), time of meditations at choice of this or that item was reduced.

If you are face to a choice between simple T68m and T68i, I can unequivocally recommend to purchase the last one. It's worth to pay attention to this model in case if you search for expensive fashion phone: T68i differs not only the price, but also remarkable functionality to which many business devices (in comparison with this model Nokia 6310i, for example, looks enough faintly) can envy. So if you are a business user and T68i's appearance doesn't sicken you, this phone can become the optimum choice for you. As additional argument in favour of purchase decision of T68i that fact can serve, that the cost of this model changes in limits from 450 up to 500 dollars while T68m was on sale on the average for 50-100 dollars more expensively. In future T68i will considerably fall in price – in summer 2003 the price is expected to be 180-190 USD.

SAR value for this device makes 0.38 В/kg (10 gramme) or 0.54 В/kg (1 gramme).

Eldar Murtazin (eldar@mobile-review.com)
Translated by Andreas Von Horn (andreas@mobile-review.com)

Published — 29 September 2002

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



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