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Review SonyEricsson Z600
Organizer. There are several functions in the organizer, first one is a calendar. It has three view types: weekly view, monthly view and a view for today. In the latter case you can see a list of all memos, in first two cases only a time (weekly view) of events or date (monthly view) are indicated. One can quickly go to desired date (year, month, day). The calendar, as well as the schedule can be filled traditionally. For example, you can select one of the six events type, indicate the place, duration and set a reminder (either beforehand or in time). Unfortunately, in my sample, I couldn’t find such feature as recurrent events. Only another time/date can be set for some of the events in editing menu. A peculiarity of the phone is that profile is automatically changed when the event takes place, then it is changed back after the event. It is similar to Time Profile in the Nokia’s handsets.
The phone has a scant to-do list, only two events types, ringer and reminder in particular. On the other hand, simplicity also has advantages.
A full search organized for calendar is realized in the phone. You can input a word or its part and all events, which match it are displayed on the screen. The feature works quick and correctly even if you have more than 100 records. You can quickly go to any event from the final list of search results.
You can send a schedule to the other devices (through IrDA and bluetooth) from the mobile phone. Select an interval (day, week or month) and send all notes. A device, which receives your data should have PIM-function to read all data and display them. For example, you can send your schedule to TV via IrDa but it can’t display it. In the same way you could receive data from home or office PCs without special software for synchronization. This feature gives user a freedom, now you don’t need to select computers and waste time to change settings in the synchronization programs. In the near future almost all PIM will enable to send data.
Notes. One can write short text notes in the phone. A first word from the note is displayed in the total lost. It’s not very convenient. Because you should begin your note with a special (main) word to remember the text after period of time.
Alarm-clocks. There are both once and recurrent alarm-clocks in the phone. The latter one can alert in special days of the week. Both alarm-clocks operate when the phone is switched off.
Besides the phone has a standard countdown timer and stopwatch, which can keep intermediate results. The phone has codes reminder and more convenient calculator.
Connectivity. One can set all communication capabilities of the phone, for example WAP, GPRS, bluetooth and synchronization. We are not going tell about standard possibilities. All features operate correctly.
WAP. Browser has a special menu item. Z600 has wap-browser in 2.0 version. It supports secure connections, what is very important for electronic transactions. It is possible to download new wallpapers, themes, melodies to the phone. A good set is available on the original site of the manufacturer. You can easily fill in the memory during 1-2 hours. Animated GIF files are not showed by the browser, it’s a shortcoming of the phone.
Entertainment. There are two menu items in this submenu: games and applications. The phone has several pre-installed games: AlienScum, HoneyCave2, Minigolf, Vrally2.
The phone supports Mophun. So, there are no problems with downloading new games. Today a list of available games is really impressive, it includes more than 600 titles.
Java is hidden in the menu item Applications. It’s not known which applications will be included in commercial phone. We could test only few ones. Generally speaking, we have only positive impressions after using Java on this phone. Applications of average size are loaded slower than in phones from Nokia, but much quicker than in phones from Siemens. Probably it depends on the integrated processor power. We couldn’t study Java in details, because we didn’t have applications, which are suitable for this model. Those 6 pre-default programs were rather simple, they couldn’t reveal the problems even if they were. It’s better to test Java, loading large applications, which have many graphics, for example on the game Prince of Persia.
Settings. All settings, connected with the phone and displays, are located in this menu. They are typical to other models and we won’t talk about them.
Camera. We’ve already said that camera is just a feature of entertainment in the phone. It can’t be comparable with usual digital cameras. The aim of the phone’s camera is to display a picture in decent quality on the small screen of the phone. From this point of view, Z600 has a good camera and pictures taken by it are rather nice. Images can be taken in two resolutions (288õ352, 120õ160); night mode is also available, in this case matrix has better photosensitivity, but more artifacts appear.
A phone display serves as a viewfinder. It’s very comfortable in artificial lighting conditions, but in sunny day you’ll have to take pictures at random as the information is not visible. A flash, which is connected to a system connector, is available as accessory. It was done to take pictures in the dark. In my opinion it’s just a toy, nothing else.
Reception quality and volume of the voice are of good quality. The phone operates without any problems in the city. Volume of 32-poluphjonic ringtone is very high, it is heard almost everywhere. Sony Ericsson is almost the one European manufacture, which can be compatible with the products of Korean companies by this feature. All ringing tones, which are known since launching of T610, sound really nice. Vibrating alert is not very strong, because of a massive case of the phone.
If you wear the phone in a hostel, do not press loudspeaker, otherwise, the ringtone will be quiet. An ideal place to war the handset is a pocket of the shirt or jacket.
We would like to indicate that the quality of the internal display is one of the best ones today on the market. Let’s add that a thought-out interface of T610 and all other capabilities were remained. So, we get an amazing phone in its class. It will be available in November and cost about 450 USD. Until the end of the year the price for the phone will be removed to 400 USD.
The main rival of this model is Motorola v600, it loses to Z600 because has an external antenna and not so advanced phonebook. On the other hand, it is not so thick, has a pretty front cover with a light indicator and equipped with the camera of better quality. May be it’s a twist of fate but these phones have even equal indexes. People could go to the shop and ask for a 600 phone, and the question of the consulting manager will be the following: handset of which manufacturer do you need.
Samsung E700 is positioned in the same class. It has not so advanced functions: it doesn’t support bluetooth and doesn’t have so many capabilities of synchronization. On the other hands, it attracts by design, wonderful ergonomics, and excellent camera with many effects. It will be a good alternative for those who do not need all features offered by Z600.
Finishing the review of Sony Ericsson Z600, I would like to repeat that it is one of the best phones in its segment. Comparable functionality with T610 is a real advantage because till today it is one of the most advanced phones on the market. It means that Z600 will be very successful, but its sales will be not so large as for T610.
Published 5 September 2003
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