it is a great phone with lots of fetures packed in to this tiny little thing...the display is not the best but hey,it does everything that you would expect from a sonyericsson and more!it is x-tremly reliable....i got mine about 4 years ago and there is nothing wrong with it at all and there was never anything wrong!!! it got alot of games as standard which are good if you are in the underground waiting for a tube....
Upon its release in 2001, the Ericsson T68 was the most advanced mobile phone available in Europe. With its colour screen, Bluetooth, joystick navigation and relatively small size (similar to that of the Nokia 8210), it was quite literally a revolution. There were other phones which matched it size, and naturally phones which had a number of its features, but none of them encompassed the size of the T68 with its amazing feature set. Initially little more than a toy for extremely wealthy businessmen and gadget enthusiasts, these days a T68 can be had for about £25 on Ebay. Many, such as the one I owned for a time last year, have experienced the software upgrade to T68i specification, which adds things like a slightly different menu and the ability to send and receive MMS messages and use a camera attachment.
On a personal level, I prefer the looks of the original T68, which meant that what I had was the most desirable combination. The rubberised back, holding another first for the time, a lithium polymer battery, enables the user to keep a good grip on the phone with one hand, and the styling of the front, with its recessed screen and unique Ericsson speaker grille, is still distinctive and marks the T68 out as a classic. Despite the age of most of the T68s out there these days, the design has merely mellowed over the years, partly due to the small size and high specification, but partly due to the fact that Ericsson, in a final flourish before the merger with Sony in 2002, got the design right first time. The Sony Ericsson corporate look, introduced for the T68i when it was released as the first evidence of the merger, softened the Ericsson individuality, and abolished the rubberised back, both mistakes in my opinion. Fortunately, the T68 battery was still compatible with the T68i, so if a user wanted a rubberised back with the new type of phone, it was still possible. Strangely, the design appears to have come full circle, after deviating for the T610, T630 and K700i models, and now the new K750i owes a lot to the T68, especially its standard black/grey colour scheme. The fact that these phones is a similar size shows how much progress has been made in the last four years in terms of reducing the size of handsets: very little! But were any of the new features which the T68 bought onto the market any good?
The 256 colour screen, although excellent at the time, now looks rather appalling. Many people neglected the fact that Mitsubishi had released their 256 colour screen model, named the Trium Eclipse, at least a month before the T68. At 101x80 pixels, the colour screen on the Ericsson was a pretty standard resolution for the time, and indeed this was shared with many other models which also had attachable cameras, such as the Siemens S55, and Sony Ericssons own T300. Unfortunately, this was all blown away by the arrival of the first mobile phone in Europe with a built-in camera, the bulky and rather ugly Nokia 7650, which had a 176x208 pixel 4096 colour screen. However, this pales into insignificance beside the Eclipses screen. I used to own one of these phones, and the screen is still big by todays standards, at 120x143 pixels (bigger than the screen of a Nokia 6230, for example). Bearing in mind this was released before the T68, the claim that Ericsson was the first manufacturer to have a colour screen on the market seems to stand on shaky ground. Actually, the Siemens SL10, released in 1998, had a colour screen, but there is no sense in bringing that up, as it was a pitiful three colour affair. So if the colour screen was not so good, what else was there?
Bluetooth and infra-red functionality, both of which the T68 contained, were both things which had been done before. However, since Ericsson had initially had the idea to develop to the technology in the first place, some credit can be given to them for it. The first phone ever to have Bluetooth was the R520m, which appears to be about twice the size of the T68, so on that point alone, the T68 was certainly an improvement. The Bluetooth system on the T68 is actually fairly simple to operate, and unlike some later phones, like the Sharp GX30, it is a fully functional data exchange system. I managed both to transfer pictures and use a headset with the T68 with no problems at all, and an interesting feature not carried other to other makes is the flashing blue LED to remind the user that the Bluetooth is activated. This compliments the standard green GSM LED, which tells the user whether or not he or she has a signal, something sorely missing on a lot of todays modern phones (although the dynamic light function on the Siemens CX65 can be set to display when NO signal is being received, for example). There is also infra-red, but this can only be used to transfer contacts, which is a pain. Thus, on the connectivity front, it appears that the T68 still scores very well indeed. Getting one of these for someone who needs an inexpensive and reliable Bluetooth phone to use with a headset whilst driving makes a lot of sense. There are also other functions well implemented on the T68.
Although Alcatel and Panasonic had introduced something similar to the 3x3 icon-based main menu used by the T68, Ericsson were the first to do it in colour. Rather than the half-hearted attempt at making menu design which was seen in their contemporary monochrome models using greyscale, the main menu really does look attractive, and the joystick is still rather good. This was not a new innovation, but five-way navigation does make any similar device much easier to use, and thus it is easy to see why so many other manufacturers have copied this very effective system. Disappointingly, the 3x3 system disappears after the main menu and the traditional lists which have graced so many Ericsson products in the past remain. For some, used to Ericsson, this is fine, as not too much has been changed from the days of models like the old T65, but others, not used to having a handset which does still have a good deal of functions in sometimes unusual places, this may be a problem. This is where more conventional phones like the Siemens S45 and Mitsubishi Trium Eclipse, which have fewer features, but infinitely less complex menus, certainly do win hands down. However, none of these phones remain as widely used as the T68. Motorola may have introduced the very useful tri-band function on their Timeport series, but Ericsson took this technology and implemented it in a phone which was altogether smaller and more user-friendly with the T68. It is here that we come to the reason behind Ericssons strategy with their revolutionary handset: to take the best of the available technology and put it in a handset which was to be attractive, small and light, but also would satisfy the demands of the most dedicated gadget enthusiast. It certainly fulfils this brief, and reveals that Ericsson were more than capable of coming up with market-place winners by themselves before the merger with Sony. But what of the T68s abilities as a phone?
Michael Oryl, editor of www.mobileburn.com, one of the most respected mobile phone review sites on the Internet, explained that the T610 model, the replacement for the T68(i), displayed disappointing reception in comparison to his old T68i. From my own experience, I would even go so far as to say that the even T68, which seemed to drop signal fairly often, was a disappointment in this respect. If this is bad, I cannot imagine what the T610 must be like! Certainly, the Siemens and Sagem models which I have owned over the years on the same network as I used the T68 (Orange), have given consistently better results. The reception is thus fairly average, but it must be said that the call quality of the T68 is very good, as with a lot of earlier Ericsson models. There are also separate keys for adjusting the volume, which are most welcome. Unfortunately, Sony Ericsson did not get round to introducing speakerphones in their handsets until the K700i, but of course there is always the possibility of using a Bluetooth headset if this is a problem. Battery life, by contrast, is incredible. With a phone that must have been 18 months old, I would have expected the battery life to be appalling. This was simply not the case, and the T68 would certainly outlast anything I have at the moment. Text messaging and navigating the menus is not quite as impressive.
The other Ericsson phone I have owned, a T65, was responsible for wiping my sisters entire phonebook because of the confusing menu. The T68 (and all subsequent Sony Ericsson models) also share this problem. With the entries on the SIM card, it is almost impossible to do anything with them, and there is no function for adding individual entries to the SIM card. Instead, the phone must be allowed to copy all the SIM entries onto the phone to use the contacts in anything like a normal fashion, and then in order to get the phone entries onto the SIM card, the phone can only copy all its entries onto the SIM, wiping any numbers that existed on the SIM in the first place. No other manufacturer has phones which behave in this way, making it very impractical to change phones indeed. As I seem to change phones every two to three months (I bought another new one today), this is the major downside of Ericsson ownership from my point of view. Text messaging is another.
The technology of text messaging has certainly matured since the days of the T68. Ericsson appear to have crippled their top-of-the-range handset with a system so slow to use, it is a wonder any serious text messengers did not send their T68s back to the shop within the first week. Nokia certainly had this worked out years ago, but it is only now that Sony Ericsson really appears to have this sorted. At the time, however, putting up with a phone which used to be whole words behind the user whilst writing a text message was an irritation when used on my preferred Multitap method, and would have been unbearable when using the T9 function, which most people do. It did not help that all the text messages on the phone were wiped when a different SIM card was inserted, or that the button layout for text messaging left most of the punctuation and the space bar on the 1 key, but at least there was a character counter of sorts. Part of the reason why using the T68 for text messaging, even with the T68i firmware, was that the phone itself was inherently slow.
I have little idea what processor was used with the T68, but it was certainly not a fast one. The text message inbox took an age to open, and even something basic like opening the phonebook and making a phone call was rather time consuming. The message Please Wait must have been a familiar sight to many of the T68s users. In all fairness, however, the T68 was made at a time when phone processors were very slow, and to create something like the T68 with all its functions and include a processor which did not make the phone have a £500 price tag would have resulted in some compromises. It is just as well that the phone only costs £25 these days in that case! The multi-media functions on the phone do not seem to cause much of a stir these days, but with things like changeable wallpapers, different colour schemes, downloadable (albeit monophonic) ringtones, support for .jpg and .bmp images and a ringtone composer, the T68 was really quite a lot ahead of the contemporary competition. The only problem was that the text message alert could not be changed, although at least it could be accompanied with the vibration alert. An MP3 player and Megapixel camera were pipedreams when this phone was released, so it is amazing that such things did exist at all.
The T68 is an impressive achievement. Packed full of what was ground-breaking technology at the time, the phone can still hold its head high amongst much newer opposition, thanks to superb design, excellent call quality, impressive battery life and useful connectivity functions. What a shame, therefore, that certainly basic things such as text messaging, the phonebook and the quality of the ringtones was not better addressed. Still, this is one of the phones which any self-respecting gadget enthusiast should use at some point in their lives.
I've been using Nokia phones for years and I was persuaded to get this little beauty. Aside from having to grapple with using smaller keys, texting that is completely different to a Nokia... this phone is excellent. It has everything I need. I also have a PDA and I am questioning whether I really need it! A friend had a T28i and that was pathetic. I remember visiting Ireland a few years back and Ericsson were laying off loads of staff. It was easy to see why. There phones were useless and were extremely cumbersome to use. It's amazing what a brand / merger with Sony has done for the mobile phone industry. They probably saved the company and it is for this reason why Nokia got the jitters last year. All Sony need to do is come up with the 'promised' kit they keep banging on about (mainly Bluetooth stuff like the Mp3 player) and this and the NextGen phones will be awesome. Anyway, why do I like this phone? Well for the first time, I hooked up to O2 and use WAP over GPRS. Fantastic! You can also get GPRS in most countries (as long as you can find an O2 supported network). I'm not a big 3G fan. Too expensive! I'll wait until 2005. Bluetooth is also excellent. I played 'Bluetooth' Battleships on the way to France a few weeks back...
I didn't really need a new phone with my Nokia 8210 meeting all my real needs, but being a bit of a tech geek I wanted the latest phone. Anyone looking at this phone should be able to get hold of Technical Specs, so I won't bore you with them now. Bluetooth is the future, no doubt about it and this phone has it so that was really the main selling point to me. I have since purchased a Compaq IPAQ 3870 with bluetooth so that I could connect the two and check my emails on the road so to speak, but I never go them working together. Whether it was the fault of the T68 or IPAQ Software I don't know, all I can say is that the T68 is not easy to setup. I have not even been able to setup WAP ! The Sony Ericsson has quite a bit of stuff on it but is very difficult to navigate. The operation of the phone is pretty straight forward and I particularly find the extra detail you ca store in the address book a real bonus. It has vibrate, but this is not as noticable as my 8210, which made me jump out of my skin sometimes. The toggle button also is good, making navigating the features easy. Texting is much the same as any other phone. Overall this is a good phone, but if choosing again I would go for something else.
I bought my T68 over a year ago. Last month, my contract came up for renewal, and as I usually use this as an opportunity to get the latest phone with the latest features, I bought a Nokia 7650. And sold it unopened. For the simple fact is that, for me, the T68(i) is still the best phone out there. Rather than go through all the features, which everyone has done to death by now, let me add some general opinions. Firstly: support. When SE released the free upgrade from T68 to T68i, this was effectively an obligation, since they'd sold the phone based on MMS functionality, and it needed the upgrade to enable this. However, they also fixed a number of bugs, and added a number of missing features - one glaring example was the inability to save a recently dialed number to your phone book. SE not only fixed this, and added the other -i features, but they also added a number of tweaks to iron out minor annnoyances and make the phone more usable. Secondly, as I said above: usability and intuitiveness. Even recently, I've tried out something new on the phone, and found that the feature was right where I expected it to be, and worked just as I expected it to work. Since the -i upgrade, there's *never* been a situation where I've found something irritating, or frustrating, because of a badly-implemented feature or missing shortcut. It's the little things : like being able to add a simple task reminder to make a phone call to a certain person, at a certain time, in around 15 seconds. Where most phones make navigating a calendar a chore, the T68i makes it a breeze. And when it reminds you, you just hit "yes" to ring them. Or if you're browsing your phone book, and accidentally select the adjacent contact to the one you want, then when you go back to the list, it'll jump back to your last position, rather than back at 'A'. The size is perfect (top shirt pocket size). For c
onnectivity, I can use the IR link to backup the phone and upload/download backgrounds and even voice memos; I can use Bluetooth when I (occasionally) find someone else with a Bluetooth device; I use GPRS constantly for my WAP and Web browsing. And I'm still trying to find someone who I can send MMS's to (when I do, I'll buy the camera). Downsides? The processor is now a little overloaded since the -i upgrade. The menu system is a little slow - and it also takes around half a minute to 'warm up' - probably downloading from Flash RAM to DRAM - during which you shouldn't bother trying to use it. On the plus side, it will buffer all your inputs until it can handle them - I've written a 160chr SMS before it even finished warming up, and then watched it read the stored keypresses into the message perfectly. Also, the MMS editor is only 'reasonable' - you can't insert a page between two others, for example - and the 256 colour screen is inadequate for viewing MMS photos from other phones. It doesn't support Java, which is the new big thing (not much point though : it'll be another few months before games and apps start become popular enough for really useful and fun stuff to come out). And the hi-tech accessories are too expensive: £90 for a communicam, £160 for a bluetooth headset? Fine then, but this is now - and Nokia are about to release theirs for £50 each!
This phone is THE phone to have if you want all the latest features. With GPRS, Bluetooth, Infrared, WAP, 256 colour screen and lots more under the hood; you'd be hard pushed to find a more functional phone on the market. Looks wise it does the job. It's sleek, it's discrete and you'll look the business whilst using this phone. Guaranteed to turn heads, it will soon draw attention. Weighing little over 84g, this phone is comparable in both size and weight the 'average' Nokia 8310. Ease of use is incredible. With changable font size, colour screen and navigation joystick, making your way around the phone couldn't be easier. My only points against the phone have to be it's quite fiddly keypad and the fact that the rather dull screen-saver (the time fortunately) is not a feature you can turn off. However, I wouldn't ever suggest that you choose another phone over this one. With an accessory list as long as my arm, you will also find something new to do with this phone. What a beauty....
I have owned an Ericsson T68 since January 2002, and would thoroughly recommend one. My previous mobile phones down the years have looked obselete and grubby after no more than 2 or 3 months? the T68 however, still manages to impress people. I think this may be due to the relatively small number of them in circulation. It took me weeks to order and finally receive delivery of my shiny handset in January (demand was far outstripping UK supply). Most mobile phone users go for the run of the mill Nokia handsets which I detest! You stop any 15-20 year old and ask them what make of phone they own, 90% will say a Nokia blah blah blah. No, I don?t have anything against Nokia phones, but I myself like to be different and be different in style. When I was considering buying a new phone in January, I browsed primarily on looks. The T68 has style and panache, you mark my words! If I had a penny for every time someone has picked up my T68 from the pub table and admired it with jealousy, I?d be a rich man? well, enough to pay my monthly contract with T-Mobile! This isn?t going to be your usual mobile phone review on dooyoo. I never go in for the techie stats. When I?m looking at purchasing new gadgets, I go for looks, value, reliability and usability. I don?t care whether it had in-built Bluetooth technology, as I think this is pretty useless. Ok, Ok, it is quite clever! For any of you that don?t know much about Bluetooth? neither do I, but I know a little! The T68 has Bluetooth as well as WAP (another piece of useless crud!). Bluetooth allows your handset to talk to your computer without needing to be in direct line of sight like IR (as long as you have a Bluetooth card in your PC! There?s always a catch!). But, who really needs this? Useless for the everyday user --- I?ve never used it, and very rarely use the WAP facility on the T68 as well. I only tend to use WAP if I?m out and about and want to know the latest sporting scores and results--- What you reall
y want to know about the super little T68, is; how reliable is it? Is it good looking? How user friendly is it? What about the battery life? Well my dooyoo chums, every question I just asked above, can be met with a resoundingly positive response when talking about the T68. -- Reliability -- I have never, repeat never, had a problem with the handset. It has never crashed on me whilst in the midst of a conversation (unlike a couple of different handsets I?ve owned in the past.. no names mentioned here? we?re talking about the T68 now). The key lock works better than a lot of phones, and it has a really sexy little screen saver when not in use! The time is displayed on the screen and this hypnotically moves position every minute! Mmmmmm?. Nice touch. Useless, but sexy! Well, it?s not useless, I suppose it tells the time! -- How good looking? -- At first glance, it looks good. It has a nice two-tone casing. Silver surrounded by metallic grey. The screen is a very nice size, and in colour. Pretty basic colours, but they liven up the display anyhow. Probably the most unique bit about the handset is the small, functional joystick neatly inset between the keypad (oh? did I mention the keys? No? Ahh? they?re rather nice as well. A nice oval shape, also in a metallic colour), and the screen. Considering its size, the joystick is very functional and performs well, allowing you to navigate the functions on the main menu which can be accessed by depressing the joystick (a neat touch). You get the usual options: Phone Book; Messages; Calls; Fun & Games (where the space invaders game gets good treatment by using the joystick); Settings; WAP Services; Organizer; Connect; My Shortcuts. -- Battery Life -- This, in my opinion, is the best thing about the T68 handset. The battery life is fantastic. I don?t know the exact stats, but the standby time is immense? a good few hundred hours, meaning you don?t have to take your charger with you on week
ends away. The talk time batter power ?aint shabby either! You?d think it would need a chunky battery for that power, but no, it?s very slim and discrete enhancing the looks of the handset. The T68 is a great little phone, and will do all that the average user needs. The looks, reliability and usability are second to none in my opinion? and it?s very small? good for taking to the footy and putting in your pocket! The cost has gone down a lot since I got one. I don?t know how much it is, but I had to fork out £100 back in January. I?m pretty sure you?ll be able to get it at a fraction (if not free) by now if you look around well. Sony and Ericsson have teamed up to bring out the T68i now, which is the same phone in essence but allows for a clip on camera to be attached and colour images to be sent between like phones. You?ve probably seen the adverts by now? but I have a friend who has one and has had a lot of problems with it? it may get better in the future. But, what?s the use in owning a T68i if no-one else you know can send or receive pictures as well!? Anyhow? the plain (and not so simple) T68, is a great handset, and one which I thoroughly recommend. If you are on the market for a new mobile, give it serious consideration. It?s nice, nice, nice! -- Simon --
~ Overview ~ It was time for me to upgrade my mobile phone as I now had my old nokia for over two years. The phone was still in very good condition, but the final straw was when I was down the pub answering a call and I suddenly noticed that some people on the opposite table were looking at me as if I was a little odd, i guess that it was because my phone looked like a house brick compared to theirs, I hope that was the reason! So as many others I went on the crusade to find the perfect phone, oh boy there are so many to choose from, but after several weeks of looking in shops and browsing the web, I finally opted for the Sony-Ericsson T68i. ~ Ease Of Use ~ After being a user of a Nokia for so many years I originally found it hard to get used to the Ericsson interface, especially when typing text messages and looking for the special characters such as spaces and punctiation, however I have had the phone for 6 weeks now and these functions are now second nature to me. When typing text messages the phone also offers T9 predictive text input which is a feature that I have not seen before and I do not like this feature at all although I am sure that many of you will disagree with me but too my liking this can be turned off in the settings. ~ Look & Feel ~ This phone is amazingly not far short of half the size of my old mobile and I must say that I have not had too many odd looks at the pub lately, so it has got to be a good thing. Its actual dimensions are 100 x 48 x 20mm. The handset itself is rather sleek and is nicely curved and comfortable to hold in your hand, unfortunately the handset only comes in one style of arctic blue but it is a nice colour. The phone has a 256 colour display, dimensions are 34 x 28mm and has a resolution of 101 x 80 pixels and it does look really sharp. As an optional extra you can purchase the CommuniCam which is like a basic digital camera that c
lips onto the bottom of the phone - this is typically used for MMS (Multimedia Message Service) which i will explain later in the "Features" section. I did not opt to have this add-on because not many people use MMS yet but I am sure that it will catch on! ~ Durability & Robustness ~ The phone appears to be very well built and robust but i'm certainly not contemplating on giving it any sort of stress testing as I really do rely heavily upon my mobile phone. The mobile phone has actually crashed once, but to its defense a family member clapped eyes on it and was playing the games on it (wow battle-ships) for about 3 hours solid, however it was a simple case of just switching the off and back on again to resolve the problem. One other thing is that I seem to get poor reception when I am at home, I have not noticed this elsewhere and I even got a good reception when I was in France 3 weeks ago. ~ Battery Life ~ The battery lasts for a maximum 12 hours talk time and 390 hours standby and charges fully in around 2 hours. If battery life lasts somewhat in the region of 3 times more than my old nokia and it is a slimline battery too! ~ Range of Features ~ The T68i has an extensive range of features and I won't list go into too much detail here but I do recommend that you visit sonyericsson.com and look at their interactive Macromedia Flash presentation on the T68i. On the main screen there are 9 coloured icons:- phone book, messages, calls, fun & games, settings, wap services, orgainzer, connect and shortcuts all accessible through the use of a little joystick which is a brilliant idea in my opinion. The phone book is a comprehensive contact database allowing you to manage their details effectively and even add pictures of them and a voice command to dial their number. The messages function allow you to send SMS (Short Message Service) messages, and
a new function to mobile phones which is MMS (Multimedia Message Service) which allows you send a mini presentation to compatible handsets which consist of pictures, sound and text. You are also able to send e-mail and have a chat session! The calls, settings and WAP functions are typical of most modern mobile phones so I wont describe them here. The organizer provides features such as calendar, notes, alarms, timer, stop-watch, calculator and memo's. The shortcuts are simlpy just shortcuts that you can set-up for quick access to the functions that you use most frequently. The fun & games consist of items like drawing pictures with the joystick which brought back a few memories as it is just like etch-a-sketch! You can also compose your own ring tones and play games of course. There are 8 games to play, i will not go into each of them so I will list them instead:- * Arimona * Contrary * Erix (My Favourite) * Four Piles * Naval Fleet * North Territory * Q * Yukon Struggle What, no worm ... well you can't have it all now, can you? The connect section allows you to connect to a laptop or PDA to exchange information, this is achieved by using either Infrared or Bluetooth. Bluetooth is a new wireless technology that alllows communication using RF (Radio Frequencies). ~ Value for Money ~ I bought this phone from ukphoneshop.com for £144 as a contract phone, they have "just talk" tarrifs but the handset will cost you £300+. They have a range of tarrifs to choose from aswell. I believe the price of this phone to be quite well justified for the features and functions that it offers. Remember to take a look at the interactive web at sonyericsson.com and play with the functions before you decide to buy. Recommend buy 10/10 Thanks for you read ... Wolfie
In my opinion,id say that the ericsson t68 is by far the best phone in the market.i mean for starters it has all the features that youd really want like gprs,wap,a melody composer,256 colour screen,good battery life and standby time,tri- band,changeable backgrounds,infrared,predictable text input and more.Its also 84 grams which is pretty good and its quite small too.Ive had this phone since november and its has been vey reliable and good to use.I had a nokia 8310 but in comparison to the t68,well the t68 in my opinion is far superior.One of the only downsides to the phone is that its a bit slow to send text messages but its not that much of a problem after a while.When this phone was first released it was around £180-£200 on contract but it has come down a lot in price now.I would certainly recommend this phone to anyone buying a mobile phone.
it's not as good a buy as u may think it is. the quoted standby time is something like 300 hours which should give you over a week's of standby time. however, they really mean 'standby' time. if u're intending to use it to make calls, play games, etc etc... the usage time of each battery per charge drops to approx 2 days or less. another downside to this phone - from my experience - is that the signal strength is very bad compared to nokias. this is my first, and my last ericsson. i've returned it and am now using the nokia 8310 where i find the battery life and signal strength are much better. what i had to forego was the snazzy colour screen. no comments on usage features, as these are very subjective.
The T68/T68i is a phone that has generated a lot of interest, though mostly due to its use of a color screen. Bare in mind however that this is not the first phone on the market to have such a feature, but it is the first GSM phone to include it. Since the ?big thing? with the T68 is its color screen, we?ll begin the review with that. Color displays are still a rarity on cell phones, though I strongly suspect we?ll be seeing a lot more them in the future. The screen on the T68 only supports 256 colors, and it doesn?t produce the kind of brilliant colors we?re used to on laptop computers and flat panel monitors. However, the colors look a lot less washed out than they do any various color PDAs on the market right now. The clarity of the display is exceptional however, and it provides very legible text, even at the smallest font setting. In fact, the overall contrast provided by black lettering on a white background seems to be markedly better than on many top-quality traditional displays of similar size. The phone offers 3 font sizes, all of which are generally quite nice. For use in the car, where being able to see information quickly is important, the large font is great. For non-driving situations, the smallest font is very handsome and readable. I can?t think of any use for the medium sized font off the top of my head, but at least you have the option. The only issue I have with the display is that it can?t really be seen properly without its backlight, unlike traditional monotone displays that can use reflected ambient light to their advantage. In bright sunlight, the display is a little washed out, but certainly not impossible to read. I found the screen readable in most situations. Ericsson makes good use of this display too, and provides you with plenty of colorful icons and a selectable wallpaper to display in the background at the idle screen. You can choose from a number of pre-created pictures, or you can use c
omputer software to create and upload your own. However, with only 256 colors available, don?t expect it to do a really great job on photographs. The bottom line is that the display is perhaps the phone?s single best feature. It?s certainly among the best screens I?ve ever had the pleasure of using. I can only hope that we?ll see screens like this on many other phones over the coming years. The T68 is certainly a small unit that easily rivals the Nokia 8290 and 8890 in both size and weight. In fact, the phone has a decidedly Nokia-like look to it, which is a departure from Ericsson?s boxy trademark appearance. While looks are a very personal thing, I believe it is perhaps the best looking Ericsson phone I?ve seen to date. It gets away from that odd flat back concept that we see on the T28, T39, and R520. The battery has a more traditional look to it, and the entire back of the phone is made out of this rubbery material. This makes the phone easier to hold on to, and it doesn?t slip off of things as easily as most other phones. It seems to be a very good concept. For most navigation tasks, the T68 includes a joystick, which along with up, down, left, and right motions, also allows you to select by pressing it down. Howard Chui complained that he had trouble getting the select feature to work reliably, as any slight movement away from dead center would activate a motion request. I had very little trouble with this aspect of the phone, which might have been because my joystick worked better than his, or that I was just more adept at using it. Regardless, I give the joystick a resounding thumbs-up. I wasn?t particularly thrilled with the keypad. Because this is a tiny phone, it has a tiny keypad. I am personally used to pressing buttons using the ?ball? of my thumb, but I have a relatively large thumb that covers too much area. I had an enormous problem with the ?2? key, which I later found was the result of a badly designed
?frame? around the joystick. If I put pressure on the bottom of the frame immediately below the joystick, the stick would be pulled downward, and it would activate the down key press. This would always take precedence over the ?2? key. I eventually learned to use the keypad by pressing the keys with the side of thumb?s nail. This avoided the problem of pressing other keys or the frame around the joystick, but it took away from overall feeling of being in control of the experience. This may or may not be a problem for you, depending upon how you are used to treating a phone keypad. And I should note that the problem is not unique to the T68, but exists on many of today?s extra-small phones. I wasn?t too thrilled with the Yes and No buttons either. They were chrome-covered plastic, which has a dubious reputation for wearing out easily. The keys were also oddly shaped, and they didn?t press as well as the other keys on the phone. Fortunately, you can do most of your navigation and calling functions using only the joystick, which as I noted earlier is a joy to use. The keys include an auto lock feature that locks the keys after a certain period of inactivity. While I don?t personally feel that this is of much value, some people I spoke with thought it was a great idea. You can be the judge of that. The volume control is perhaps the worst physical feature of the phone. I?ve said this before about the same volume control found on the T28 and the T39. It provides zero feedback, and half the time it doesn?t seem to do what its supposed to, assuming you can even actuate it anyway. Ericsson seriously needs to re-evaluate this volume control design. The ringer was reasonably loud, but the vibrator alert was extremely weak. Even with the phone sitting in my shirt pocket (and thus pressing against my chest), I could still barely feel it. However, weak vibrators seem to be the norm these days, especially on small phones. Missi
ng from the phone is a 2.5mm headset jack. Ericsson seems to have ignored this concept, and instead forces you use either proprietary headset designs, or to purchase an adapter. The problem with the adapter approach is that it is unnecessarily bulky, especially on such a tiny phone. The phone was reasonably comfortable against my ear, but I found that prolonged usage became a bit tedious. It hurt my ear, and there were no really comfortable ways to hold the phone. However, this a flaw with all micro-sized phones, so buyers of this class of phone are probably used to this. The menu system on the T68 is generally the same as the one found in the T39 and R520, except for the main menu. Instead of presenting that menu as a list of options, it displays a series of 9 icons. All other menus are just the ?old fashioned? list-of-words. Menu response speed has been an issue on many Ericsson phones, and while the T68 still isn?t lightning fast, it does appear to be more responsive than earlier models. I would still have preferred the response speed to be a bit faster, as that would make the joystick/navigation experience much more fun. If you keep your speed down a little, the phone seems to work exactly as you expect. The menus are generally well thought out, and secondary menus are reasonably abundant, though more could have been included in more places. For quick navigation to your most often used functions, the T68 includes a ?My Shortcuts? menu where you can store oft-used functions. The first 10 you assign can be accessed using numeric shortcuts, but from the 11th onward, you are forced to manually select them from the menu (which seems to defeat the entire point of having a shortcut in the first place). Setting up these shortcuts is not particularly well designed. Unlike the recent Motorola menu system, where shortcuts are defined by first going to the menu item you want to assign, and then pressing the menu key for a second,
the Ericsson approach requires that you pick your shortcuts for a long list of function descriptions. If you don?t know what Ericsson calls the function you want, you?ll waste a lot of time searching through the list for it. Once assigned though, the feature works just as well as other designs (though only for the first 10 assignments, as noted above). You can also make extensive use of the phone?s voice command feature, in which your shortcuts can be accessed without touching the keypad at all. This is accomplished by speaking a ?magic word? that gets the phone?s attention, and they by making your request. When it comes to connectivity, the T68 is among the best there is. Like its T39 and R520 stable mates, the T68 includes infrared, Bluetooth, and wired options. For those who aren?t familiar with Bluetooth, this is a relatively new wireless technology for connecting devices together in a local network. It allows the T68 to connect with a whole host of devices, including your laptop or PDA without the need of wires, or for having the phone pointing at the device (as would be necessary with infrared). It provides multiple data options, including GPRS, and the standard circuit switched data. You can create Data Accounts, which are essentially like connectoids in Windows. They specify the type of data connection, as well as various logon requirements. You can choose any of your Data Accounts for various data functions. Besides using the T68 as a wireless modem, the phone also includes the ability to work directly with POP3 and SMTP servers. This feature is also available on the T39. I wasn?t able to test it however, since I don?t have the necessary account options on my Fido number. SMS handling is okay, but it suffers from the same limitations as other Ericsson models. The most obvious is a lack of message summary information. Only their reception date and sender appear in the list of SMS messages. If all of your messages
tend to come from the same place (such as Me43), then there really isn?t an easy way of telling one message from another without reading them first. Other phones offer the ability to see first 10 to 16 characters of the SMS, which is usually all you need to identify what?s in it. However, the high readability of the smaller font on the color display makes this one of the best phones for actually reading text messages on. Despite that, I wouldn?t buy this phone specifically for SMS, as there are many more phones on the market that deal with SMS much better than this. To its credit however, the T68 does support EMS (Enhanced Message Service), which allows you to embed small graphic images and melodies into a message. When other people with EMS receive these messages, they see the graphics and they hear the melodies (along with the text). The T68 includes a crude graphics editor so that you can create your own imagines without the aid of a computer. It?s great fun, but I doubt most people will use it much after the novelty wears off. As with almost all other Ericsson phones, the T68 included a wide assortment of ringers and built-in melodies. You can compose up to 10 user-define melodies using the built-in melody editor, though it is pretty much to be expected on an Ericsson phone. Battery life is, as always with Ericsson, simply exceptional. More than any other GSM manufacturer, Ericsson seems to have discovered the secret of eternal battery power. Like the Energizer Bunny, the T68 just keeps going and going. I would have thought that the backlight necessary for the color display would be a killer, but apparently it isn?t. Ericsson has now jumped onto the Profiles bandwagon, and they?ve done a terrific job of it. Each profile in the phone selects not only the ringtones and volumes of various features, it also selects the font size, backlighting option, who?s allowed to call you, and call forwarding. The latter means that y
ou can set up a profile to automatically forward or unforward the phone. The T68 also includes a really terrific Organizer feature, which seems to be well ahead of most of the competition. In its Calendar feature, it allows for all sorts of reminders to be stored, and each type is assigned its own colorful icon. The various monthly, weekly, and daily ?views? are among the best I?ve seen, especially in color. Other organizer features include alarms, a timer, a stopwatch (accurate to 1/10th of a second), and a calculator. The alarm clock feature even works while the phone is turned off (just like Nokia). Games are also abundant. There are 6 major game categories, and under Solitaire, there are 4 different games to choose from (though oddly not the traditional solitaire game we know so well from Windows). Color is a real boon to the appeal of the games, and most are reasonably well devised. They all make good use of the joystick. Audio quality on the T68 is quite good, but far from excellent. Tonal balance is a little on the tinny side, especially at higher volumes, but overall it sounds much better than many of the phones on the market today. It lacks any low-end that gives other phones their natural sound. Earpiece volume is excellent though, with plenty of overhead for softer-spoken callers, or noisy environments. The worst aspect of the audio is an abundance of background noise. It?s hard to describe it, though Howard Chui chooses to refer to it as hiss. That?s a bit simplistic, but perhaps as close as we?re going to get. While this hiss is not particularly noticeable in noisy environments such as the local mall or in your car, it is very annoying in quiet environments. It conspires to ruin what is otherwise above-average audio. Outgoing audio is reasonably nice too, with a leaning once again to the tinny side of things. The phone retains Ericsson?s legendary ability to blot out background noise while leaving very clear
voice quality. This is especially useful when you are talking to people from very noisy environments. RF performance is not bad considering that the phone doesn?t have a protruding antenna, but it isn?t quite the match for phones such as the Motorola P280. Having said that, it?s better than the performance of T39 or R520. Indoor testing revealed that the T68 could hold on to calls quite well in weak signal conditions, but it wasn?t anywhere near as good as the P280 at keeping those calls clean. Bit errors began to mar the audio much sooner than the P280 did. The phone also lost the signal earlier than the P280, but overall it held its own against most of the GSM phones I?ve tested. Tests of the phone?s ability to retain the network and complete calls while sitting in my shirt pocket revealed that the phone was virtually impervious to interference by close proximity to a body. So long as you put the phone in your pocket with its front facing inward that is. If you put it the other way, you would interfere with the internal antenna. This is excellent news for a phone that begs to be placed in a shirt pocket due to its small size. However, like the Nokia 3390 (and other phones with internal antennas) you have to very careful where you put your fingers during a call. You naturally want to put your index finger immediately opposite the earpiece to apply pressure to the phone (thus giving you a good ?seal? against your ear). Unfortunately, this is the worst place you can put your finger on the T68. In low signal conditions, your finger can mean the difference between a perfectly good connection and no connection at all. Network recovery after loosing service is relatively slow on this phone. Even after only a minute of so without a signal, or when displaying ?SOS Calls Only?, the phone can take anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes to finally recover service. This can seem like an eternity, especially compared to Motorola phones that ca
n recover service within seconds if set to ?continuous network scan? mode. Here is how I rate the T68 for various classes of users: * Heavy Duty Phone Users Because of its only ?average? RF performance and audio quality, and possible discomfort over prolonged usage, users who intend to use the phone mostly for making phone calls would be well advised to consider other offerings, particularly the Motorola P280. That isn?t to say that the T68 is a bad choice for this group, only that they can do so much better elsewhere for the things that matter to them the most. If other factors also apply, then the T68 has the potential of being at top of many lists. * Data Users For this group, the T68 is a dream-come-true. It supports all of the data connection standards presently available in GSM, it has all the cool ways to connect the phone to your devices (including Bluetooth), and it?s tiny to boot. While some may argue that the T39 offers all the same data functionality for less, the T68 is a clearly superior phone to the T39 in many ways. Since data users probably spend an inordinately high amount for service, they won?t mind the price of this model. * Gadget Nuts For the color display alone, the T68 should be high on any Gadget Nut?s list. Add to that all of the other features of the phone, including plenty of games, and you have a device that will keep this group amused for ages (at least until the next big thing comes along). * Fashion Conscious Tiny candy bar phones are all the rage, as Nokia has amply proven. Ericsson jumps into this ring with a reasonably good offering. I don?t honestly know what drives people to buy phones as a fashion statement, but the T68 seems to fit the bill. * Heavy SMS Users Despite its other great features, the SMS capabilities of the T68 are still quite primitive compared to phones such as the Nokia 7190. For people who put a strong stake in S
MS, they can do so much better elsewhere. Although EMS is a cool feature at first, I believe that it is primarily a novelty feature that won?t really go very far in day-to-day usage. * General Public The price alone will probably scare most people away from this phone. A color display may be nice, but it just isn?t worth it to people who consider their phone to be nothing more than an appliance. However, I rather doubt that anyone actually reads reviews for expensive phones anyway.
The new sony ericsson T68i is the updated replacement for the T68 and is not yet featured on Dooyoo (at time of writing) essentially this phone has had cosmetic and software updates and has ironed out the flaws or the Ericsson original. The hallmarks of an excellent phone are all there, it has bluetooth wirefree communication, infrared and cable connectivity, which means you can connect to another phone, a PC or pocket PC (PDA) without fuss from any of 3 methods. SOny have added SyncML to the phone which allows the user to download contacts information from their PC (from Microsoft Outlook or similar PIM) directly to the phone and it all be neatly stored under one entry. This eliminates a lot of the hassle of juggling to different sets of contacts on a PC (or PDA) and a phone and constantly having to manually update both (or all 3!!) and even for non data users who have a PC you might find it useful being able to edit your phone contacts using your large PC screen and keyboard. You can store: Home, office, mobile, fax numbers and email address all under one phonebook entry. To do above you need for your computer any one of... a) Bluetooth adapter. from £120 ish b) Infrared Modem. from £25 c) Ericsson Serial Cable. from £30 d) Fone Data Suite USB Cable. from £30 at Carphone Warehouse All software required is supplied What is bluetooth then? Bluetooth is a universal technology which allows two or more devices to connect and "talk" to each other without the traditional need for cables (too bulky) or infrared -line of sight (can be difficult keeping line of sight) Example of bluetooth in action. 1) your mobile phone handsfree set has no wires and can answer and receive your calls with the actual handset up to 10 metres away. 2) Your car handsfree kit automatically detects your phones proximity when you are in the car, when it rings, the car kit rings, you answer and hang up using
voice commands (or the handset if you prefer) but the handset never has to leave your pocket and is never physically connected to the car in anyway. 3) You can synchronise your contacts/calendar with your PC wirefree 4) you can use your laptop to surf the internet/send email while the phone stays tucked away in your briefcase/pocket But I don't do any of the above so whats in it for me? 1) Desktop Themes (same as on a PC) 2) Colour screen 3) You can assign pictures (images) to wallpaper and to contacts in the phonebook (the picture is displayed when contact calls you) -see camera 4) Profiles- customise rings and alerts for different environments 5) MMS. The next generation of SMS shortly available on UK networks or now on T mobile. -send and receive Multimediamessages, include pictures (in colour) and sounds with your text. 6) Email -proper internet (POP3 or IMAP4) email on ur phone 7) Take photographs (yep photographs) with the optional Communicam (about £129) and email/MMS them/assign your friends pictures to their names in the phonebook so you can see them when they call. Above all this phone is intuitive to use, has a great navigation, all the basic functions mobile phone users have come to expect are there and MORE. Nokia users will bleat on about Ericsson not being easy to use. Give it 3 days and you'll know it inside out. just think how long it took you to know your first nokia instantly (about 3-4 days) it's not that the T68i (or other phones for that matter) are hard to use, its just that it's different!!! It's like when you get a new car, it takes you a while to find out what all the buttons do okay? I've had a lot of phones, Nokia 3110, 6110, 8210, 8310 Samsung A300, SamsungT100 and none of them are a patch on this, trust me. The only phone that comes close is my beloved Siemens SL45 (see last years review) which sadly lacks bluetooth. I could list the fe
atures for ever if you wanna know more check out... http://www.sonyericsson.com/uk Oh and good news if you own an original T68 and are peeved about the features you don't have.. you can get the software updated at any Carphone Warehouse or Ericsson Service Centre
Ericsson T68/T68i is a miniature marvel. I put T68/T68i because there is only a software difference between the phones (The T68 being upgradable to the T68i). The amount of features in this small handset is unbelievable. I'll give you the lowdown on each one below: Size/Design: The phone is absolutely tiny and extremely light! No longer than 4 2p pieces laid flat side by side! The design is fairly intuitive if a little fiddly at times. The appearance of this phone is very good and the overall build quality is acceptable. Colour Screen: The no. 1 selling point of this phone. The screen is very vibrant and bright - but still visible during daylight (unlike many older laptop STN screens). The display can show 256 colours simultaneously (comparable to old PC's!) and generally makes the phone nicer to use. Joystick Control: Excellent for navigation and playing games, the joystick makes the phone very easy to use - and the large icons on the aforementioned colour screen mean even the worst technophobes should be ok. Connectivity: Usually, if you're looking at this sector of the mobile phone market you do not just want 'a phone'. This is where the T68 really starts to excel. The phone has an IrDA connection so it can wirelessly communciate with other devices (upto 1m with direct line of sight). It also features the new Bluetooth wireless radio technology. This is similar to IrDA in terms of functionality however the phone can connect to other Bluetooth devices upto 10m away without direct line of sight (as it uses radio waves) even through walls! Both IrDA and Bluetooth can be used to connect a laptop/pda to the phone for internet access/synchronisation however Bluetooth opens up a whole new world for wireless handsfree kits etc. Phone Software: The synchronisation software that can be downloaded from the SonyEricsson website is very easy to install and can be used for synchronising the phone's c
alender with outlook, sending images/ringtones to the phone and is a prerequisite to use the phone to access the internet via a computer/pda. WAP/GPRS: This phone supports the new high speed service GPRS. This is a new form of internet access on GSM Mobile networks that only charges for data sent/recieved (as opposed to time spent online even if idle) and is also upto 5 times faster! GPRS can be utilised either via the phone's built in WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) browser to view WAP pages on the phone OR can be used to allow high speed internet acces for PDA's/Laptops (through either IrDA or Bluetooth mentioned earlier). Battery Life: I have found the battery life of the phone to be very good, needs charging every three to four days. I tend to send on average 10 sms/day and 1 or 2 5 min phonecalls (max!). Messaging: Once the phone's software (aka firmware) is upgraded to turn the phone into the T68i (the hardware is identical apart from the outside case according to Ericsson) the phone allows MMS (Multi Media) messages. This allows the user to send/recieve pictures, animations and audio clips. If the additonal camera is purchased the phone can be used as a digital camera and then can send the pictures. Beware, the only network offering MMS use at the moment in the UK is T-Mobile and it is VERY expensive. IMHO not worth the money involved. That covers all the GOOD points about the phone. Now I'll start on the bad points (and why I've changed mine for a Nokia 8310). Firmware Updates: Since launch the phone firmware has been re-released 5 times! The 4th time was the update that added MMS/turned T68 to T68i and the 5th another update for the T68i!! Will they never get it right? I've just had mine upgraded from the very first version to the T68i R2E release (latest - 5th). Apparently many of the very early firmware releases had microphone sensitivity problems too. Screen: While that sc
reen is very nice the outer plastic is made of a very very easy to scratch material. This makes it look nasty! Believe it or not a small application of Brasso (liquid) then wiping with a cloth removes 'em though if they're not too deep. Also, the screen is VERY prone to getting dust particles trapped underneath (never seen one that hasn't). If you open the phone to clean the dust off (with an air duster or suchlike) you can kiss goodbye to your warranty. Although there is no way to tell. It'd be frustrating to take it to an SE service centre all the time to get them to clean the dust out though! Reception: Side by side with my 8310 this phone has weaker reception. So in a direct comparison with another modern GRPS phone, it isn't the best around - but it is still quite good. Speed: MY NUMBER ONE GRIPE WITH THIS PHONE AND THE MAIN REASON IT HAS TO GO! Being used to the very speedy and responsive Nokia series (although I never even thought about speed 'til I got this phone) I was shocked at how long everything takes. My phone has the very very very newest software and there is a definate lag between menu's etc., but that is not too bad and is tolerable. If you send SMS (text messages) a lot I urge you NOT to buy the T68/T68i. When you start writing the message the speed is ok but later on you find yourself three words ahead of that on screen and if you've made a typo it's a REALLY big pain. Also, in the earlier software version to this one the predictive text didn't predict punctuation (which got on my nerves as I do put punctuation in SMS) for example if you wrote "didn't" it would predict the "didn" but wouldn't guess what the punctuation mark was meant to be when you pressed the next button. Even my old 3210 did that (and indeed, my nice new 8310 does that too!). To conclude, If you're a big SMS user I would NOT buy this phone under any circumst
ances (or at least try before you buy to see if you can tolerate it!) but other than that (and the more minor problems with screen dust etc.) the features the phone provides for the size are unbelievable and it comes strongly recommended. ... it's just a shame about the speed!
Ok I've got a new phone. Its small, not very heavy and you can see the backlight from space! but is it any good? hmmmmm Firstly the phone itself is very small and weighs a meagre 84grams. But that itself does not make a good phone. For a start its too small for people like me with hands like paving slabs. Did you ever see that episode of The Simpsons where Homer puts on so much weight and can't use his phone? Thats me trying to dial on my t68! The tiddly little joystick isnt much better,(and dont get me started on the chatboard I bought.) But just because its small, that doesn't make it bad! The actual phone is quite good. the quality I recieve is excellent. I'm not a great fan of the tacky looking yes/no keys.But the colour screen is very nice. A very flashy touch, but if your not one of those posers who keeps their phone on the table in the pub, and i'm not, then it can go largely unnoticed. The phone is also packed with features when you delve into the menu, although I never use any of them. I don't use WAP because I'm a student and can't afford it (and it's generally of poor quality anyway). I dont need an organiser either! A calender? Yes i've got one on my wall. Alarm? Ever heard of an alarm clock? Timer and stopwatch? My £7 watch does both these things very well without the hassle involved of getting a phone out. Calculator? I have a real calculator and its more useful since its doubtful they would allow me to use my phone in an exam! although I could ask! Memo? Thats what I buy paper for (besides that, the only ever time I leave myself little notes is when i'm drunk and have you ever tried typing something into your phone when you are drunk?) Code memo????? I'm not a spy you know! I have enough trouble understanding my notes without adding encription to the whole argument! I do enjoy the fun and games menu however, and have spend many hours playing defender on the toilet! An
other feature that I think stands out is the little slidey thing on the side that you can get the battery state from, very useful for estimating when I will need to charge my phone. So in summary. Its a nice phone, with plenty of features (if you are a spy.) It also has a nice colour screen to please all you posers. But for me, its a nice enough looking adequate phone.