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This was my first 3G phone - purchased in 2005, it still sits in my bedside drawer and has been often used as a 'spare' as every other phone I've had since has malfunctioned at least once. I think that says alot for it's reliability!
It has a typical Sony Erricson user interface, with easy to navigate menu's and quick-menu buttons allowing instance access to your contacts list and the internet. 3G capabilities allow fast internet access, and download of Mp3 and video clips. Bluetooth capability means fast access to pictures; mostly I used this to tranfer MP3 to/from the phone (it an be used as an MP3 player and FM radio with the supplies headphones, which is a great and useable feature) and tranfer pictures quickly to my laptop.
The camera is a bit of a let-down with 1.3mp, but this really just shows the age of the phone. Picture quality is quite good however and the LED light on the back of the phone allows reasonable close-up images in low light. Additionally, this can be used as a 'torch' and I've used this feature countless times - it is SO useful i can't believe other phones don't have this!
Sound quality is good, and the speaker volume is adequate. I always had reasonable reception with this phone, in fact I can get a signal with it in area's that I can't with my W880i. Battery life is average, and more dependent on how much you utilise the MP3 player capabilities. However I found recharging every few days was about the norm for me, which is better than any other phone I've had except my trusty Nokia 3310.
The phenomenal success of the K750i upon its release in the early summer of 2005 somewhat overshadowed the appearance of another potential winner from the Japanese-Swedish conglomerate. Known variously as the K600i (principally on Orange), the V600i (on Vodafone) and the K608i, Sony Ericsson's new third-generation offering was very similar to the K750i in many respects.
Both the K600i and K750i have exactly the same screen (176x220 pixels, 262,000 colours), both have infra-red and Bluetooth version two and both have FM radios and basic MP3 players. They even share the same type of battery. Here, the similarities end, however.
The K600i is taller than the K750i, although it is ever so slightly thinner, and it looks entirely different. The number keys are separated, unlike on the second generation model, and they are recessed, which is similar to a flip phone. The joystick is also very different, and actually seems easier to use than the one on the K750i. I am not quite sure why this is, but this is how it seemed to me, using the K600i and K750i concurrently. There is also a different port on the bottom of the phone. The K600i uses the good old fashioned Ericsson connector, which was found on every Ericsson and Sony Ericsson model from the old T28 (or possibly even earliee) until the K750i came out. This means that things like car chargers and handsfree kits from models before this will work, but the principal reason why there was a change seems to be that there were innumerable cases of the old type of charger failing even within the warranty period. Needless to say, all types of Sony Ericsson phone now use this charger.
The K600i also came with a data cable in the box, but this is actually incompatible with every other Sony Ericsson model being a mini USB type (unless of course one happens to own a K608i or V600i as well), and it cannot be used for software updates, unlike the K750i type. (There is a way of performing software updates on a K600i by using an older type of data cable, such as the official desk stand which was released for the K700i, but I will not go there). The phone also has no memory card slot, which was surprising for a phone with an initially much higher price tag than the K750i, which came with a 64MB Memory card in the box, and only a 1.3 Megapixel camera as opposed to the 2 Megapixel unit with autofocus on the K750i. So why would anyone actually get the K600i over the K750i when, in most important respects anyway, the third generation model seems to be inferior to the second generation one?
There are two possible reasons. The first is that 3G connectivity is needed in order for Internet on the move. Including a data cable, software and handsfree kit with the K600i, and also bestowing it with the rare ability to charge the phone, use the handsfree kit and plug the data cable in all at once would seem to mark this out as a business phone, and the 3G data speeds are much faster than what the K750i can manage. I can therefore see the K600i being designed for busy professionals who need every possible method of connectivity available, without missing out on essential features, such as a radio, fairly decent camera and a small capacity MP3 player. It is thus that the K600i begins to make more sense. Many more people, however, who would want to use the phone for pleasure, rather than business, would probably choose a K750i, due to the better camera, memory card slot and smaller size. This is probably the reason why the phone was designed by Sony Ericsson, and one may even see the K750i and K600i as dual replacements for the K700i. In many ways the K700i is actually closer to the K600i than the K750i. There is one much more convincing reason than this, however.
The Three network in Britain only supports third generation models. The K750i, as a second generation model, was not available on Three. However, Three needed a big seller on the scale of the K750i, and thus had their own version of the K600i customised for them by Sony Ericsson. The K608i had a much more unified design, being completely silver, rather than partly silver and partly black, and the keypad was much easier to use, not being so recessed. When the phone came out, it was one of the easiest models to sell that we had in the shop where I worked, and for good reason. Three had some very attractive contracts on the K608i, much more attractive at the time than the deals available on Vodafone, O2 and T-Mobile for the K750i and similar D750i. The two peculiar buttons on the side of the screen of the phone were also put to good use, being employed as a video calling button and one touch 'Planet Three' access button. Throughout my entire ownership of the K600i I cannot say that I used either of those buttons once: they simply used to get in the way when taking the phone in and out of the pocket. This is all well and good, but what was the K600i actually like to use as a phone?
Calling on the K600i (of the conventional kind anyway) is rather simple. This uses the same system as the K750i, K700i and any number of other Sony Ericsson models. Call quality is a little peculiar, due to the strange positioning of the loudspeaker on the left hand side of the top of the phone rather than in the middle, with the opposite side being used for the video calling camera. Thus, the volume can seem a little bit more reduced than is normal until on gets used to the positioning of the loudspeaker. The alternative, of course, is to use the speakerphone or included handsfree kit, although the handsfree does have a tendency to come out of the slot unintentionally. The phone also works well with a Bluetooth headset, as one would expect with a Sony Ericsson business phone. The ring volume from the speaker on the reverse of the phone is loud enough, whether an MP3 or MIDI ringtone is being used: a welcome surprise for such a phone. It is also possible to use either SIM or phone contacts as the default contacts, unlike many older Sony Ericsson models. I seem to remember that the phone can store up to 1000 numbers.
Text messaging, aside from the troubles with the recessed keypad, is just as fast and convenient as the K750i. Everything from toggling between predictive text and multitap mode, inserting symbols, changing to numeric mode and sending to more than one number can be handled with consummate ease. One of my old bugbears with older Sony Ericsson models and many other phones is the lack of a custom message alert tone, but this is not the case with the K600i, which gives the ability of adding whatever one likes to this function, such as an MP3, WAV, AMR or MIDI file. Multi-Media Messaging, once the phone is properly set up, is also just as simple.
Other multi-media functions are just as good. The MP3 player will handle playlists, although not quite as well as the Sony Ericsson Walkman range, and display track information such as artist name, album and song title. The player is limited, however, to as many songs as the 32MB of memory in the phone will hold, as there is no memory card slot. The radio works perfectly well, as long as the handsfree stays in, and the camera is by no means the worst I have ever seen. With a 1.3 Megapixel resolution, maybe one does not expect much these days, and it was certainly inferior to the camera on the Sharp 550SH which I had, which shares the same resolution as the K600i, but it was not that bad. The video function was a complete gimmick, as was the video calling, but then this is a similar problem on many Three phones.
Sharing the same battery as the K750i, which is well known for exceptionally good standby times, the K600i normally lasts 3-4 days between charges. The phone also seems to share its excellent signal quality and build quality, which is ensured by the very effective way of clamping the back cover down by having the clips holding it on the sides of the phone rather than at the bottom, as is usual practice. Mind you, the non-removable front cover did seem to come a little bit loose towards the end of my time, but this was not at all serious. The phone also never crashed or broke down, which was excellent, and even the infamous Sony Ericsson joysticks did not seem to have so many problems as those on the K750i.
Despite seeming like a superfluous entry to the range in some respects, especially when considered against the excellent K750i, the K600i has a character all of its own. It is easy to use, well-built and contains just about every connectivity option known to man. Truth be told, it is not as small as other Sony Ericsson models, has the old type of connector and no memory card slot, but, as seen with the phenomenal success of the K608i, the phone will do what the majority of people need and a lot more besides.
I was really excited about getting a new phone - I love new toys!
My Sony Ericsson k600i arrived and, patiently for me I let it fully charge before playing with it! I'd done some research on the internet and was looking forward to the change from my very reliable Nokia 7610 which I really liked. I was impressed with the way you could 'try' the phone virtually at www.sonyericsson.co.uk and the phone seemed what I was after. I knew it would take a bit of getting used to changing brands from Nokia, but I was willing to give it a try.
I ordered my k600i as an upgrade through Orange. It didn't cost me anything as it is on a contract. The features I describe in this review are in general specific to the phone itself, however certain features change slightly from network to network (e.g. this phone connects to 'Orange World' whereas the same phone on Vodafone would probably connect to 'Vodafone Live). Within my review I don't intend to give a 'how to' of using the phone - you can read an instruction book for that. What I do hope to do is give you an overview of the phones main features and the good and bad points that I have come across.
The phone promised me:
* Stylish looks in a silver aluminium effect case (I'm a girl - I like my phone to look nice!)
* A 1.3 megapixel camera (I regularly use the camera on my Nokia and had high expectations of the 1.3 megapixels on offer!)
* 3G capabilities (I don't know anyone with a 3G phone so wasn't fussed about this feature - would have been nice to have someone to video call just for the novelty, but not the reason I wanted this phone)
* MP3 player (again, a nice to have, but something I wasn't fussed about having as I have a Mini iPod for that!)
* Bluetooth Technology (always handy)
* Games (helps beat boredom)
* Polyphonic ringtones (I like to have a decent ring tone, though am not one of those who buys all sorts of ringtones - just a nice and not tacky one on the phone usually is fine)
* Speaker phone (I use this feature a lot on my Nokia so had high hopes for Sony's version)
* FM Radio (not sure I'd use it much but again, nice to have)
...there are plenty more features besides, most of which are standard on all phones now, such as SMS, MMS, email and others.
The phone looks good. It looks sturdy, though from reading other reviews on the internet I was expecting an actual aluminium case to the phone. That's maybe naive of me, but I had read reviews on other sites commenting on the aluminium case. The casing is just plastic like most phones, but it's coated in a metallic silver paint. It fits in the hand nicely, and equally slides into the pocket nicely too. The edges at the top and bottom are cut straight which gives them a fairly sharp feel in contrast to the rest of the phone - it's not sharp as in you risk injury, but immediately on seeing the phone I could imagine holding it against your ear for long periods of time may be a little uncomfortable - not a reason not to get the phone, but something to take into consideration I think.
The phone looks neat and tidy. All the buttons are flush to the body. I'd read in places that this was fiddly, but the buttons aren't really smaller or more fiddly than any other phone I've used, owned or had a play with! Control of the menu system is achieved using the 'joystick', which as it sounds is a small stick that protrudes only a millimetre or so from the phone. It can be pushed downwards like a regular buttons (usually for selecting things) or it can be pointed left, right, up or down. It's easy to use and I quickly got a feel for it.
Using the Phone
The phone switches on and boots up quickly, almost instantly - something I was impressed with as my Nokia (though it only takes a few seconds) feels like it's taking forever at times.
The menu system can be activated by pressing down on the joystick or using the right hand select button. The menu consists of 12 icons representing:
* Media album
* Media player
* Orange World (or presumably whatever online facility your network has, e.g. T-Zones, Vodafone Live etc)
* Address Book
* Video Call
By default, the first icon that is selected is Messages, which is in the centre of the screen - handy, as it's the one that probably gets the most use! Selecting any of the icons takes you to further list style sub menus or straight to that feature.
Using the phone for texting is easy. The predictive text, although slightly different in how it operates to Nokia phones is easy enough to get to grips with.
Easy to do either by selecting whoever you want to call from your Addres book, or through the Calls menu. In the calls menu you can select callers from lists of those you've recently answered, recently dialled, or recently missed. This is a very useful feature, though one common on many phones (it works in the same way as the one on most recent Nokia phones).
My main gripe with making calls is the signal / sound quality. Sat in exactly the same place in my living room where I get a full 100% signal from Orange on my Nokia 7610 phone (as does my boyfriend on his Nokia 6310i) I get either no signal, one red bar (the weakest signal on this phone) or a fluctation up to 3 bars (about mid-strength signal). As a result of this weaker signal using this phone, the sound quality is poorer during calls. This doesn't seem to be a one off glitch in my living room - it's the same wherever I take the phone, the signal strength is considerably poorer on the k600i than on my previous Nokia.
The sharp top edge also doesn't lend itself to phone calls. Although not particularly painful, it is uncomfortable to hold against your ear in phone calls which last more than a few minutes.
The phone boasts a 1.3 mega pixel camera. I used the camera on my previous phones much more than I ever imagined I would. I have a decent digital camera, but it's nice to be able to capture a pic when you don't have your camera with you. My previous two phones (Nokia 7610 and Sharp GX30) both had 1 mega pixel cameras which were good quality - pictures were clear and relatively crisp and I certainly couldn't complain. My other half recently upgraded his phone to the Nokia 6230i which also has a 1.3 mega pixel camera so I had something to compare my new Sony Ericsson to.
The results... dire. The image is grainy and dull, even if using the bright light on the back of the phone when taking pictures. The quality of the picture reminded me of the early camera phones, such as an old Nokia 7210 I had which came with a camera attachment! Even when I changed the settings for the camera from normal to 'fine' there was little noticeable difference. Very, very disappointed.
On the positive side - the fact they've thought to build in a lens cover to the camera is a good point and will help prevent scratches or dirt and dust building up on the lens.
Customising the Phone
The phone came preset with an 'Orange Theme' - lots of garish orange colours in the menu and on the background, not to my taste! Unfortunately the other 'themes' built into the phone are all as bad. Considering the phone boasts 262k colours they certainly don't make use of them in the built in themes. I cannot say whether this is the same with all networks, but it seems there are a handful of standard themes thrown in with the phone (none very inspirational), and a couple from the network provider (Orange theme and Orange Grey theme in this case).
Ring tones also leave much to be desired. On the whole they seem great for kids, but for me personally the only one I wouldn't be annoyed with after a while is the standard telephone type ring.
It seems the idea is obviously that you go online and pay to download additional ringtones / themes to customise your phone. A money making exercise.
The phone does, however, come with a few pre-installed pictures which you can find in the Media Album, Pictures folder. You can set these to be your 'wallpaper' or screensaver. There are a few half decent pictures (though not at all representational of the image quality you'll get with the poor camera on the phone). Some of the pictures on the phone are animated too, so you can have an animated wallpaper / screensaver without having to resort to the not so nice 'themes'.
I can't grumble at this. As you'd imagine, with a new phone I've been playing with the features!! This usually drains the battery life pretty quickly as the camera / internet etc have all been used more than they would on an average day. The battery has stood up to my playing and the charge is going down very slowly. I like the fact that at the press of a button I can be shown the exact battery life remaining (in % figure). The two buttons on the top edge of the phone when pressed (either of them, not both at once) display the phone status screen, which gives you the date, shows which profile you are using (e.g. Normal, Silent etc), the model of the phone should you forget, your mobile number, the amount of free memory in KB and the remaining battery charge.
There's so much that can be said with mobile phones that it would be boring if I covered every feature in detail, and I'd also end up sounding like the instruction manual or a spec sheet you could read at www.sonyericsson.co.uk. I feel I've touched on the main features that someone purchasing a phone would be interested in.
Unfortunately I'm disappointed with the phone, and after a few days of trying it out I'm returning it to swap for another phone. Chances are I'll be going back to something from Nokia as I've never yet felt let down by any Nokia phone I've owned.
This phone is full of features, but I feel they've concentrated on getting the features in rather than on the quality of those features. If you're interested in being able to go on about all the features your phone has and you want to be able to say you have a 3G phone, but you're not really all that bothered about using all the features, then this phone is for you. If you want a decent phone for making calls / texts, and are likely to use some of the other features such as the camera, and want to make the phone more 'you' then it's probably not for you unless you want to splash out on downloading ringtones/wallpapers and are happy to put up with the uncomfortable edge pressing into your ear. It's a shame 3G phones aren't more popular as it would have been fun to try out the 3G features (video calling), but given the camera quality I can't say I feel I've missed out on too much.
Contract prices of the phone will vary between network providers and will depend on your tariff, but I would imagine you'd expect to get the phone for free and pay anywhere from £20 upwards for your contract.
So, an easy to use phone, with fairly good looks, a durable feel and full of features, but let down by the below average camera, unsatisfactory reception quality, and a general perceived lack of attention to detail. I kind of feel like if I was younger I'd have loved this phone - but as an adult, I want quality as well as quantity...
I received my K600i yesterday after purchasing from someone on ebay for £220 a bargain I have to admit! This phone has been overshadowed by the K750i and the W800i but it is a class phone offering a 1.3 megapixel camera and 3G. The phone had originally been locked to orange but the seller had had it unlocked prior to sale. I can see the reason for this, although in my case, I wanted to use it on orange anyway.
When I took the phone out of the box I was surprised to find it felt lighter than I imagined it would, 3G phones are generally heavier and more bulky, this one feels good to hold. So on charge it went and I waited for around 2 hours until it told me it was ready.
It was easy to click off the back cover as there are two buttons that slide across which immediately releases the cover. After this, installing sim and battery was easy too. The screen is VERY impressive with its 262 colours and measures around 4cms x 3cms.
The first thing I always do with a new phone is to switch off the annoying (in my opinion) key clicks, navigating the menus was a simple process, especially as I have owned Sony Ericsson phones in the past, but even for a new user, its not a difficult phone to master. The joystick under the screen feels very solid and is easy to press, yet comfortable to work with, I found this better than most others I had used. One press took me to the main menu but I also found that there was a button on the left hand side of the screen which lists any new events (messages etc.), shortcuts (you can set these up yourself to go to messages, music player, Bluetooth etc), and bookmarks which is very useful if you want to go directly to a page on the net. You can set all these things to appear on the homescreen when a new message comes in but I chose to turn that feature off .
On the right hand side of the screen is another larger button (to match the one on the left that I have just mentioned above) which is for video calling. Pressing this button will show a screen with a picture of yourself (the camera on the front of the phone turns on at this point and displays your face) in the bottom left corner, and when a call is made the person you are calling is shown on the large screen, though there are options for changing this so that you cant see yourself or the other person cant see you but can see what you are seeing (there is a camera on the front of the phone so that people can see you when they are talking on a video call, but also one at the back so if you prefer for them to see where you are, you can switch to this mode).
As the phone had originally been on orange all the settings were there for wap and mms but if they hadnt been, I could have easily visited www.sonyericsson.com and had them sent to me in a text message. Talking of text messages, I love Sony Ericsson for this when a message comes in the name of the person sending (if they are in your phonebook) is shown on the screen. Messages are easy to write and smileys are also easy to create (and they show as REAL orange coloured smileys I love that!)
The phone comes with two preinstalled games FiveStones and Vijay Singh 3D pro golf 2005 which are both good in their own way. However, I am a bass assassin and puzzle bobble fan so I had a little surf and downloaded those too.
Talking of downloading, I normally use gprs as I find it fast and simple, but there is a usb lead included with this phone for easier connectivity ( and cheaper downloads) and a cd is also included to help sync the phone. There is no case for the phone included in the sales package and I would think it would be easy to scratch the screen as with any candy bar phone, so I will need to purchase one soon.
Another feature that drew me to this phone was the RDS radio and I have to say, it is wonderful! I have lots of pre-set channels now and I know what they all are because it tells me bliss! There is also a music player so you can download mp3s, wavs etc. just like the K750i. This works well too and the sound is very good.
The camera in my opinion is as good as is needed. Okay , so the K750i has 2 megapixels but to be honest, I wasnt impressed with this when I used it and actually prefer the camera on the K600i. The phone is another twin fronted design from Sony Ericsson with a shutter over the lens just like a normal camera. The button for taking photos is on the right hand side of the phone but as you take photos with the phone sideways, this button is then on top and very comfortable and easy to use. There is also a light for taking photos in dark conditions (or finding your keyhole in the dark!)
Call reception is good and I havent had a call dropped yet, although I have only made around 6! The volume is certainly loud enough for both text messages and calls and there is an option for the phone to vibrate when in silent mode which is useful.
3G is a strange thing in my area, sometimes it will work and sometimes not. I did manage to get on yesterday and watched a showbiz news video which was very clear to watch and quick to load, but today the 3G symbol hasnt shown as yet. If I go half a mile up the road it will be a full 3G signal though, go figure! I should also point out that I did see the 3G signal more on the Nokia 6630, this could be a total coincidence or it may be that the Nokia was able to pick up the signal more easily, I am not sure. If you are in a good 3G area though you will have no problem, but please be aware that a lot does depend on where you live or will be using your phone so it may be an idea to check before purchasing whether 3G will work in your area. Personally I bought this phone for its looks primarily as 3G isnt a must have for me (I cant afford to use it often).
I used the phone a LOT yesterday and found that the battery was used halfway (showing orange not green, meaning it could use a charge). In fairness though I hadn't stopped playing with it all day and had spent a lot of time using wap, downloading and texting so all things considered the battery did pretty well.
All in all I am very pleased with this phone and hope to keep it for much longer than some of its predecessors :-)