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Sunday, October 14, 2007

sony ericsson w610i

Sony Ericsson W610i Review

The Sony Ericsson W610i is a mid-range Walkman phone with the new Walkman® 2.0 player. The first thing to say is that this is yet another superb phone from Sony Ericsson. It's not at the top end of the range, so it misses out on a couple of features, but offers almost everything you'd want from a music phone at a good price.

The Walkman range is now established as probably the best range of mobile phones for playing music. The W610i has the latest version of the Walkman player and is pretty well as easy as using an iPod. The Walkman key gives you one-click access to the player and from there you can play, rewind, fast forward, equalise, shuffle tracks and create playlists. Audio quality is as good as a dedicated MP3 player, and a standard set of headphones is included in the sales package. The phone is also compatible with stereo Bluetooth wireless headsets - available separately. The W610i is equipped with Sony Ericsson's MegaBass™ feature which enhances bass frequencies - a useful feature to switch on for some types of music. It also has PlayNow™ & TrackID™. PlayNow is a service for downloading ringtones (which you have to pay for) and TrackID is a free service that identifies songs that you hear on the radio - cool.

Comprehensive CD-ripping software (Disc2Phone) is supplied with the phone and the USB mass storage interface lets you transfer music with drag and drop simplicity. Whilst the built-in memory of the phone is limited, the W610i is compatible with Sony's Memory Stick Micro™ (M2™) memory cards, and a 512 Mbyte card (enough for around 100 songs) is included in the sales package. This can be expanded to 2 Gbytes - a 2 Gbyte card can be bought for around £30. In addition to the music player, the W610i also includes an RDS FM radio.

The W610i has the same type of camera used in the W810i - a 2 megapixel camera with autofocus and a flash. It can also capture video clips. This is an excellent camera - one of the best in the sub-£200 price range. The display is a bright, clear TFD LCD which is easy to read. It doesn't have the high resolution of the flagship Walkman phone (the W880i), but again is one of the best in this price range.

Physically, the W610i is quite a bit thinner than the older W810i, but isn't as thin as the ultra-thin W880i. It's a good size to hold in your hand. The only gripe that we have about the W610i is the small size of the keys. If you've got big hands you'd be better off sticking with the W810i.

Overall, this is another fantastic Walkman phone, positioned in the sub-£200 market and offering outstanding value for money, with the small key size the only issue. The big question is how the W610i fits into the Walkman range. Is it a replacement for the W810i or is it a lower-spec model? We think that it's really the replacement for the W810i. Compare the W610i and the W810i and you'll see that the feature list is nearly identical - the main difference is that the W610i is thinner, has a new style of keypad and uses the latest software. The W810i was one of the very best phones of 2006, and the W610i is a worthy successor. Other phones to consider are the near-identical K550i, the 3G W660i and the ultra-slim W880i.

The W610i is already available on Pay as you Go from the Carphone Warehouse at £159.95, and they also sell the very similar K550i for just £69.95 on Pay as you Go.

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Features of the Sony Ericsson W610i include:

  • 2 megapixel camera with autofocus, photo light and 2.25x digital zoom
  • Camcorder
  • Display: TFD LCD, 262,000 colours, 176 x 220 pixels
  • Walkman music player (supports MP3 & AAC formats)
  • FM radio
  • Polyphonic ringtones / Music tones
  • Speakerphone
  • Sound recorder
  • Messaging: SMS, MMS, email
  • 3D Java games
  • Animated wallpaper
  • WAP, Web browser, RSS feeds, picture blogging
  • Memory: Memory Stick Micro™ (M2™) support (512 Mbyte card included)
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth, USB mass storage, infrared, modem
  • Organiser: Alarm clock, Calculator, Calendar, Contacts, Notes, Phone book, Stopwatch, Tasks, Timer
  • Flight mode
  • Vibration alert
  • Quadband
  • Size: 102 x 46 x 14 mm
  • weight 93 g

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