Phone Review: Sony Ericsson Z610i

This review is on the cellphone Sony Ericsson Z610i. It is intended to be a buyer’s guide to make a choice of whether to buy this item or not. And also a process of making this yet to be popular phone come to some limelight.

About the phone

If you are looking for technical specifications of the phone, check out Sony Ericsson website

In short, the phone is of a clamshell design with smooth glassy mirror-like surface. It has Bluetooth with A2DP stereo, GPRS, 3G, POP3 Email, MMS, Video call, etc. It also has dual camera with the main camera being 2 mega-pixel. There is an outer OLED display that is surprisingly visible only when it is active.

Why buy this phone?

1. You need a relatively small, light and really sexy looking phone.
2. You know that Nokia and ‘good-looks’ are opposite phrazes (as on date).
3. You take good care of your gadgets and can deal with relatively delicate phones.
4. You like to show off your style statement.
5. You do not need advanced PDA features.

General overview of the phone

The phone is very light, flip-open clamshell design. It has a glossy mirror finish and this is what sets this phone a class apart. The phone shines and sparkles in light with real smooth curves and beutiful streamlined finish. Trust me, as on date there is very less (almost no other) phone that looks like (as good as) this. Even the keypad of the phone looks great with a very streamlined and flat finish. The phone is simple to use (like other Sony Ericsson phones.) But existing Nokia users may take some time to adjust.

How is the camera?

The pictures are crisp and clear, but only under enough light. The night mode is practically useless and the pictures in low-light is next to pathetic. Video is smooth at an average of 25fps and has things like “pause” and “zoom” during shooting, resulting in more useful videos. The secondary camera is not intended for pictures. It is intended for video calls only.

Call quality and phone performance

During my standard usage I did not find any problem and reception was clear. The listening party said that they were hearing better and clearer than what they could hear me through my Nokia phone. The battery performance did not impress me. I do a lot of talking and messaging and the phone lasts only through 24 hours at an average. However, for average users, it should last for a couple of days.

Music and Bluetooth

Bluetooth was seamless and I did not have problems of pairing it with either my other phone, desktop or my HP Bluetooth printer. However, I found that bluetooth connections were a tad on the unstable side and once connected to a device, the phone would take some time to reconnect after a disconnection. When paired with my PC, the phone also got installed as bluetooth mouse! I could control my PC without even installing a software on the PC.

Music was rock solid. It performed fairly well compared to a dedicated Walkman phone. The default media player software is cool and has equalizer and great playlist functions and does a good playback. I tested this by outputting my Nokia 7710 phone’s audio and this phone’s audio into my High Definition speakers and found that music response and quality was way better in Z610i. A2DP was cool and none of the stereo headset I tested had any problems playing music. Though some headsets  had some creaching noises when certain ringtones of odd bitrates were played. It has great sound transfer facility whereby you can transfer music and call to any of the attached headsets/phone/speaker. It has a dedicated play/pause button on the outside.

Loudspeaker, ringtone and display.

It has a pretty loud loudspeaker. COnsiderably louder than my Nokia 7710 and is even louder than many of the so-called “loud” phones I had tested. However, just like 90% of other phones there was no bass in the loudspeakers. In this respect, my 7710 bowls out many other phones with its clear bass.

Display was fair and average. Was nothing impressive and appeared like most other passive Nokia displays. It isn’t surely anything like a vibrant TFT.

Main attraction: Phone’s secondary and outer glassy finish

The phone’s outer display is not visible otherwise. It is hidden under the glassy finish of the phone. When activated, the phone’s body itself glows up as a screen and display seem to float on the phone’s body itself. The glassy finish is a magnet for sweat and dust. So much so that I call it a figerprint reader! You need to keep it inside a pouch-like case if you intend to keep it scratch free.

Myths about this phone

My dealers said that this was a shitty phone and had no features. To be true, none of the dealers knew about this phone. Dual cam, 2 mega pixel, 64MB M2 card, Bluetooth, A2DP stereo audio, 3G, Email, full featured PIM and A REALLY SLICK LOOK. What else do you need out of a ’standard’ phone.

Some said that this phone is for girls. But trust me, it is not. Just because it has a pink colour variant does not make it girlish. Even Motorola V3 phones have pink variant; but it is one of Motorola’s successful phones.

Disadvantages of this phone

Delicate scratch magnet!
Gets dirty and loves fingerprints.
Lacks radio (I use a stereo bluetooth headset with radio to compensate.)
Lacks EDGE (EDGE support in India is weak.)
Poor low-light pictures. (like most other phones.)
Average battery performance.

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