Sony Ericsson V630i

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Sony Ericsson V630i
  • Sony Ericsson V630i
  • Sony Ericsson V630i
  • Sony Ericsson V630i

Pros

  • Compact, stylish and lightweight, Controls, Solid features set, Value for money. M2 Storage slot, Price

Cons

  • Keypad quite compact, Small internal memory

Bottom Line

An excellent handset considering the price, the V630i features a solid list of multimedia features. Definitely worth a look.

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A sleek and sophisticated looking 3G capable handset, the Sony Ericsson V630i features a crisp display, 2 megapixel camera and Memory Stick Micro (M2) support. With an integrated MP3 player and a 256MB M2 card included in the sales package, the V630i is a solid multimedia handset that wins plenty of points for its compact design.

It wasn't so long ago that 3G handsets were almost universally bulky, but much has changed in a short time period. The V630i measures just 102mm x 45mm x 16.9mm and weighs a mere 91g, so it's one of the smallest and lightest 3G phones currently available on the market. Despite its diminutive size, the V630i is effortless to operate and navigate thanks to a comfortable set of controls. There are two selection buttons, answer and end call keys, back and clear buttons as well as a five-way navigational pad. The pad features a very bright orange backlight, so it's easy to see in low light conditions.

The keypad is quite comfortable, although it is slightly squashed into the bottom half of the handset. We felt the keys could have been larger, as those with big fingers may struggle for accuracy when punching out text messages or when dialling. We also quite liked the aesthetic created by the external play/pause and volume controls. Like the internal keypad, they glow orange, creating quite a contrast with the grooved, matte black finish of the unit.

The V630i also has a clear and crisp TFT screen that is capable of displaying 256,000 colours. Its performance was notable for a phone this size and it displayed most Vodafone Live! content, particularly images and photos, with relative ease. The display also has a fairly good viewing angle, although it does suffer slightly in direct sunlight.

For a handset commanding this price tag, the V630i has a solid features list. There are dual cameras; a rear 2 megapixel sensor for regular photography, and a front mounted VGA sensor for video calling. The images produced are average for a camera phone, with reasonably high levels of image noise, but decent colour reproduction. They won't provide photographs suitable for print outs, but for a few happy snaps, they are capable of doing the job.

The V630i also features a dedicated music player with support for MP3, AAC, AAC+ and eAAC+ files. The music player is well laid out with menus for now playing, artist track and playlist. There is even a fully adjustable five-band equaliser in addition to four preset sound settings and shuffle and loop modes. Unfortunately, the music player is let down by the absence of a standard 3.5mm headphone jack, and the fact that no adapter is included. You have to use the bundled headphones with Sony Ericsson's proprietary jack and their quality is below average for music playback. You can store your songs on the 10MB of internal memory, or the 256MB Memory Stick Micro (M2) card, which is included in the sales package, although this is upgradeable to as much as 4GB with the purchase of a higher capacity card.

Other features of the V630i include Bluetooth, GPRS and USB connectivity (with a proprietary USB cable included). An excellent addition is the fact that the V630i is a mass storage device, which means you simply connect your phone to a PC and the expandable phone memory appears as a removable drive. There is also standard SMS, MMS and push email messaging support with T9 predictive text input.

A host of PIM functions are present and these include alarm clock, calculator, calendar, notes, stopwatch, tasks and a timer. The V630i is also capable of conference calls and includes a copy of Sony Ericsson's PC Suite software, so you can synchronise your contacts and other information to your PC. Unfortunately, Sony Ericsson has once again failed to appeal to Mac users, as the PC Suite software is restricted to PC use.

A solid battery life rounds out the package, with figures of seven hours talk time and up to 350 hours standby time according to Sony Ericsson. We found these very close the mark, charging the handset every three days on average. This figure will decrease depending on how frequently you use the phone's multimedia features, such as the MP3 player and digital camera.

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