Sony Ericsson K608i
- Compact and lightweight, dual cameras for video calling and images, 1.3 megapixel camera with flash, easy access to video calling, FM Radio with RDS
- Unconventional battery case removal, poorly designed keypad, slow interface, paltry internal memory with no expansion options, not comfortable when talking for extended periods
The K608i proves that 3G handsets don't have to be big and bulky. It comes recommended and has an array of fine features, but an uncomfortable keypad and small internal memory detract from the overall package.
Price$ 349.00 (AUD)
3G mobile phones have long been renowned for their large and bulky designs, but the Sony Ericsson K608i is a sophisticated, yet compact handset that is sure to please 3G users.
One of the smallest and lightest 3G handsets currently on the market, the K608i measures 105.1 x 45.4 x 18.8mm and weighs just 105 grams. While this seems large in comparison to most new GSM models, the K608i is significantly smaller than most other 3G handsets and sits comfortably in your hand.
The interface on the K608i maintains the Sony Ericsson reputation for simplicity, elegance and useability. Navigating through the menu is as simple as moving the 5-way joystick and pressing it to select an option. The K608i comes with five pre-installed themes that alter almost every aspect of the interface, except for the menu items themselves. While certainty visually pleasing, we did find the phone a little slow at times, particularly when browsing through photos or other media items.
The display on the K608i is capable of displaying 262,144 colours with a resolution of 176 x 220 pixels. Users also have the option of adjusting the brightness to suit either indoor or outdoor viewing. We were delighted with the display quality in direct sunlight - the screen was clearly visible with an admirable viewing angle. Interaction with the phone is primarily via the navigational joystick, but there are also dedicated buttons for the content system and video calling. Making a video call was simply a matter of holding down this key for a short second and the video calling cameras are displayed.
There are plenty of options to choose from while in a video call, including turning off the speaker, enlarging the video, muting audio, displaying a mirror image and many more. You can also browse through your contacts while actually in a video call. We found that making a call can be slightly uncomfortable at times, as the phone has fairly solid edges and uncomfortably digs into your ear while talking.
The K608i provides support for SMS, MMS,e-mail messaging and T9 predictive text input is included. There is almost no lag when using T9 to message, but the K608i's keypad was rather uncomfortable for typing long messages. The keys themselves are small, cramped and aren't raised enough for easy use.
The 1.3 megapixel camera on the K608i was fairly striking and the photos we uploaded to our PC were of a respectable standard for a camera phone. The camera features a lens cover which automatically launches the K608i's imaging application when opened. Unfortunately even with the keypad locked the camera function will still open, meaning that if the lens cover is accidentally moved in your pocket the phone unlocks. Apart from unintentionally dialing numbers, battery life will drain substantially when the camera application is launched.
Photos can be taken in either 1280 x 1024, 640 x 480 or 160 x 120 resolutions and two video resolutions are offered - 176 x 144 or 128 x 96 pixels. Effects include black and white, sepia, negative and solarise, while night mode, flash and white balance can also be adjusted.
The K608i has fairly extensive connectivity options, with support for USB, Bluetooth, infrared, WCDMA and GPRS protocols. A USB data cable is included in the sales package as is PC Suite software, allwowing users to transfer images, messages and other media files to their computer straight out of the box.
The main issue we have with the K608i is the memory - a paltry 33Mb of internal memory is supplied with no expansion options available. With multimedia functions such as a music player and camera, this space will be filled in no time and users will be forced to either upload or delete data to store extra items. Another aspect of the design that we aren't particularly fond of is the removal of the battery cover on the back of the phone. While most mobile handsets use a simple button and slide system, the K608i employs two clips on the side of the phone which must be slid into the unlocked position to remove the cover.
Battery life on the unit is adequate, but not outstanding. Sony Ericsson claims about 3 hours of talk time and 2 hours of video calls for the K608i, which is slightly below average for a 3G handset.
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