Sony Ericsson K600 review: Retro 3G

Michal Sedlák, 03 November 2005.

500 contacts in the phonebook

Phonebook is the same as we know it from previous Sony Ericsson models. It holds up to 500 contacts, it is possible to assign up to 20 items to each contact. To list a few: three email addresses, image, ringtone, company name, full address and birthday. While setting the birthday, you will be asked whether you wish to be registered it in the calendar too.



Five tabs of contact info

You may choose whether you want to search the phonebook in the SIM card or the one in the phone. Not together. The search is based on the principle of step-by step character input. To one name you may assign an image and a personal ringtone, groups don't offer any of these. With the help of the groups you may filter calls or send mass SMS.


In the phonebook it is possible directly to see the default number without opening the contact

72-voices polyphonic melody sounds when somebody is ringing. I must add that the sound quality is very good. MP3 and AAC formats are supported too. If all this stuff is not enough, a composer is also available.

Call service is practically perfect: silent ringing without refusal, microphone switch off, conference calls, built-in handsfree - K600 has it all. You may rely on the whole available memory when need to record a call.

Messaging

Message editor works with text messages, EMS, instant messages and MMS, email also. The display takes in a maximum of four lines. Characters are bold, well visible even for customers with poorer eyesight. The black color for the text is really black, at W800 it was rather grey. T9 dictionary works reliably; it can be fully switched off.


Message editor • test message

The text editor counts down the messages when the final characters are written. At every jump into another message a short alert appears on the display. You can assign text, picture, sound and a recorded video to the MMS.

The organizer functions are 100% the same as in Sony Ericsson K750/W800. The biggest defect on this beauty is the traditional lack of predefined notes. The organizer has monthly, weekly and daily view and only one type of event for everything. You may choose what day the week to begin with.



The organizer functions are identical to K750

There is a to-do list with check off option for the tasks done; stopwatch. There is no currency converter. At synchronization K600 has the same problems as its forerunner.

Network and music

The connection to internet is easy. The phone supports UMTS and GPRS Class 10 data transfer; still no EDGE in this Sony Ericsson. The WAP browser is comfortable and can also display simple web pages.


Addresses setting • Mobilmania text version

There is a stereo FM radio in the phone menu. It searches for stations with strong signal in a flash. Just press "Search" button and in a while you will hear a clear, noiseless sound. The wire of the earphones serves like an antenna. You may put the broadcast trough a loud speaker on the back side of the phone, but the sound is too gruff. "A little transistor radio" is the best description for it.


Radio supports RDS

The main additional component in Sony Ericsson K600 is the music player. It can play all tracks in the phone memory; another possibility is the creation of your own simple playlists. It reads ID3 tags, but pity that when the player is in background and starts to play another track, there is no information about it; it can be placed on the upper part of the display, for example.


Track selection • rewind

Repeating and random choice are available, setting of the equalizer too. Pity, that there is no possibility for further MegaBass adjusting. The basses are wonderful, the high and middle tones however are not that good again.


Equalizer options • MegaBass setting

Well, it isn't the walkman of W800. Moreover - we don't expect the K600 to be a full-featured MP3 player, because the 33 MB internal memory is quite insufficient. There is no memory card slot. To be fair, must add that the amplifier sound quality itself is high-grade.

You'll find HPM-20 earphones in the package. They aren't fabulous though and can't compare with the quality of HPM-70 ea?phones (read Sony Ericsson W800 Review, where you can find detailed information). You can't, however throw away the delivered earphones just like that. They luxuriate most in middle tones, so an incisive English guitar will sound like a sawmill. The well-balanced sound and its clearness is another plus. Basses are decent; but the drums won't scare you. The range is not so open like in brand open earphones.

Sony Ericsson K600. Click to zoom
Added HPM-20 earphones

Communication with PC

You may communicate with the neighborhood through Bluetooth, infrared port or with the help of the added USB data cable. An installation CD with the necessary programs is also delivered with the phone. To be comprehensive, I will introduce a brief characteristic of the software content package Sony Ericsson Suite:

File Manager: a way to access the phone memory.

Image Editor: works with images application - for wallpaper creation.

MMS Home Studio: the program is for MMS template creation; they save to the phone and you may send them later.

Sync Station: program for data synchronization with the computer - with Microsoft Outlook and with the address book in Windows.

Mobile Networking Wizard: serves for automatic data connection settings. Even it seemed that it didn't detect the right network used, in the end everything was all right. Accepting the option proposed without any intervention was enough.

When you are in love with 3G, don't think

I am making purposely a comparison with K750 in the article. The two phones are similar to one another in settings and software. That's why the review is shorter; you'll find another operating and functional details right in the Sony Ericsson K750 Review.

The tested Sony Ericsson K600 looses only because of its poorer camera and the lack of memory card slot. It wins with the second camera and due to the video call option. Sony Ericsson K600 will be attractive to many customers, because it is one of the smallest 3G phones currently available. Another choice for them will be the Sony Ericsson K608, which differs from K600 only in the appearance.


Sony Ericsson K608