SONY ERICSSON K610I

The K610 is a new addition to the K-series but with a twist — it is one of the smallest and lightest mobile handsets available with 3G support and video calling. And if that’s not enough, this mobile also packs in a decent 2 megapixel camera and a Memory Stick Micro (M2) card slot with a 64Kb card in it.

The classic shape and design would most probably appeal to the male audience, maybe an office workers – it has a classic design, high-tech features, compact size and a cool metallic plastic body with unflashy grey, silver or maroon satin finish,. The construction is very solid – so good in fact that the keys look as though they’re etched on to the bar instead of assembled from components. Function-wise it’s identical to the Sony Ericsson W710 with added 3G.

Neat touches include the tiny keys on side edges — a music player shortcut button on the left (for starting and stopping the music when it’s running in the background) with the traditional volume up/down keys and a camera shortcut on the right which is used both for starting the camera application and for taking pictures. The ergonomics of the main keypad are generally impressive, though the navigation D-pad is definitely less convenient than the joystick used in most Sony Ericssons. The alphanumeric keys are well spaced, the functional keys are great (clever rockers for the two soft keys and RETURN and CLEAR), shortcut keys for the Activity menu and the NetFront web browser are embedded in the rockers but are well differentiated. The screen is pretty good too, though something of a compromise – 262K colours but at a relatively low resolution of 176×220 pixels, because it’s TFD rather than TFT technology (older, less rich, but uses less power).

The music player is pretty good – there’s equaliser with a few presets (and you can set up your own), stereo widening to improve the sound, and background mode so that you can do other things with the phone while listening to music. Generally speaking, the player has the same functionality as the first generation of Walkman phones – similar to the W810, for example. The player is controlled easily via the D-pad and that makes it really easy.

Other goodies include the excellent Sony Ericsson file manager (which has acquired a useful timeline option for sorting photos), a great web browser, pretty good email, and an ok camera — satisfactory but with few bells and whistles (no autofocus, no flash). Videos are taken at the disappointingly low QCIF resolution

• Nothing flashy, but a reliable 3G workhorse with good battery life and lots of features – all without being too business orientated

SPECIFICATIONS
Size:

102x45x17mm
Weight:
89g
Display:
TFD, 256K colours, 176×220 pixels, 30x37mm
Camera:
2MP, 1600×1200 pixels, video (QCIF); secondary video call VGA camera
Connectivity:
3G, triband GSM, Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP, USB 2.0
Battery:
Standby up to 400h, talk time up to 7h

VERDICT
FEATURES 4/5
SALEABILITY 5/5