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Review: Sony Ericsson's Mirrored Z610i Folder

Review by Samuel Chan on Monday October 09, 2006.

sony ericsson z610i · cell phone reviews · sony ericsson news · cell phone news · samuel chan

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It has been over a year since Sony Ericsson last released a 3G folder. But even still, the new Z610 came with a surprise or two. First off, people did not expect a mid-range 3G clamshell this early. Secondly, people did not expect it to be available on the market so shortly after its launch announcement. The Z610 is not meant to be a successor of the Z800, instead it is targeted towards fashion conscious consumers. Stripping off the style, the device is essentially a folder version of the K610i: both being mid-range 3G devices and sharing virtually the same specifications.

Physical Aspects

The Sony Ericsson Z610 is shiny and sleek. No matter which color your chose, blue, pink, or dark brown, the surface would shine like a mirror. In fact, the curves and the color scheme give the device the look of a drop of mercury over a pebble. Using the same trick as Sony Network Walkman devices, the external OLED hides itself under the reflective cover surface when it's off, and only shows through the surface when it's on. When it does, it is gorgeous. Of course, the bad thing is that the reflective surface attracts fingerprints like you have never seen before, and it is actually quite easy to scratch, more so than the Nokia 8800. I would suggest protecting the phone with a pouch made for sunglasses.

The Z610 might appeal more to women because of the cute design and color, but I personally think that the design is not overly feminine - given the right color. The body itself measures 94mm x 49mm x 20mm (3.7" x 1.9" x .8") and is about as large as a lady's phone should get. Although the material feels really plastic, the 110g of weight helps to make the device feel less like a toy. You will be glad to learn that the build is extremely solid.

The rest of the design is minimalist. The camera is heaved on the top, and the only buttons found on the sides are the stop/pause button for music and the volume keys. The Memory Stick Micro M2 slot is also located on the left, with a tiny LED underneath it that indicates that the power is on.

Flipping open the phone will reveal the 2.0" screen and a large keypad that "looks" comfortable to operate on. The d-pad and the softkeys work just fine, but the alphabetic keys are quite hard to press and offer little in terms of tactile feedback. The keypad is lit up by white LEDs on the blue model, but glows purple because of a filter. Surprisingly the backlight is quite weak, working in complete darkness is fine but working under low light condition is a pain.

In short, I am a bit disappointed with the physical aspects of Z610. The design looks really good, but it is not particularly user friendly.

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About the author

Samuel Chan
Sam Chan is MobileBurn's roving reporter and reviewer in Hong Kong, where he has access to all sorts of toys the rest of us just can't have.

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