Written on: 18/07/2004 by karmakoma (1 review written)
Good looks & compact design
DJ Ring tone composer
Poor screen performance in bright sunlight
System performance is very sluggish
Limited number of midi files for DJ Composer
Interface is somewhat quirky
Camera image quality is laughable
VERDICT: The Sony Ericsson T610 is a nice phone, but don't buy it if you are at all fussy about performance, camera or screen quality.
What I liked:
On paper the phone had a good list of features for its price-point and my first impressions were good. The overall design is neat and attractive and although the system interface is somewhat quirky, most people will soon get used to it. Also, for most people the mini-joystick is probably a little sloppy for quick, accurate use and can along with my other complaints, detract from users enjoyment of the phone.
I really liked the Midi based DJ Composer. It's great fun, and a good way to pass the time. The interface is easy to use and you can quickly built fairly complex tunes which you can then use as ringtones - although you can't use them for text message alerts which is a great shame. Unfortunately, the phone only comes with four main 'styles' of music to play with and a limited number of actual midi files. And whilst you can 'mix and match' these to a greater or lesser extent (depending on your musical preference) - overall I found it to be a little limited.
Another plus point for Macintosh users - this phone works really well with Salling Clicker software, so you can control iTunes from your mobile in the next room! Excellent!
Now for my mine gripes:
I see that quite a few people have been dissatisfied with the screen legibility in bright sunlight, and I can confirm that this was my experience also. The situation was improved somewhat by a call to Orange Customer Services who recommended a "Master Reset" (of user settings, not all data). Also it's recommended that you fiddle with the contrast settings as this can help. Overall though, the screen is fairly poor in general use.
This is my main reason for dissatisfaction with the phone. The operating system is very sluggish. This is most noticeable whilst texting. The longer texts become, the slower the predictive text takes to process the input. If, like me, you tend to text as you write ie normal vocabulary, then this quickly becomes *extremely* tedious. You end up constantly waiting for the list of word alternatives to appear before you can continue. In essence, your texting speed is severely limited. I thought a Flash-RAM/system software upgrade might fix this, so contacted Orange for advice. They gave me the Sony-Ericsson helpline who gave me the workshop helpline, who gave me the Sony-Ericcson helpline... Nobody could tell me how to check the phones firmware to see which version it was running - without sending the phone off! I was told that updates are not made available online (as is usual for Nokia etc).
I quickly came to hate using the phone. The system also seems to want you to jump through hoops to select your recipient when you've (finally) finished your text. An Orange representative told me that the performance could be improved by removing all excess pictures/ringtones/texts from the internal memory. Great. So you are left with a phone that you have to reset from time to time (to improve screen performance), and shouldn't store too much of your personal information on (to improve system performance). Well, I don't know about you, but this isn't exactly what I'd call ideal when I thought I was buying a phone that could be personalised for my own use.
Why do phone manufacturers provide these devices with next to useless cameras? I copied a few of my pictures to my Macintosh and found them to be tiny and heavily pixellated. The camera is only useable for creating wallpaper/desktop images for itself - but given the screens poor quality, why bother?
Another minor gripe is the strength of the vibrating alert - you can't feel it! Unless you turn up the ringtone volume really loud (and who wants that?), then if the phone is in your pocket and you are out and about, you'll simply miss the call.
All in all I found the T610 to be a very frustrating experience. In the end I switched back to my old Nokia 6210 whilst I looked around for a new handset. In comparison this was a joy to use - though 3 years old. Progress eh? So I'm going back to Nokia and the 6230 - try other manufacturers at your peril!
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