NEC e616

NEC e616

Summary: A high-end handset from 3, the NEC e616 is capable of making video calls, sending video messages, downloading music/games and playing multimedia files. Read our Australian review.

SHARE:
30
NEC e616 A high-end handset from 3, the NEC e616 is capable of making video calls, sending video messages, downloading music/games and playing multimedia files. Read our Australian review.

It has been just over a year since Hutchison launched 3, the first 3G network in Australia. Coinciding with this launch was the debut of the NEC e606, which was the flagship handset for 3.

 Answering the call
 Mobile phone reviews :
 LG G7100
 Motorola MPx200
 NEC e313
 NEC e616
 Nokia 6230
 Nokia 6600
 Nokia 6820
 Nokia 7200
 Nokia N-Gage QD
 Panasonic G50
 Panasonic GD55
 Panasonic X70
 Sharp GX30
 Siemens SX1
 Sony Ericsson P900


While the e606 impressed us for being the first mobile phone in Australia to support video calls, the handset itself had a couple of flaws. Most notably, the handset was huge and battery life was shocking -- the compromise of most high-end 3G handsets.

NEC has addressed the first issue to some degree with the e616. Loosing some of the bulk of its predecessor, the e616 is both 6mm thinner and lighter measuring 103 x 53 x 26mm. It has also shed a tenth of its ancestor's weight -- tipping the scales at 131 grams.

The e616 is more aesthetically appealing than its predecessor is. Flaunting a silver case, the clamshell handset now features a prominent external monochrome screen. This display generally shows the time, date, remaining power and network status. At other times, it can display missed calls, a message notification or caller ID.

Its dual-cameras provide flexibility when capturing pictures and video -- with one facing towards you and one away from you. The resolution for photos can be set to 352 x 288 pixels, 128 x 96 pixels or 120 x 120 pixels. Beside the outer-facing camera is a surprisingly bright camera light to assist capturing shots at night, which switches on via the photo options menu.

The e616 uses a hands-free speaker for video calls (unlike the e606, which relied on an earpiece). The speaker is located on the front of the flip near the hinge and the microphone, is located at the top of the keypad, oddly enough. Perhaps due to their close proximity, during a test video call to an e313 handset we could slightly hear an echo looping back. The headset included in the package alleviates this trivial issue whilst keeping conversations a bit more private.

Putting the e616 beside the NEC e313, the screen of the e616 definitely shows images more vividly. It boats a resolution of 176 x 240 pixels and a 65,536-colour TFT displays. Pressing the menu key brings up the e616's three by three icon-based grid of options. From here, you can send a message (text, video, multimedia or e-mail), manage files and change settings, amongst other options. The menu also offers a multimedia centre to play audio (MP3, WMA, WAV, MIDI, AAC supported), video files (MPEG4, 3GP, WMV) and take and view pictures.

The NEC e616 supports streaming video clips and the speed of 3G provides sufficiently fast frame rates for the mobile phone display. Alternatively, entire video clips download quickly and save to memory so you can play them again later. The e616's 19MB of internal memory can store quite a few clips, games, java applications, tones and pictures. An expansion slot for Sony's Memory Stick Duo on the side of the handset allows for up to 128MB of extra storage.

Bluetooth and a USB cable (provided in the box) enable external connections to PCs and other devices. Up to 500 contacts can be stored with a wide range of fields for each entry, including multiple phone numbers, e-mail address, a URL, an image and nickname.

Big-fingered mobile phone users will be glad to see the large keys and spacious layout on the e616. Above the usual array of numerical keys is a four-way navigation pad (with selection key in the middle), two soft keys, a menu button, clear and options keys, and the 3 services key.

Entering 3's services page on the e616 brings up a wealth of information, such as weather, sport, news, finance and astrology. Video clips can be downloaded or streamed, you can listen to music and ringtones, play games, watch live video feeds into the Big Brother house (at the time of writing). There is also a premium Playboy service, which requires age verification before 3 grants access.

The e616's slimline battery sits flush with the back of the phone and takes only a couple of hours charge. NEC state the standby time on 3G networks like Hutchison's 3 to be 120 hours or a talk time of 110 minutes. During our test period using the handset sporadically, the standard battery lasted just over a day. Thankfully, NEC provides a higher-capacity battery in the package that tends to endure about two days usage. The only price you pay for the extended battery is the added bulk -- it juts out about half a centimetre from the back of the mobile phone.

Another drawcard of the NEC e616 is integrated GPS technology. However, at the time of writing, 3 Australia does not support location-based services.

NEC e616
Company: NEC
Price: AU$456
Distributor: 3 Australia
Phone: 13 16 82

Prices

There are currently no prices available for this product.

Topics: Mobility, Hardware, Telcos

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

30 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • It looks good, has nice shiny buttons and a big screen, but the damn thing doesn't make or receive calls. The only way to communicate using an NEC e616V phone using the 3 network is to wrap a piece of paper around it and throw it at the person you want to talk to.

    We have 5 of these and we are getting rid of them, I'd suggest that anyone else looking for a phone looks elsewhere!
    anonymous
  • As a recent convert to the nec e616- previously a diehard nokia fan- I have been accused by family members as being 'in love' with this phone. The interface is easy to navigate, and enjoyable to use on all levels. The coloured light combinations offer simple thrills along with several other unexpected extras like five alarm choices, and of course the camera options offer plenty of amusement. OK, I admit it- I am in love with it.
    anonymous
  • I too love my E616v. It is a fabulous piece of technology. NEC have done a great job in putting just about everything you need in this mobile. It is so simple to use and I would suggest that anyone experiencing problems with operation consult the easy to follow instructions in the user manual. Failing this, 3's excellent customer service are only to willing to help out. My wife has the same model and find the video talk feature fantastic when I am away. There are so many great features with the 616 that I find myself using them every day. I can't wait till the GPS service comes on line with 3.
    anonymous
  • I too love my E616v. It is a fabulous piece of technology. NEC have done a great job in putting just about everything you need in this mobile. It is so simple to use and I would suggest that anyone experiencing problems with operation consult the easy to follow instructions in the user manual. Failing this, 3's excellent customer service are only to willing to help out. My wife has the same model and find the video talk feature fantastic when I am away. There are so many great features with the 616 that I find myself using them every day. I can't wait till the GPS service comes on line with 3.
    anonymous
  • Quoting from John
    "3's excellent customer service are only to willing to help out."
    --
    Are you sure your not someone that works at 3? :) I can assure you, their service is vaigly poor! How can you say their a good service?! GOD!! I emailed them after i went on their website (www.three.co.uk) to locate a shop that sells the 3's Pay-as-you-go topup vouchers. Now either the infomation on their website was wrong, or the person in the shop didn't speak english? Speaking of English.. Their HQ's is in INDIA?!
    Dispite my auntie telling me their service was poor and was located in India, i bought one of their phones. I can't really say their phones are rubbish, they are of a good quality, well the NEC E313 is. I accidentally dropped it down the toilet (lol) and it was fine after 10minutes. However, like i said perviously above, their service is poor. I e-mailed 3, complaining about their FAULSE infomation (store locator) and they took almost two weeks to get back! I've e-mailed 3 almost three times now, mainly for different infomation, reguarding their networking in other countries, and still they took their time in replying to my e-mail. I think overall, their service is AVERAGE. I only choose 3 over T-mobile, o2 and Vodafone etc, becuase a friend told me it was the same price (minute wise) to call any network, anytime. Please leave your comments reguarding their service below. Thanks for reading!
    anonymous
  • has any 1 got any java applications for the nec e616 if so can you email me with more info thanks

    michaelmather001@aol.com
    anonymous
  • This is a nice phone but be warned, the menus suck big time. In call recording and other options are hidden deep in the phone and are a pain to access on the fly. Cant use MP3 for ringtones either.
    anonymous
  • The E616 I found to be not so easy to use everything seems to be tucked away and not easy to find if your not gadget minded. Also they seem to have a problem with the ear piece volume.
    I have returned Two already and if this one does the same, I wont be telling them to stick it back in the box this time.
    anonymous
  • Living in canberra and not knowing if 3 is even supported here i was annoyed to find agood phone the e616 in the powerhouse catalogue only to find they had none in stock andonly 6 powerhouses in nsw have them and according to an employee in allphones westfield woden 3 phones dont work in canberra altough i know someone who has one which worksfine and only now seeing our first 3 store being built they should get there act together
    anonymous
  • NEC E616 APPS!!!

    does anyone have any java games or something please send them rahulforhire@yahoo.com.au thanks very much
    anonymous
  • NEC E616 JAVA APPS & RINGTONES + ANY OTHER SOFTWARE

    Hi there.

    I would greatly apprecaite any one with ringtones and applications for the nec e616. Please send anything whatsoever to do with the nec e616. Thank alot!
    anonymous
  • manual

    Hi. Just bought an e 616, but no manual with it!! I haven't a clue how to use it or even set the clock!

    Any help out there?
    anonymous
  • Manual download

    Hi Diana,

    If you scroll down to the bottom of this page: http://www.nec.com.au/products_detail.aspx?view=162

    you will see a link to download the e616 manual, which should have all the information you need.

    Ella Morton,
    Associate Editor @ ZDNet
    anonymous
  • software for e 616

    dear sir,

    i want software for (e 616 ) mobile
    where can i get the sofware please let me know
    anonymous
  • nec e313 apps

    his phone is great but unfortunatly u can not download apps or java games onto it unless from 3 but u can put midi tones on it using mem card or email. sadly only midi.
    anonymous
  • NEC e616

    I have just taken over one of the above phones from my daughter who had to have the latest.
    I can not get the phone to read the numbers from te SIM card, it is only displaying the numbers on the phone.
    I would appreciate any help in solving this problem.
    We no longer have the manual.
    Rgds
    anonymous
  • downloading music software

    how do i get the software to download music to my phone???
    anonymous
  • e616 battery

    e616 is one of the best phones but the only problem I have encountered with it is that the life span of the battery is too short. I want NEC to improve on the battery.
    anonymous
  • diana...i can help u ....

    i have da manual tht i can mail u provided i knw ur mail add.....and im plannin 2 sell my NEC e616..cos our operators dosnt support many of da features!....if u can help me out finding any one wud want to buy it !!...thnx n tek kr...
    anonymous
  • mobile

    hi i have a nec e616v mobile but i have not got the manual please could you sent me it on fansterfootynut@hotmail.com thanks
    my name is haleema
    anonymous