Sony Ericsson Z600

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Sony Ericsson Z600
Sony Ericsson's Z600 is a camera phone with a great design and Bluetooth for connectivity.

The Z600 is the first Sony Ericsson phone we have seen with a clamshell design. It's also great not to see an external antenna poking out at the top. Both the front and the back of the Z600 sport changeable covers. Our test model came with a metallic blue case.

We are told that Sony Ericsson will bundle two sets of covers when the Z600 is released in mid-November. Some of the authentic covers we've seen include silver mesh, tasteful lime, pink coral on a red background and an eye-catching design with thin, rainbow stripes.

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The built-in camera can take photos at two resolutions, 288 x 352 pixels or 120 x 160 pixels. On the outside of the mobile is a shiny metal dome to assist in taking self-shots. The screen generally acts as the viewfinder and the camera supports effects such as sepia, black and white shots.

The screen is an improvement on Sony Ericsson's T610 being both larger (128 x 160 pixels) and brighter. Similar to the T610 it has a 65K colour screen, it's also a little easier to read under direct sunlight than its predecessor.

The numerical keys on the Z600 remind us of the keys on the Panasonic GD88. They are large, transparent and feature blue backlights. We much prefer the navigation controller on the Z600 to the tiny joystick on the T610. It is a circular four-way rocker with a selection button in the middle. The dedicated Internet button has been moved down below the star key with the power key located opposite it under the hash key.

We prefer the location of the camera button on the Z600; it's moved to the right side of the phone. It may not sound like a significant change but makes taking photos with one hand a lot easier (for right handed people because you can use your thumb).

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The Z600's user interface is identical to the T610's 12-icon graphic desktop, as is its functionality. During our connectivity tests, we had no problems with the Z600 recognising and sending files to the T610 via Bluetooth or infrared. We found this to be a fast and cheap way of sending business cards, ringtones, pictures and appointments.

The polyphonic ringtones are impressive on the Z600; they are nice and loud while still sounding crisp. There is also a ringtone editor called Music DJ where you can compose your own polyphonic tunes. Alternatively, you can record your own voice or sound to use as a ringtone.

Two java games were included on our review model, Colourbug and Erix. You can't really call Colourbug a game, it's a silly application where coloured sprites move in the direction you press. Erix is a little more challenging, where you try to section off the screen without being hit by anything.

Four Mophun games are also included which are much more exciting to play than the java games. Bundled on our test model was a space-invaders game called AlienScum, a shoot-'em-up platform game called HoneyCave2, MiniGolf which is a cute putt-putt game, and the sports car racing game V-Rally 2. Many of these also support network gaming over Bluetooth or infrared. Force feedback is implemented well in V-Rally 2, when you go off-road the mobile will vibrate. Connect a Gameboard to the Z600 and many hours can be wasted playing these addictive little games.

The Gameboard EGB-10 is an optional four-button controller that attaches itself at the bottom of the Z600. It looks a lot like the controller from the now obsolete Super Nintendo console. The volume buttons and the picture button on the sides on the Z600 get in the way of the plastic clips in the middle of the Gameboard so you have to attach them to the lower half of the handset. We found this made the setup a little top heavy, but it's still easy to play the games.

On average, the battery on our Z600 lasted just under 4 days. This is surprisingly good considering the brightness of the screen and the fact we also played games and took many pictures while testing the mobile.

We are taken back at the Z600's smart appearance. It's clamshell design that features changeable covers and it's internal antenna give the handset a sleek and contemporary look. It's sure to be a hit when it's released in mid-November.

Sony Ericsson Z600
Company: Sony Ericsson
Price: AU$869
Release date: Mid-November
Distributor: Selected resellers
Phone: 1300 650 050


Antenna internal
Available Body Colors coral/silky red, metallic mesh/aluminium green, rainbow stripe/electric blue, space silver/cosmo black
Integrated Components Digital camera, voice recorder
Phone Features
Polyphonic Ringer Yes
Polyphonic Ring Tone Voice Qty 32
Ring Tone Formats MIDI
Voice Dialing Yes
Phone Functions Voice control, call timer, conference call, voice dialing, vibrating alert
Additional Features Intelligent typing (T9), SIM application toolkit (STK), picture editor, closed user groups, photo album, HTML/HTTP support, downloadable JAVA applications, picture phonebook, melody composer
Technology GSM - Tri-Band
Software Platforms Supported Java
Phone Navigation Buttons joystick
Type cellular phone
Integrated Components voice recorder
Band GSM 900/1800/1900 (Tri-Band)
Band Qty Tri-Band
Phone Form Factor folder (flip)
Service Provider not specified
Messaging & Internet
Cellular Messaging Services EMS, MMS, SMS
Supported SMS Functions SMS Chat, Concatenated SMS
WAP Protocol Supported WAP 2.0
Messaging & Data Features WAP Push, OTASP/OTAPA support
Downloadable Content Games
Messaging Services Yes
Supported Email Protocols POP3, IMAP4
Communication Features mobile Email client
Data Transmission GPRS
Wireless Interface Bluetooth, Infrared (IrDA)
Multi-language Menu Yes
Technology TFT
Display Indicators missed calls indicator, Bluetooth indicator, GPRS indicator, IR port indicator, Digital clock, Active profile icon, Alarm clock indicator, Text message waiting, Voice message waiting, Keypad lock, Battery meter, Silent ring signal, Divert indicator, Signal strength
Display Resolution 128 x 160 pixels
Color Depth 16-bit (65000 colors)
Color Support color
Features backlit, Screensaver
Display (2nd)
Display Illumination Color blue
Color Support monochrome
Personal Information Management calculator
Alarm Clock Yes
Missed Calls Memory 10
Dialed Calls Memory 30
Received Calls Memory 10
Phone Book Entries Qty 510
Event Qty 300
Security Features
Phone Lock Yes
Keypad Lock Yes
SIM Card Lock Yes
Standby Time Up to 200 h
Talk Time Up to 360 min
Run Time Details Talk - up to 540 min
Standby - up to 300 hrs
Run Time Details Talk - up to 540 min
Standby - up to 300 hrs
Digital Camera
Still Image Formats JPEG, GIF
Brand Sony Ericsson
Product Line Sony Ericsson
Model Z600
Packaged Quantity 1
Phone Functions voice control
Additional Features HTML/HTTP support, Downloadable JAVA applications, Picture editor, Intelligent typing (T9), Photo album, Melody composer, Closed user groups, SIM application toolkit (STK)
Power Adapter
Type power adapter
Flash Memory
Installed Size 2 MB
Form Factor Internal