The Sony Ericsson Z610i is a hot little number that will turn heads. Available in blue, black and for a limited time pink, the Z610i's clamshell design comes with a sleek mirror finish. On the front of the phone is a simple 128x36-pixel OLED screen that lights up when users receive an SMS or phone call, which is a handy feature for those wanting to screen calls from editors wondering where a review for this phone has got to.
The Z610i will appeal to the masses with its small and slim 94 by 49 by 20 millimetre dimensions and rounded edges that make it easily slide into a pocket. Weighing in at 110 grams it is on the lighter side of most 3G phones on the market and a country mile lighter than the first 3G phones in Australia.
Inside the clamshell is a somewhat typical Sony Ericsson numeric keypad. We found the keypad easy to use and comfortable, however, we did find the navigation pad a little clumsy and hard to master. On the plus side the phone has a bright 262K-colour screen that measures 220 by 176 pixels, which we found clear for viewing photos and video.
Sony Ericsson has made the design of the Z610i simple and easy-to-use without compromising on style and looks.
While the design is stylish and simple the Sony Ericcson Z610i has plenty of features for consumer and business users alike.
Included in the phone is a 2-megapixel camera which takes videos and stills. Using a 3G provider and an application on the phone called "The Picture Blog" users are able to upload their images to a blog site automatically.
Music lovers will be able to play MP3s using this phone, however no headphones are included in the standard unit and will have to be purchased separately. Also, the phone only ships with a 64MB Sony Memory Stick Micro but the phone does support cards up to 1GB. With 3G access users are able view the Web, mobile TV and download tunes or ringtones directly to the phone.
For business users the Z610i supports push e-mail which will let you have your regular e-mails forwarded to your mobile phone. With a browser included in the phone users will be able to see HTML, xHTML and WAP pages on the large 2-inch (5cm) screen. Also included is an RSS reader that periodically checks for new content on your favourite Web sites. Business users who like to synchronise contacts and calendars can do so via the Z610i's USB connection. Unfortunately the software included does not support Mac or Linux.
During our tests, the phone worked flawlessly for all basic operations such as receiving and making calls, sending text messages and viewing sites using the Hutchison's 3 mobile network.
While making videos and placing video calls is fun we aren't overly impressed by the quality delivered on the Z610i. While the phone has inbuilt 2-megapixel camera, the quality of photos we took were average at best. With no flash many of the photos we took were blurry and we found it difficult to capture moving objects.
With no cover for the camera lens, the phone could scratch or gather dust during everyday use. In fact, while the mirror face to the phone is aesthetically pleasing and well designed, users might be wary of fingerprint marks and possibly scratching the surface.
Using a standard 2G SIM card for the majority of our test period produced around three and a half days before we had to recharge the Z610i. Using 3G features and multimedia we would expect the phone to drain battery life a little faster.
With only a small amount of memory included, the Sony Ericsson Z610i will require more than a 64MB memory stick if you are looking to store more than about 16 music tracks and some photos or videos. This will be an additional cost to the phone for serious users of the multimedia features.
Overall, the Z610i is one of the most attractive Sony Ericsson phones that we've seen here at CNET.com.au. While we think many users will purchase this phone purely because it is pretty, there are some useful and handy features under the hood which will appeal to the fashion conscious business users and power users alike.