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NEC E616

 NEC E616 Discontinued
28th October 2003

The NEC E616 is the second smallish clamshell phone to be released by NEC for the UK's 3 network and is as a straightforward replacement for the NEC E606. The E616 is expected to ship in April 2004.

Looking a somewhat more conventional that the E606, the NEC E616 has some interesting features in addition to the good looking 3G audio and video streaming capabilities. To start with, the NEC E616 has inbuilt GPS (global positioning system) to aid with navigation, and cameras mounted on the front and back. The E616 is tightly integrated into the 3 network with a dedicated key to launch services, and it has built-in Java support for applications and games.

The NEC E616 is a little larger that a standard clamshell handset, but smaller than the old E606, at 103x54x26mm and 130 grams in weight. Talktime is about two hours, which isn't a lot compared to GSM handsets. The dual cameras are a little low on the resolution front too, with only 325x288 pixels, but it does come with a light to help with taking pictures in darker conditions.

 NEC E616 What's good about the NEC E616 is that it is probably the most conventional phone available on the UK's 3 network. Most of the other available handsets tend to be bulky, but the E616 promises to be small enough to be easy to carry, but with a 2.2 inch (176x240 pixel) screen it should be good enough to use with 3G services. In any case the NEC E616 is certainly an improvement over the NEC E606 and will probably sell well to 3G subscribers.

At the moment the Hutchison 3 service is the only 3G service in the UK, stealing quite a march on its rivals. Hutchison's plan is to gain market share by being first, even at the risk of compromising the 3G capabilities of the network. It's likely that the 3 network at present isn't really good enough to push the E616 to its limits, but right at the moment, 3 has no competition.

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