Sony Ericsson Z600
Sony Ericsson Z600 is the company's first attempt at
a clamshell phone since Sony and Ericsson merged their
mobile phone divisions, and it was announced as a line-up
of no fewer than three very different clamshells.
The Z600 sits in the middle of the range,
about the bargain basement Z200 and below the 3G compatible
Z1010. The "Z" designation indicates that
this is a Sony-derived product and one the natural successors
to the Sony Z7 clamshell which was pretty much the last
own-brand Sony mobile.
At its heart, the Sony Ericsson Z600 is a tri-band phone with a built in
digital camera, MMS, Bluetooth, java, built in games and a 65,000 colour screen.
It's fairly light too, weighing 106 grams and with some decent bundled games to
keep you amused.
The twist with the Sony Ericsson Z600 is that is comes with changeable
front and back covers in a variety of colourful designs. This means you can
turn your dull silver clamshell phone into pretty much
any colour you want, and it's this, plus some other
fun features, and not the impressive technical
features, that is probably the Z600's selling point.
all this into context.. there are a lot of good clamshell
phones with digital cameras and Bluetooth now, and the
problem for Sony Ericsson was always going to be making
the product just a little different from the rest. A
simple move such as snap-on covers in different colours
is surprisingly effective, because a key selling point
in any mobile phone is the "wow factor" of
how cool it looks. The Z600's snap-on covers help in
this respect, but things like some interesting accessories,
such as the game pad (pictured) help to make the phone
just a little out of the ordinary.
What's in the case? Well, actually it's a fairly
ordinary but competent phone underneath. It sports a
128x160 pixel display in 65,000 colours.. the display
is reported to be an improvement over the rather poor
display of the Sony Ericsson T610, but it's still not
up with the rest of the class. The Z600 has a fairly
puny 2Mb of inbuilt memory, but since the digital camera
only takes 288 x 352 pixel pictures there's not a whole
lot to fit into the phone's memory anyway. It's a tri-band
phone with GPRS and also boasts a pretty good array
of inbuilt games.
The Z600 measures 90 x 48 x 27.9 mm and weighs 110
grams. Maximum talktime is a highly impressive 9 hours
with about 12 days standby time. So, it's quite a large
phone but the talktime gives a clue as the Z600's true
market niche, which is in business. Although clamshells
tend to sell mostly to private customers, businesses
tend to buy the candy-bar style format, but the Z600
could change that, and capitalize on Ericsson's hard-won
share of the business market.
There is a cloud on the horizon though, and that's
in the form the the Nokia 7200,
the new clamshell from Ericsson's arch-rival. Although
pitched at a slightly different market, the Nokia 7200
shows what can be done when an existing phone format
is completely reworked to provide a radical new model.
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