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Preview: Samsung M610

Article Comments  57  

Nov 27, 2006, 9:00 AM   by Eric Lin

Our hands-on preview of Sprint's latest flagship phone, and the thinnest clamshell available in the US.

First Look 

Physically, the m610 is quite unique when it's closed. It doesn't really look like a phone, but it doesn't really look like anything else either. It is an incredibly thin assembly of matte black plastic with a soft-touch rubberized finish. Nothing looks technological about it unless the external screen happens to be on. But once you open the m610 (This phone deserves a name, not an old fashioned model number.) then the phone is revealed.

The first time you open the m610 you are faced with a warning sticker telling you how not to hold the phone. No experience could be less pleasant. While it is wise of Sprint and Samsung to explain the best way to hold the phone for optimum reception, it would have been better to design the phone so that such a sticker was not needed. If there's a problem, change the design, don't change the person.

 

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

No matter how you wind up holding the m610, it feels odd in your hand - a bit like the original RAZR design. The soft touch finish does help to make your grip a bit more comfortable, however the wide, paper-thin shape is still odd to hold.

The hinge starts out very solid, but it develops some wiggle rather quickly. It does not seem like it will crack or break, but the flex that develops definitely detracts from what otherwise seems like a solidly built phone.

The QVGA screen is the m610's shining star, and the keypad below it one of the few disappointments. The screen is bright and sharp; it makes most every task a joy. The keypad is totally flat and only provides the slightest tactile feedback - a slight click when you press a key. There is no way to feel your way around the flat keypad, not even the navigation keys, so you'll need to look down for even the simplest tasks.

The battery lasts about two and a half to three days with normal use, although it will drain much quicker with Bluetooth on, even if there is no headset or computer connected. Signal strength was good and the m610 passed the vault test with flying colors. It even held a signal in one of Sprint's few remaining dead zones in San Francisco.

The 2 megapixel camera takes sharp, well balanced pictures, and features a new easier to use interface. Our only complaint is that the viewfinder is still set to "full screen" by default, which has been common on many Sprint phones. This means you see a portrait orientation preview, even though you are taking a landscape orientation picture. You can change the viewfinder to "wide screen" in the camera settings panel.

Other than the new viewfinder, the software on the M610 is the same as on most newer Sprint handsets. All of the menus and software look the same and are arranged the same in the menus. A few applications like the browser have been updated, but you would not know except that now they feature new capabilities. For example, you can now can visit some desktop formatted websites.

 

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

Video 

In the following video we give you a better look at the m610, show you how it stacks up against a KRZR, and take a tour of the menus and interface. You can watch it here:



or go to YouTube or Google Video for more viewing and sharing options.

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Subject Author Date
It does have a name, not just the Alphanumeric designation monkeyracer Nov 27, 2006, 4:25 PM
How to Create ringtones. CBCamp87 Feb 25, 2007, 5:33 PM
Its not easy to tell whats going on? pizzer Dec 12, 2006, 11:41 AM
No Way! Sprint74 Nov 27, 2006, 11:16 AM
Handling Instructions... Jorin Nov 30, 2006, 4:36 PM
Data Sheet for Samsung M610 webwevers Nov 29, 2006, 11:45 AM
Anyone know if it can sync with Outlook? Eriond Nov 29, 2006, 10:27 PM
Antenna Stickers SprintLynchburg_VA Nov 27, 2006, 9:31 AM
need more pics Jonathanlc2005 Nov 29, 2006, 12:10 AM
Telenav Louie718 Nov 28, 2006, 12:17 PM
Stereo Speakers / Magnesium? tuolumne Nov 28, 2006, 12:16 AM
Menu System VCI_Cell Nov 27, 2006, 1:01 PM
Vibrating alert? elndon Nov 27, 2006, 1:41 PM
OLED have caller ID? garcongrec Nov 27, 2006, 5:21 PM
 
 
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