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Sony Ericsson Summer 2005

Intro W600 1 W600 2 Z520 Accessories Comments  28  

The W600 is Sony Ericsson's second phone to carry Sony's Walkman brand, and the special music player software that goes with it.

The first phone to carry the honor was the W800, but that will be marketed only in Europe and Asia; the W600 is therefore the first Walkman phone for the U.S., complete with the GSM 850 band.

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The W600 has a swivel-style design, similar to the company's S710 model, although considerably smaller.

The smaller size is achieved by stepping down to a smaller display and removing the memory card slot. The lack of expandable memory is unfortunate, especially on a music-oriented phone, but that is mostly offset by the inclusion of 256 MB of internal memory, enough for about 80-120 songs.

The W600 is designed to work with whatever music you already have. The phone can play both MP3 and AAC format music files, and it includes a USB cable for transferring songs from your PC.

The music player allows you to bring up songs by track or by artist, and also supports dynamic creation of playlists right on the phone. A small dedicated music key on the side of the display can launch the most-recently-used music application - music player or FM radio - and will also pause playing music.

Sony Ericsson claims you can listen to about about 15 hours of music on one battery charge, although of course this number goes down as you make calls or light up the display. A dedicated key lock switch on the side helps prevent accidental key presses that might activate the display and drain battery life.

Unlike some other recently-announced music phones, the W600 does not have a 3.5mm headphone jack built into the phone itself. But you're not out of luck if you want a high-quality listening experience. First, the W600 includes a set of high-quality stereo earbuds that double as a headset for making calls. Second, if you unplug the earbuds from the microphone - viola! - a 3.5mm headset jack is right in the cord so you can use your favorite stereo headphones.

Other music features of the W600 include a stereo FM radio and classic Sony sound enhancers like MegaBass and a "stereo wide" mode for enhanced stereo effect. The enhanced sound helps with the built-in stereo speakers, although, like nearly all such built-in speakers, they're not good enough to be very useful if you care even the teeniest bit about sound quality.

Although the W600 does feature Bluetooth, it does not support stereo audio over Bluetooth. That's a tad disappointing, although not altogether surprising, since the feature is still very rare and this not a top-end model.

The European version of this phone - the S600 - isn't blessed with Walkman goodness, and thus only has 64 MB of memory - enough for a good number of megapixel photos, but not nearly enough for a full day of music.

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