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Review: Sony Ericsson W600

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The W600 still uses the 176 x 220 screen of the K750 and other phones. It is bright, crisp and plenty big, however it looks much smaller because there is so much more plastic surrounding the screen than on the newer candybar models. The screen is readable under all lighting conditions including bright sunlight. It also automatically shuts off completely when the phone is idle so that it doesn't waste battery life.


Reception on the W600 is disappointing considering the phone has an external loop antenna. Our text model indicated a loss of signal slightly further away from dead zones and more often than with most handsets, but performance is no worse than the W800. It's difficult not to believe that RF performance should be better considering the large loop of plastic jutting out from the phone's back. When the W600 has any signal at all, however, calls are strong and clear and data is reliable, speeding up as reception improves.


Since the W600 is a music phone, you would expect it to have excellent speakers and headphone options. This phone will meet your expectations. The W600's speaker is very clean sounding. It does not distort sound easily at high volumes, but those high volumes are not as loud as other Sony Ericsson speakers (such as those of the S710a). The loudspeaker used for speakerphone, music playback and ringers is equally clear, but unfortunately also lacks the loud volume of some earlier models.

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The in-ear headphones Sony Ericsson includes are rather good for a pair of free earbuds, and the company thoughtfully includes a 3.5 mm jack in the microphone / headphone adapter so you can use your own. The microphone on the headphone adapter is incredible, providing clear voice quality even when it is buried under jackets and sweaters or exposed to the wind.

Even though the phone can be used while the keypad is spun closed, the quality of the built-in microphone improves when the keypad is open. This is probably due to the keypad blocking more ambient noise and wind for the microphone.


Jaded GSM users will be undeniably impressed with the W600's battery life. We put the battery through its paces with at least an hour of music playback per day, lots of data use for email and WAP browsing, sporadic Bluetooth use and our normal calling, messaging and just general fiddling around to discover the battery still lasted over 4 days. This is definitely one of the longest lasting GSM phones we've tested, and the infrequency with which it requires recharging has spoiled us.

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