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Review: Sony Ericsson W600

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Although it was not included in the last spinner, Sony Ericsson has included the clock function from their candybars into the W600. The time and date are normally displayed on the home screen. After the phone is idle a short time, the screen dims. During this period a press of any button will bring the backlight up to full strength to read the time. About a minute after the phone is idle, the screen turns off altogether. Once this happens, a quick press of either volume button will bring up a clock and status display with large text that is easy to read in any conditions.


Even though Sony Ericsson could have gotten away with less, the Bluetooth on the W600 has all the same profiles as their flagship phones. Most notably, this includes headset, hands-free, OBEX and dial up networking. It also supports less critical but useful profiles such as sync and HID remote, which allows the phone to act as a remote control for a Bluetooth enabled PC.

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About the only profiles this phone lacks are A2DP and AVRC, which allow for playback and control of audio devices. Sony Ericsson has not put then in any phones yet, but it would be nice to see them in Walkman phones considering many new audio devices are launching with these profiles.


The W600 scored a 3524 for JBenchmark's MIDP 1.0 test and 219 for the MIDP 2.0 battery. This puts the W600 ahead of the vast majority of mid-range phones, but still just behind high end models from Sony Ericsson and others. These scores should yield a fun gaming experience, which is nice considering it has an extra set of buttons just for game control.

Other Features

The W600 features the standard suite of applications on modern Sony Ericsson devices. It has an excellent alarm clock which will work even if the phone is powered off, a countdown timer and stopwatch. It also includes other useful tools like a calculator and voice memo.

The walkman software allows you to drag MP3 and AAC (even M4A) files into the phone's audio folder and it will play them. The Walkman player is capable of reading ID3 tags on MP3 files and will sort them by artist and album, however it is not capable of reading track number from the tags, and so will play the songs in an album alphabetically by song name. The player does not read ID3 tags from M4A files and can only sort those songs by file name.

Transferring songs from your computer to the phone is a slow affair. Even though the W600 is USB 2.0, it does not appear to be USB 2.0 high speed, like the new iPods are. Songs take about a minute to transfer instead of about a second. Although we couldn't try the PC software, reports are that using Sony's software to transfer files is even slower. Since there is no memory card, there is no way around this bottleneck.

The W600 supports sync to a variety of operating systems and applications. It is not natively supported in iSync 2.1.1, however there is a plug in that enables full iSync compatibility for the phone over Bluetooth.


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