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Thread: My W600 review:

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    My W600 review:

    I had the opportunity to test the W600 a while ago when it was still a beta product. This First look can be found here:
    W600: A First Look

    I come back again to you all with a full review of a Rogers retail W600i.
    Rogers W600

    Reception:
    I first got a hint that the W600 would be great way back in October 2005 when I demo'd a beta W600. Even then it was a very strong contender. I remember thinking to myself "wow, I wonder it it'll stay this strong, or even improve with the retail launch."

    I am very pleased to say that the W600 is one of the best handsets I've used for RF.
    I ran the standard barrage of tests on the W600.
    1> Cantina test:
    passed with flying colours
    no issues maintaing calls, or surfing, or SMSing with SE's KING of T9 implementations.
    "concrete walls, where i don't see them" is what the W600 said to me.

    2> Driving test*
    no issues with handoff's or maintaining calls
    No noticeable burps or blunders in the route.
    No droped calls or EEEE-OOOO-AAAA-LLLLL Digital break up noises
    "I'm sorry, are we moving or?..." the W600 laughed at me

    *The drive by test is:
    Yonge and 16th, east on 16th to woodbine. North on woodbine to 19th. West on 19th to Yonge. North on Yonge to Bloomington. East on bloomington to Bayview. South on bayview to Stouffville sideroad. East on Stoufville sideroad to Leslie and Leslie back to the Hill.


    Quite simply, this W600 really has impressed me. I have been using this handset since Dec 22nd and, truth be told, i haven't swapped my sim into any other handset since then. The RF on this thing is simply amazing. It really is a huge improvement over the good S710a, and it's even better then the excellent Z520. Everyone I have asked on hofo that is using this phone seems to have this in their answer: "the W600 is excellent"

    Howard Reviewed it, Said the RF was excellent
    My associates/friends/family who use it say the RF is excellent.
    Guess what, I also say the RF is excellent. In fact, I'd be hard pressed to find 1 complaint here on hofo about it's RF here or in the SE forum.

    Simply overstating the already obvious, the W600 has Excellent RF. If this is paramount for you, the W600 will deliver

    The credit for the RF prowess goes out to the "strange looking" loop on the top of the handset. While some comment bout it's odd placement, i personally like it. It gives you the benefit and RF sensitivity of a stub without the protruding, stick you in the side effects. This same loop style antenna is also seen on the Z520, which is also a great little phone. And it appears to be going forward to in the newly announced W300 walkman phone. If these loop antenna are what bring the SUPER SEEG then loop me up.

    Another thing worth mentioning is that the W600 is designed similar to the S710a in that you really can't hold it wrong. Wether open or closed the antenna is away from you, so you're not inadvertently touching it, reducing the SEEG.





    Sound Quality
    incoming
    the W600 is one of my favorites for sound quality. it's right up there with the 6230, S710a, V3 and P207. It's easily one of the LOUDEST handsets on the market for incoming volume. In fact, it's so loud, I often have it set to 6/7 of 8. This incoming loudness also extends to Bluetooth Headsets oddly enough. Some of you may have seen in this disclaimer in my BT headset reviews:

    *The W600 is a LOUD phone, and it seems to just amplifly all headsets.. Even the older motorola headsets I have at the shop once paired with the W600 are louder then with other phones.

    I wasn't joking. The BT on the W600 actually breathes new life into older headsets i originally left at home because they were to quiet for my liking. The W600 amps up every current headset I've demo'd in the last 2 months. This is another stroing suit for the W600 and those that use BT headsets a lot.

    The Sound quality itself strikes the perfect amounts of treble and bass for my liking. It's not hissy, and it's not to much bass. It's a very good handset in this regard. often I find myself saying "you there" simply because there is very minimal hiss, and I think i have dropped the call. This may turn some off, as some like that comfort noise hiss. Myself, I'm a big fan of the W600's incoming sound qualities.

    outgoing
    The outgoing sound quality is also good.
    It's a little bit spacious but sounds natural. Flip phones really have the advantage here being able to get the mic closest to your mouth. That being said the W600 still provides a good quality conversation to your called party. Furthermore, the W600's incoming loudness also applies to it's outgoing characteristics. The W600 puts out a clean, loud, call to the called party. Often people have said to me "you're on the W600 eh, I have to turn my volume down". This has advantages and disadvanteges. The advantage would clearly be clean loud outgoing conversations. However, the drawback to this is that when you're in loud or excessively noisy areas, your caller is going to hear that as well.

    Either way, the W600 is a capable little handset on the outgoing audio front.

    Camera
    The W600 is a media friendly phone.
    As such it has a camera, complete with a Led light assist that's 2 stages.
    The camera itself is good. While the S710a and W810 are clearly bettery camera's, the W600 is still ok.
    it's a 1.3 mpix unit capable of 1.3 640x480 and 160x120

    Everyone's seen the "Man who wants SEEG, but watches from sideline" Pic in the W600 preview. I'll also throw up a few more recent ones as well.
    You'll notice one of the pics has the time/date in the bottom right corner. This is also a feature you can enable to time/date stamp all your pics if you like.





    That 550HP Z06 Eater from previous reviews






    Shoot mode & Effects
    The W600 camera also has a few fun shoot modes & effects which you can use to spice it up a bit. I'll run through these quickly

    *Normal: single shot normal pics
    *Panorama: Allows you to take 3 shots and "lace" them together into one huge one
    *Frames: 13 frames to shot your images in. Such frames are Cartoon Elvis, Singing lady etc etc etc
    Burst: Burst is a 4 shot burst. pretty straightforward

    Panorama shot
    *Click picture for larger image


    Frame shot


    The Effects are black and white, Negative, Sepia, Solarize.

    You also have the ability to set a picture timer, change pic quality from normal to fine, change your shutter sound (but not slience it) and time/date stamp

    Video camera
    The W600 also is able to record Vid's that you can MMS off to friends.
    The good thing is that in the shoot mode there are 2 settings for Video
    For picture messaging: Puts a cap on the vid so you can send it via MMS. (300k)
    High-Quality Video: Lets the clock run until your memory is gone

    You can also use the Led light assist when using the cam

    I took a video of the W600, using the W600 on that Much VJ search for your viewing pleasure:
    http://www.hgsconsulting.ca/mov.3gp

    Led light assist
    Similar to the S710a, the W600 features a Led light assist. This assist also Bursts stonger when the pic is taken unlike the S710a, which was 1 constant level. You can also use the W600 led assist light as a flash light. This is found in the Organizer menu. You can have the flashlight On, On for 1 minute, or SOS. You can also short cut this feature if you use it a lot.



    Specs
    The W600's specs are as follows:
    Quadband GSM850/900/1800/1900
    Class 10 EDGE/GPRS
    Bluetooth 2.0
    256MB fixed memory
    IR
    Fastport charging/USB cable
    1.3 Megapixel camera
    176x220 265k screen, viewable in direct sunlight
    40 Chord polyphonic
    120Grams/4.2oz weight

    the Fixed memory is a bit of a dissapointment considering this is a Walkman branded product. There is hope however. With the W300 announcing support for Sony's new M2 Micro Memory look for future W600 or other smaller SE walkman phones to run the removable M2 media

    Aesthetics
    The W600 is an interesting looking device. I'm a big Fan of the Orange rubbery covers myself. The W600 also comes packaged with Blue covers as well if orange isn't your thing.





    Here's that loop antenna i was talking about earlier:






    The W600 clearly is a swivel handset. I myself really have no complaints. Either I'm flipping, swivelling or keypad unlocking, it's all roughly the same effort anyway. It's a good design over the S710a. Especially the Mic placement which was a sore spot for me on the S710a. The rubbery feel of the OEM covers is excellent and the swivel opend and closes with a satisfying click.

    Screen
    The Screen on the W600 is very good. Clearly visible in direct sunlight and has great colour quality and saturation. If it was a little brighter that wouldn't be a bad thing either as you can naver have enough brightness.





    direct sunlight shot, notice you can still clearly make out the Image of me.


    Keypad
    The Keypad on the W600 is a mixed bag. While the key's themselves are good with great tactile feel and response, their arrangement and flush to the service design, as well as the spacing in between them lose points overall


    Menu setup
    the menu is classic Sony Ericsson.
    it's logically laid out, quick, and still offers Numberic shortcuts if you like that.
    The SE OS is one of the best non symbian/S60 OS's out there in my opinion, and with every new product SE seems to add little tweaks and improvements to the OS making the user experience even better.

    You can also shortcut what you want on the Dpad, as well as add new shortcuts to the shortcut menu which is accessed by pressing up. organizing this shortcut menu is very simple and straightforward.



    SMS
    It's really no surprise that in the T9 implementations, SonyEricsson is tops.
    I'm just gonna borrow from one of my other SE reviews since my sentiment is still the same
    SE, quite simply is The king of T9 sms
    SE T9 rules the roost for ease of use. It allows custom words, it allows custom alphanumberic words, IE, Z500, 6230b GSM850. It has a list of words as you're typing which can be turned off if you don't like it. It guesses the word even if you're not done writing it, IE, I type Snowe and SonyEricsson pops up because I've saved it in the dictionary. It has the ability for you to go into your custom dictionary and see the words you've entered and delete some that you no longer want or need which is amazing for when you slip while entering a custom word and enter it wrong, like Fidm instead of Fido... whoops!!

    the SE SMS system is the smartest, easiest, most powerfull SMS system that I have EVER used. Ever.


    One key thing that the SE W600 is still lacking is something like moto's cleanup. You can set it to automatically delete inbox/outbox every X days or X messages. The SE is still lacking a delete all command also, which would make my life easier instead of having to go into inbox/sent and issuing the delete all commands. however, these issues are very minor and are quickly and easily over-shadowed by the SE T9 implementation.

    I'm please to say, that in my personal tastes, SE T9 is still by far #1

    Another really nice addition to the W600 is that i'll send SMS in the background, immediately taking you back to the main screen. This is excellent if you want to compose 1 message to a group of people.

    Groups
    The SE also allows you to build predefined SMS groups of people you want to send the same message out to

    Mark Several
    Is a welcome addition when you want to spam a group of people, but they're not in a predefined group. It's great for on the fly SMS group sending.

    speed dialing / Profiles / call listings
    Nothing new here, still excellent and logical. revisiit my W600/S710a/Z500 reviews for more detail on these things

    Power button
    New to the W600 is the power button.
    The power button itself can now be used to quick access your profiles, silent mode and the key lock. Although the Keylock itself has a physical switchon the side which is much easier to use.





    Build Quality
    A decently built piece
    the back cover comes lose after a while requiring the old paper under back trick
    the glide strips also start to show wear where the top swivel meets the bottom swivel.

    Connectivity
    The W600 is by no means short on connectivity.
    What's your flavour?
    IR
    BT
    USB cable..
    it's all there.

    File manager
    The file manager on the W600 is excellent.
    you can send, delete, move and copy files with simple clicks.
    you can mark several Ringtunes for example, and send them out via BT to another phone or PC
    You can use numeric shortcuts for your frequently used things by counting the locations..
    left to right, top to bottom in the graphic menu's, and top to bottom in the text menu's.

    EG> If i wanna quick access my themes I press menu 7 4.
    since 7 is File manager counting left to right from Top to the bottom
    and 4 is themes counting the list from top to bottom.

    Bluetooth
    The W600's bluetooth system has been upgraded to the 2.0 format.
    Thils allows multiple connections, frequency hopping, better battery life and better sound quality.

    The BT 2.0 solution on the W600 is excellent.
    It's stable, offers good range and now has a disconnect option for those times you want to drop the connections or when the headset's freeze or other bluetooth mishaps arise.

    When you pair the W600 to a PC with the latest Widcomm drivers you should get the following options:
    Dial up networking
    HS Voice gateway
    Mouse and Keyboard
    NAP service
    OBEX file transfer
    OBEX IrMC Sync Server
    OBEX push
    Serial Port


    Remote Control
    Speaking of the mouse and keyboard BT profiles, the W600 has these trick little apps that'lllet you wireless controll your PC via the W600 and bluetooth.
    You can use Presenter, Media player or Desktop.

    The Presenter is for wireless presentations such as powerpoint and will controll your slide's forward and back etc

    Media player is prtty straightforward and will controll WIndows Media player

    Desktop is my favorite and allows your W600 to ask as your wireless BT mouse, controlling the cursor onscreen with your W600's joypad.


    USB cable
    The W600 includes the USB cable and SE SW in the box to sycn and load up tunes on the walkman
    I find the new Fastport connector solid and secure.

    IR
    Your standard issue IR really. I haven't used IR in years, but it's there if you do use it.

    EDGE
    The W600 is a class 10 EDGE device capable of Modem use as well. The W600 makes full use of it's class 10 EDGE while sending/receiving MMS and Email with attachments. When it comes to EDGE, SE always seems to get it right. It's always class 10 with them.

    Sync
    The W600's included SW is much better then the older sync stuff with the S710a. I still prefer the generic BT IRMC sync's though since it's easier to use, and already there once you pair with your PC.

    the Sync SW will allow you to sync contacts/notes/calendar items as well.
    I was able to set it up with the cable easily, but never figured out how to use the SE SW via a BT connection to the W600

    Headset use
    One thing I really like about SE headset implementations is that if you answer the phone, the call will go to the phone. Regardless of wether or not a BT headset is connected. You wanna answer the call in your headset, you press the headset button. You can also quickly and easily switch back and forth from handset to headset. You can even switch to multiple headsets if you happen to have more then 1 bt headset.

    Gaming
    The W600, among being a Walkman based media phone, is also a great 3D gaming device having 2 buttons up top to be used when you orient the phone sideways. Not only does it have this great idea for button placement on gaming, but you can use Bluetooth to play multi player games just like Mini Putt back on the T616. The Bluetooth gaming is actually fun as anyone who's played Worm's Forts Under Seige will tell you

    I look forward to the 3D content that is coming out for the W600.

    Walkman / Radio
    The W600 is the first walkman branded phone in North America. Designed specifically for us. Originally SE mad the W600 for the NA market, which was a triband EDGE device as well as a W600i which was triband euro. The S600 was also for europe which was triband euro, but only had 64 megs of memory. They then changed their minds and made the W600 quadband with 256 meg's and renamed the triband units W550's.

    I for one am glad they made the revision and launched the W600 as a quadband world phone

    Back on track, being a Walkman branded phone, you instantly realize that the W600 is about media, and it most certainly delivers. It supports MP3 and AAC formats as well.

    The media player app itself is excellent and straightforward. You can view all your tracks by artists, title, or as created. You can make playlists, you can view your Video's in a full screen mode

    The included earbuds are decent, but if you don't like them you can swap out any pair of 3.5" headset since the included headset has a standard 3.5' connector available

    The disc to phone software is straightforward and doesn't require a degree in programming to use.

    When you first press the dedicated Walkman button from the standby screen you are prompted with


    From there you have several options:


    You can browse by artist:


    or by individual tracks:


    or by a playlist which you can setup:


    and for good measure SE throws in Video so you can watch them while in the Walkman menu system


    The W600 also has a few tweaks for sound:


    you have your standard shuffle/repeat:


    And of course, an equalizer for optimal sound:


    radio
    The Radio is also a great. It's a full featured radio supporting RDS radio text which will get you the station name, if it is being broadcasted.


    Misc
    some have commented on the phone getting a white screen and rebooting.
    I myself have experienced this issue only when I'm on a call with the bluetooth headset and i press end on the phone, instead of the headset, to end the call. Every so often the phone will white screen and reboot.

    As well, there have been a few times where my phone seems to "forget" it's shortcut's that i've assigned on the Dpad requiring me to reassign them

    Strangely enough, the W600 lacks T9 text input in the wap browser. Everywhere else it has it, but it's lacking in the wap browser. I am told this is a known issue, and will be rectified in the upcoming W600 SW.


    Ratings
    Performance...................10
    Build Quality......................8
    Battery life......................10
    Features for $.................10
    Sofware.........................10
    Camera............................7
    Keypad.............................6
    Bluetooth........................10
    Screen..............................9
    Earpiece / Ring volume....11

    Overall.................9.7

    Excellent phone. My only gripes are the keypad and Fixed memory.
    If Se had only tucked in the Z520 keypad onto the W600 it'd be perfect in my opinion

    When the phone first debuted at $299.99 it was a great value, then it's price drop to $199 made it hot. It's current price point of $149.99 (march 1 2006) makes the W600 the best value in the current Rogers lineup. Furthermore, Upgrade prices are even cheaper then new activation being $99.99 / $149.99 on 3/2 year terms. At $99.99 for a W600 there simply isn't anything in the lineup right now that provides the same RF / Battery / Connectivity / Feature set mix as the W600.

    The W600 is one quality piece

    PRO's
    *Ridiculously amazing RF
    *Excellent earpiece volume
    *Excellent Ringtone volume
    *Great screen viewable in sunlight
    *Email client
    *Connectivity options are industry leading
    *New SW tweaks make life easier
    *Excellent Battery life
    *Nice swivel feel
    *Excellent incoming audio quality
    *Excellent BT headset volume
    *Great Bluetooth / Single player gaming experience
    *Led light can be used as flashlight
    *SE Themes, 1 click quick total customization

    CON's
    *Fixed memory. 256 meg in a Walkman phone isn't enough for serious media
    *Lack of T9 in wap browser (no longer issue, see below)
    *Keypad
    *Swivel design may not be loved by all
    *Camera is average
    *back cover may come lose after a while
    *glide strips show wear
    *Still no Delete all inbox/sent command for SMS


    *Addendum

    as of today (april 9 2006) the lack of T9 in the wap browser as well as the commonly known issue of having voice bubbles over names that didn't have voice tags have been corrected in the latest SE SW. Available for DL and self install using the USB cable included in the W600 box. URL's below

    known changes are:
    *T9 in wap browser
    *no more fake voice bubbles
    *Camera version 4.6
    *Java SW 6.3

    walkman updates:
    *MP4 Tag support in walkman player
    *new icon for headphones
    *stereo widening only turned on for walkman sessions


    SEUS self install SW updater
    http://www.sonyericsson.com/spg.jsp?...21839&esi=true

    PDF describing update procedure
    http://www.sonyericsson.com/download...Service_EN.pdf
    Last edited by Treatz; 04-09-2006 at 12:31 PM.

  2. #2
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    Another thorough review, sounds like a great phone..umm, maybe I can scrape away enough to get one. Thanks treatz!

    Hey, I'm first to reply ..

  3. #3
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    Nice review

    I might eventually pick one up via HUP

    The form factor turns me off though... never really bought into to swivel. I find it an ergonomic nightmare

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    Nice, no hissing/static this time?

    I may just drop by for a HUP.

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    Sweet review. Think this will be my next phone.

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    man what a great review... I want that phone now....

    it's my b-day on wenesday something tells me I'll see something in the mail for me

    but the memory kinda sucks

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    makes me wanna get it...

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    Great review treatz, and for the most part I agree with you assessment. Couple of points I don't think you touched on but that I would like to add:

    -The plastic flap that covers the connector at the bottom of the phone is a PAIN in the *** if you connect/disconnect the headset frequently.

    -I found the radio reception to be subpar in most places. And by that I mean I had a hard time getting a clear stereo signal where I had no problem with, for example, my 6230. Not sure if you used it enough to notice that. (I was using the stock headset).

    -I found the phone lagged a bit while switching between walkman and phone. Also it would sometimes start playing a song immediately as soon as I entered walkman mode and sometimes not. Which was frustrating.

    Everything else you mention is spot on from my experience.

  9. #9
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    Great review.. Now I know why I like the phone so much...

    Pro review!!

  10. #10
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    such a pro phone, it is SEXellent!

  11. #11
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    thanks for the review, I'm hoping to end up buying a W600 phone sometime later this year

  12. #12
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    Another great review. I especcially liked how your W600 talks to you.

    What do you mean by: "*Still no Delete all inbox/sent command for SMS" My S710a allows me to delete all messages in my inbox and in my send items. Oh I gues you mean you want to be able to do both at the same time. I much prefer it seperate but that's just me.

    If I didn't already own a S710a I would definetely get a W600.

  13. #13
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    Nice review Treatz.

    Just to add, the music can be played through the phone speakers and it is nice and loud. I was playing some songs on the bus and the bus driver actually came back and asked me to turn it down (that was with the engine running an all).

  14. #14
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    Nice Review Treatz, Makes me want to go out and buy a second W600.
    MY FEEDBACKS


    "To know the true reality of yourself, you must be aware not only of your conscious thoughts, but also of your unconscious prejudices, bias and habits."

    http://crocket.myminicity.com/

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chillin
    Another great review. I especcially liked how your W600 talks to you.

    What do you mean by: "*Still no Delete all inbox/sent command for SMS" My S710a allows me to delete all messages in my inbox and in my send items. Oh I gues you mean you want to be able to do both at the same time. I much prefer it seperate but that's just me.

    If I didn't already own a S710a I would definetely get a W600.
    whoops, I have to change out S710a, that was copied from old review.
    I like the ability to clear everything in one shot. Often I get "sms 95% full" so i'd like to just go in to messages and clear all, instead of having to walk it through delting the inbox and deleting the outbox.

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