Sony Ericsson T616 followup review: after two weeks, I'm really happy

The Sony Ericsson T616 has tons of features, including dozens of shortcuts. I’ve read the manual a couple of times, and I’m not sure I’m ever going to master all of them. It’s critical to read the manual if you’re going to get the most out of this phone. Fortunately, the manual is pretty well written and organized.

Synchronization with iCal and Address Book is seamless and painless. The address book and calendar on the T616 are very good. I’m still confused about one thing. There are two places numbers can be stored–either on the phone’s built-in memory or in the SIM card. It’s still not clear to me how these two phone books work together. Also, the process of setting up speed-dial numbers is unnecessarily cumbersome.

Email works well, and you don’t need to use a proprietary account to do it. I was able to set up my POP account, and send and receive email without a problem–including emailing pictures I took with the phone. I’m still struggling with how to use email with this device. Fortunately, the T616 allows you to set up and choose from multiple email accounts. I can see that I’m going to start racking up some significant data bills with this device.

The ergonomics of the phone are good. Despite its square shape, it has curves in the right places, making it comfortable in my hand and easy to grip when I’m using it. The limited number of keys are well laid-out, and it’s (usually) easy to figure out what to do next. My only other complaint is that the functions of the special-function keys, clustered around the joystick, are sometimes difficult to figure out. Also, the keys (and the clickable joystick) are a little smaller than I would like, resulting in a great deal of pressure on your fingertips. After a lot of use, the tips of my fingers can be a little sore.

The menus are ugly and hard to read. Nearly every other part of the phone acknowledges that upper and lower case is more readable than uppercase, but the menus are upper-case only.

The camera is fun and doesn’t appear to add a lot of overhead to the phone, but its resolution is pretty low. But it’s better than nothing when you need to send a picture. If mobile networks were more open, we could have “email this picture” function into cameras as well as cameras built into cell phones.

I still haven’t set up voice control or explored AT&T’s mMode walled WAP garden. I’m excited about one, and couldn’t be less interested in the other.

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