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Sony Ericsson M600i Review

When I first watched Casino Royale, I instantly became transfixed by the smartphone used by Vesper Lynd in the movie. Since I had been in the market for a new phone, I decided to bite the bullet and purchase an unlocked version from eBay.

Being a gadget/techie geek, I had done some pretty extensive research before making the decision to purchase the phone. The phone’s OS, UIQ3 running on top of Symbian 9.1, is still fairly new (well, not that new…but very new compared to say, the Blackberry OS) and as a result, buggy. It seems that SE wanted to jump on the smartphone bandwagon a bit prematurely when this phone was released last June. There were some major complaints when the phone first came out with reports of automatic restarts, lagging, faulty applications, etc. However, one good thing about SE is that they provide free firmware upgrades via their website. So by the time I was contemplating getting the phone, the latest firmware was pretty stable.

I must admit that when I first tore open the packaging, I was a bit disappointed with the casing – I had expected a glossy white finish from the pictures I’d seen. However, after some usage, I now applaud SE for choosing the matte, pearly white finish; this baby is pretty damn resistant to scratches (and you know how much of a klutz I am).

I had been considering two other phones: the Motorola Q and the Blackberry Pearl. What made me decide on the M600i? Well, one major pro was the touchscreen with handwriting recognition. Neither of the other two have it. I had also read that the Motorola Q was pretty buggy, and besides, I don’t like Motorola products much after having owned the over-hyped Razr. And while the Blackberry Pearl has the Blackberry name behind it, but I had read that since it runs on a modified OS, it isn’t as reliable.

Believe me – I was tempted when I read that a white version of the Pearl was due to come out “very soon.” However, I also knew that I would be doing a lot of web browsing on my new phone and the Pearl’s screen was the smallest of the lot. And I was right – I’m already wishing my M600’s screen was larger, when it’s only a little larger than the Pearl.

A few more pro’s:

Some con’s:

I almost forgot – I immediately purchased a screen protector for my new phone, and it’s one of the best out there. Anyone who has an LCD worth protecting should get theirs at Martin Fields – everyone’s amazed when I tell them I have a screen protector on my phone.

One last thing: since I first became interested in the phone after watching Casino Royale, I wanted to make the experience complete by using Vesper’s distinct “ping” as an alert tone. Upon doing some research, I discovered that
many people had been looking for the tone – several even called SE! They eventually found out that the tone was especially made for the movie and was not available to the public. But did that stop determined geeks? Never! One person get a recording of the tone from the movie, converted it to mp3 format, and uploaded it. And then another person put it through various filters to clean the sound. And now I am the proud owner of the famous “ping.” :-)