Sony Ericsson M600i £250

30th Jun 2006 | 23:00

Sony Ericsson M600i

The smallest pen-driven smartphone we've ever seen

TechRadar rating:

3.5 stars

A smartphone that is highly compact and performs well

Like:

<p>Works with most types of email</p>

Dislike:

<p>Buttons favour the small-fingered</p>

Weighing just 112 grams, and measuring just 15mm thick, this is the smallest smartphone we've come across.

As such you might forgive it for skimping on the specific caution - but the M600i has more than one sucker punch. For starters this is a full-blown touchscreen PDA. But its real trump card is that this is a 3G phone - capable of harnessing the broadband data speeds and services now available from all the main networks.

It doesn't quite have the same full keyboard as its rivals. It is a Qwerty layout, but each key gives you access to two letters. It sounds complicated but a very similar looking arrangement is used by the BlackBerry 7000 series.

In this case, each key is a rocker switch so you can specify exactly which letter you want. This is not particularly fast, but overall speed is greatly enhanced by the fact that the phone guesses what word you are trying to write, even before you have entered all the letters.

You select the option you want using the touchscreen stylus, or carry on typing.

Virtual keyboard

If you don't like this approach, there are other text input options - the virtual Qwerty keyboard may be better for competent typists, whilst the character recognition system will suit those with neat handwriting. Sony Ericsson's famous jog-dial control on the side of the phone provides an alternative option.

Designed for execs and with full push email capability, it makes do without a camera. As with the Nokia 9300i, this may have appeal to the corporate buyer but it does meant that you can't use the 3G capability for conference calls.

There is no Wi-Fi capability but otherwise the M600i has practically everything you could hope for on a phone.

The large LCD can be used to show video clips and streamed TV services across the whole screen. The MP3 player does not bear the Walkman brand, but thanks to the smaller-than-ever Memory Stick Micro M2 cards, you can carry around a substantial selection of sounds.

Music sounds good too, thanks to an equaliser with MegaBass and other tonal adjustments, and the ability to use a stereo Bluetooth headset.

Web browsing is via Opera's much-vaunted browser - there is even a useful RSS ticker-tape service for keeping you up-to-date. Business users will welcome the word processor and spreadsheet editing apps - but you can also have fun with the on-board 3D games engine.

Mobile phonesSonyEricsson
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