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Pantech C610 (AT&T) review: Pantech C610 (AT&T)

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The C610 has a built-in music player under the AT&T Music umbrella. It supports MP3, MIDI, iMelody, MMF, WAV, SMAF, AAC+, eAAC+, WMA, and AAC+V2 audio formats. The interface is pretty generic, but you can still create and manage playlists, set the tracks on shuffle or repeat, and it comes with preset equalizer settings. As part of the AT&T Music service, you also get access to MusicID, a music recognition service, and Billboard Mobile for the latest music news. The C610 comes with 12MB of internal memory, but there's a microSD-card slot if you want additional storage. You can multitask; for instance, you can listen to music while sending off a text message, and you can also turn on flight mode (as in turning off the cell phone's RF), so you can still listen to tunes while on the plane.

The Pantech C610 has a 1.3-megapixel camera that also functions as a camcorder.

The 1.3-megapixel camera on the C610 can take pictures in six different resolutions (1280x1024, 1024x768, 640x480, 320x240, 176x220, and 176x144), four white-balance settings, four color effects, and three quality settings. Other camera settings include a self-timer, a timer-sound toggle, and a shutter-sound toggle. Photo quality was pretty good, with crisp detail and bright colors. The built-in camcorder can record in two resolutions (128x96 and 176x144) and in two lengths--a short one for MMS, and a long one for the remainder of the memory. Video quality was predictably choppy and pixilated, but good enough for short video clips to be shown on the Web.

The C610 has pretty good photo quality.

You can personalize the Pantech C610 with wallpaper, graphics, and a variety of sounds for alert tones (and if you want more, you can download them via AT&T's Media Mall store). The C610 comes with a few games and applications, like Tetris, Bubble Bash, Diner Dash 2, MobiTV, My-Cast Weather, and Mobile Banking. And if you want more, you can get them via the Media Mall, as well.

We tested the quad-band (GSM 850/900/1800/1900; UMTS/HSDPA) Pantech C610 with AT&T in San Francisco. Call quality was impressive, though we did hear some static occasionally. Callers could hear us loud and clear, and reported natural sounding voices. Speakerphone calls were good as well, though they did sound a little tinny. Similarly, music-audio quality was decent, but we recommend using a stereo headset for the best sound.

We were impressed with the HSDPA speeds of the C610. We managed to download a game in about 30 seconds, and streaming video had little to no buffering issues. The quality of the streaming video is less than stellar, with quite a lot of pixilation, but that's more to do with the service than the phone itself.

The Pantech C610 has a rated battery life of 3 hours talk time and 10 days standby time. Our tests showed a talk time of 3 hours 23 minutes. According to FCC radiation tests, the C610 has a digital SAR rating of 1.16 watts per kilogram.

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