The Sony Ericsson T608 represents a new look and palette of features for CDMA mobiles, including integrated Bluetooth. But while the phone supports backgrounds and games from Sprint PCS Vision, as well as 16-voice polyphonic ring tones, navigating its poky user interface will be a drag for some users. If you can live with that drawback, the T608 won't disappoint.
At 3.5 ounces and 4.8 by 1.9 by 0.7 inches, the T608 isn't as small as the company's popular T68i, but it's not as hefty as the smart phone either. Finished in matte silver with bluish-gray accents, this candy bar-style mobile fits comfortably in your palm, and like certain other Sony Ericsson models, it's equipped with a five-way, square-shaped joystick for controlling menu navigation. The power button adorns the top of the phone, with a headset jack on the upper right and volume buttons on the left.
Despite the T608's appealing form factor, everyday use produces some immediate gripes. First, the four menu buttons aren't labeled, so it will take some time for you to figure out what each one does and how to master navigation. In addition, all four are extremely close together and slick, so it's easy to hit the wrong one. We also found the blue-backlit keypad too small, and you must firmly press numbers to dial. When the phone isn't in use, you can lock the keypad, although the volume buttons can be jostled in a purse or a pocket, causing the backlight to come on and drain the battery.
And lastly, the T608 features a double-paned viewing screen. Our test model drove us crazy with dust and scratches that were trapped between the internal display and the protective screen so that they're impossible to remove. On a more positive note, the seven-line display (65,536 colors and 128x128-pixel resolution) is superior to the T68i's; both text and graphics looked sharp.
The T608 offers some flashy extras in addition to its standard assortment of phone features. You get a 500-name phone book, voice-activated dialing (handy when you're using a Bluetooth headset), wireless Web access via Sprint's 1xRTT network, a vibrate mode, SMS messaging, a built-in speakerphone (see thesection), and picture caller ID. You can customize the phone by downloading a variety of wallpaper, animated screensavers, graphics, and 16-chord polyphonic tones from the Sprint PCS Vision site, though a small fee is required.