After months of anticipation, the Sony Ericsson T616 has arrived in stores, and we're pleased to report that this small wonder lives up to the hype. Small enough to fit in the pocket of your jeans, the T616 ($299, or $249 after rebate) manages to pack a camera, a 65,000-color LCD, wireless Web and e-mail access, more than 20 polyphonic ring tones, Bluetooth support, and an infrared port into a slim, sleek package.
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Bite-size: The T616 is just slightly larger than the popular T68i.
The T616--which is available in several colors but doesn't support changeable faceplates--cuts a fine figure. Measuring 4 by 1.7 by 0.7 inches and weighing a mere 3.4 ounces, this candy bar-style phone fits easily in a pocket or the palm of your hand. The stylish case is susceptible to smudges, however; we often found ourselves wiping fingerprint smears off the screen. Also, flip-phone aficionados may find it awkward to hold the small T616 up to their ears.
The generous 65,000-color LCD gives you all the standard information, including time, date, caller ID, signal strength, a battery indicator, and the status of the Bluetooth and infrared ports. The screen also doubles as a viewfinder for the built-in camera; just click a dedicated button on the side of the phone to activate the camera, and hit it again to take a picture.
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Button-friendly: The four-way rocker and the surrounding buttons are used to navigate through the phone's menus.
On the top of the phone, you'll find the power button and the IR port, while easy-access controls (including buttons for the camera/shutter release, one-step Internet/WAP access, and volume) grace the left and right sides. Below the screen is a four-way rocker key for navigating the T616's intuitive, icon-driven menus. We had a few problems dialing numbers and typing out text messages with the T616's tactile, illuminated keypad but otherwise had no other major ergonomic complaints. However, if you're toting the phone in a bag or a pocket, we recommend activating the keypad-lock feature to keep from making accidental calls.
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You look fabulous: The tiny mirror next to the camera lens is ideal for snapping self-portraits.
The T616 comes with a laundry list of features, including 23 polyphonic ring tones, a vibrate mode, five-way conference calling, caller ID, voicemail, POP and IMAP e-mail access, text and multimedia messaging (MMS), voice recording, wireless Web access, an 80-item to-do list, e911 support, and voice-activated dialing and commands. Missing from the list, however, is an integrated speakerphone. You'll find that the phone has only two preinstalled games: Colourbug and Q*bert, although you can download other games (along with additional ring tones, wallpaper, pictures, and apps) from the AT&T and Cingular Web sites.