Sony Ericsson K660 preview: First look
User interface and applications
Sony Ericsson K660 is a midrange offering but it packs together some features we're more used to seeing in the high-end Sony Ericsson handsets.
We welcomed the three soft key layout in K850, W910 and W890. Along with it, K660 has the optimized Media Center, Walkman 3.0 with Mega Bass, the Cyber-shot SE v2.0 camera user interface and Flash Lite themes support. TrackID, Smart Search, the NetFont 3.4 browser, Location services, Manage messages and message categories complete the set of applications in the phone.
The prominent absences are the auto rotate function, as well as Gesture and Shake control. But those are rightfully reserved to the high-end Sony Ericsson devices.
The user interface in K660 has the well known Sony Ericsson feature phone styling, spiced up with some features we've known since Sony Ericsson K850.
Like many other Sony Ericsson handsets, the Sony Ericsson K660 also supports Flash Lite themes. With our prototype version of the phone we had 4 standard themes preinstalled: Amethyst, Clarity, Gossamer and Kriss kross.
The phonebook can store up to 1000 entries with a total of 7000 phone numbers available. The phonebook interface makes good use of the three-soft-key layout, too. In contacts you can directly open any contact with the middle soft key. The old More key is renamed Options and is now on the left side, while in old models, it was inevitably stuck in the right. The third soft key corresponds to "back". Another practical use of the middle soft key is the Send Message option, available when a contact is open and a number is highlighted.
A good feature is the Smart Search, which lists all available contacts in the phonebook starting with the digits typed in the standby screen. The search engine looks up both letter combinations in names and phone numbers that start with the digits entered.
Along with the standard messaging functionality, Sony Ericsson K660 offers the Manage Messages and Manage Email features, plenty of settings for accounts, and the option to assign categories to messages.
All messages, except emails, use one Inbox. No matter what kind of message has been received, it goes to the shared Inbox.
Only email messages have their own dedicated Inbox. The K660 email client supports POP3 and IMAP4 protocols, plus all the usual settings and customizations, which we saw in K850. There is a separate Manage email application, with the same structure and features as the one for SMS.
Users may opt to sort messages by category list, if a specific category has been defined for a message. Six of them come predefined: Business, Favorites, Follow Up, Fun, Holiday, Important, but categories are fully customizable as well. You can also delete all messages in a given category.
|"...K660 has the optimized Media Center, Walkman 3.0 with Mega Bass, the Cyber-shot SE v2.0 camera user interface and Flash Lite themes support. TrackID, Smart Search, the NetFont 3.4 browser, Location services, Manage messages and categories are here too..."|
Furthermore, messages in categories can have their own sorting with Contact, Date, and size the available filters to choose from. In the general inbox there is no indication if a message has been assigned a category. The same holds true for messages that are opened.
The Manage Messages application consists of three tabs: All Items, On Card and In Phone, each having Drafts, Inbox, Outbox, Saved messages, and Sent messages folders. The options menu allows messages to be moved to memory card or phone memory, arranged by categories, date, size, and contact. Generally, Manage Messages, together with Categories, offers rich customization and improved message handling.
Sony Ericsson K660 features the Walkman 3.0 player without the Shake control and SensMe features. In K660 the player uses the same skin as the Media center.
The player supports MP3, AAC, AAC+, E-AAC +, WAV, WMA, M4A, iMelody, XMF, RealAudio 8 and MIDI file formats and sports the MegaBass equalizer preset.
The player can naturally be set to run in the background. If you are not willing to use the media player step-by-step interface, you can directly play a file through the file manager with its classic flat structure.
The Media menu lists the Photo, Music, Video, and Settings icons. The current pick is highlighted in strikethrough style and the count of included files is displayed. The Media center has its own icon in the main menu. The settings menu is simple - you may opt between portrait and landscape view. In Media center you are able to sort music by filters including artist, album, tracks, playlists, podcasts, etc.
If you are willing to find a particular song, but know just a part of its name, don't worry, just type it in track list and the phone will automatically find and display it. If you're not using some of the music options, you can disable them in the options menu.
The video player, previously found in the entertainment sector, is now accommodated in the media center as well. It supports fast-forwarding and rewinding as well as playing clips in slow motion. It has landscape mode, as well as settings for video size as original, auto fit and fullscreen modes.
The integrated FM radio of the Sony Ericsson K660 has memory for 20 preset stations and supports RDS. TrackID is available too.