Sony Ericsson K660 preview: First look
Image gallery and camera
Photo browsing with Sony Ericsson K660 is very good, thanks to the media center again. The Photo gallery is the first application in the list under Media and has the following submenu items: Latest Photo, Camera Album, Photo Tags, and Pictures. Latest Photo provides quick access to most recent photos. Camera Album is a thumb list for each month of the year. When a month is open, it reveals a 4 x 3 grid of thumbs of photos. The Pictures section opens again as a 4 x 3 grid of thumbs with non-camera images, like the preinstalled wallpapers. When exiting the full screen view of a picture, it smoothly zooms out to thumb view.
2 megapixel camera
The Sony Ericsson K660 has a 2 megapixel camera with no autofocus, nor flash. The user interface is Cyber-shot SE v2.0, which slightly tilts the scales in favor of the otherwise middling camera. The major benefits are the pop-up sub-menus enhanced with icons and the Multi Menu packing all the available settings.
The camera has a toolbar with options, including shooting mode, picture size, night mode, self-timer, white balance, effects, and settings Multi Menu. The Settings multi menu looks pretty much the same as in standard digicam menus. All the camera settings are displayed in two menu columns: the left displays the features and the right shows which setting is in use. Pressing OK on the navigation key lists all options of a certain feature. The settings on the menu are: Picture Quality, Review, Save to, Shutter sound and Reset counter. Stabilizer, ISO settings and BestPic are not present here.
The camera is not much of a brag. It will do the job for basic imaging and showing where you have been and nothing more. Its fixed focus does OK at about a meter, but still photos lack detail. Loss of detail is an underlying drawback, still colors come out very well.
The videos taken with K660 are in QVGA resolution at 15fps. Not worth much discussion, suffice to say we can't be too demanding with the mid-range K660. On a different note, the video interface is nice and comfortable.
The properties of the recorded clips are as follows: MPEG-4, QVGA resolution, AAC mono, 16.000 kHz, 15 fps at about 370 kbps.
Browser and applications
Besides EDGE, GPRS and HSDPA (3.6 Mbps) for fast data transfers, video calls and content-streaming, the handset offers the usual connectivity capabilities such as USB v2.0 and Bluetooth with A2DP support. Sony Ericsson K660 lacks WiFi and Infrared connectivity.
Sony Ericsson uses the traditional Access NetFront HTML browser, this time it's the latest 3.4 version. The main improvement here is the integrated virtual mouse pointer, the webpage map view, the "find on page" and "mark and copy" options.
The browsing experience is enhanced by the web shortcut keys on the alphanumeric keypad. The options they provide access to are: text input, bookmarks, home page and zoom. Landscape browsing is available too.
We were more than eager to test out the highly advertised web experience that the K660 is supposed to offer. Truth is that we've already seen the NetFront 3.4 web browser and its mouse pointer thingy in action on several Samsung handsets. The way the web browser performed on the K660 was superior to them all.
|"...The browsing experience is enhanced by the web shortcut keys on the alphanumeric keypad. The options they provide access to are: text input, bookmarks, home page and zoom. Landscape browsing is available too. The way the web browser performed on the K660 was superior..."|
As it seems Sony Ericsson have integrated into the K660 a nice and capable processing unit usually reserved to high-end models, so the web browsing experience was great.
Panning and scrolling was a quick and easy task, which is not something that can be easily said for the Samsung devices. The speed of panning and the efficiency of the web page mini-map invoked by the Zoom shortcut key on the keypad, made us think of smartphones.
Here is a short video as an example of our experience with the K660 web browser:
Sony Ericsson K660 in Browser mode
As for the additional applications, Sony Ericsson K660 offers Location services with Google Maps.
The time-management features are the usual set. Under Organizer you get File manager, Applications, Video call, Calendar, Tasks, Notes, Synchronization, Timer, Stopwatch, Calculator and Code memo.
The additional applications include AccuWeather and FaceWarp. The Entertainment sector features PhotoDJ, MusicDJ, VideoDJ and TrackID.
Finally, K600 has something to offer in the gaming department too. Three titles come preinstalled: JC Does TEXAS, QuadraPop and Rollercoaster Rush 3D.
Neat and friendly, Sony Ericsson K660 is fit to have a go at the mass market. It brings no novelties but manages a balanced set of features, some of which we've already seen in upmarket Sony Ericsson products. The midrange K660 gets its edge from HSDPA and elsewhere stays faithful to its price range. With an expected price tag of about 180 Euro, that should be enough to hope for solid sales.