Affordable with 3 G

This month’s super test examines ten 3 g mobile phones with a nice price tag. A crowned the winner and the two get honorable mention.

A good 3 g mobile does not need to cost upwards of $5000 we tested what you get in the actual budget class around 1000 kr and what another couple hundred dollars gives in terms of quality and features. Between 1000 and 3000 SEK, we find everything from cheap and plastic entry-level models to a smartphone and several really talented music, camera and internet phones.

Form and quality

Some really blissed out design phones have not been included in this test, but there is still a great scope both in terms of colors, materials and construction. Samsung i200 is the most conservatively designed cell phone in the Launcher-a rather angular history completely in black. Even if the shape does not get any that raised eyebrows Samsungluren have nice quality feeling. The materials are the same as in the brand’s more expensive smartphones-a combination of the gummilackad area, some shiny black plastic and buttons with good sense. The number keys are divided into lines that are completely smooth horizontally, but it is no art to press the right buttons without having their eyes. The round button below the screen is a completely conventional four-way button.

The small Skypetelefonen is the category’s positive surprise. I feared that it could feel like a toy-largely because of the low price and the shell in white and pink. In your hand feels Skypephone really solid. Not what I would describe as luxurious, but it is undoubtedly a well hopskruvad product with high quality finish. The buttons are quite small, a necessity when the cell phone is only 44 millimeters wide, but the resistance and clicks the feeling makes the keypad pleasant to use. The battery cover is held in place by a fairly strong magnet. An elegant solution that can potentially cause problems if the phone is kept too close wallet different magnetic cards.

 

The Nokia 3120 Classic is one of the smallest phones

Nokia 3120 Classic rivals the Skypephone on being the least mobile. 3120 is thinner, but at the same time significantly longer and slightly wider. Nokia utilizes the phone’s width effectively and has a site with larger buttons compared to the Skypephone. The build quality does not correspond to the real expectations. The shell is making creaking noises when using the cell phone and the 3120 Classic would have needed to be a few hundred less expensive that it would be okay.

The starting field contains another two Nokia mobiles-both in the sliding style. The favorite when it comes to quality sentiment is undoubtedly 6500 Slide. In terms of size, it is not so much difference between 6500 and 5610 but it brushed metal shell with engraved logos are much more exciting than a normal plastic casing. 6500 Slide is by far the heaviest cell phone in the test, but the amount of metal makes the weight feels justified. The mechanics of Nokia’s sliding mobiles have not always been top-notch, but fortunately, there have been positive developments in that area. Both 6500 5610 and has just enough resistance and only small tendency to looseness.

Sony Ericsson and LG has not succeeded quite as well with their sliding models in this test. My main objection to LG KF310 is that it feels so very plasticky. The impression is reinforced by the broad edges around screen and pärleffekten in the plastic on the back of your phone. The keypad is approved with the exception of the top and bottom toolbars are sitting too close to the edges of that cell phones should be truly comfortable to use with one hand.

The problem is not on the Sony Ericsson W910 Walkman ™ phone which has good margins around the keypad. The buttons are nevertheless fully large enough and have good sense. Walkman phone is also a real lightweight and is comfortable in the Pocket. What pulls down the grade one is slide mechanism that feels lacking definition. Nor is there any great surface area to grab with your thumb when you close your phone with one-handed operation. There have Nokia managed to really good with rubber Strip below the screen on the 6500 Slide. Plastic materials in the W910 has a sleek, matte finish.

Sony Ericsson has also delivered three mobiles in candybar format to test. The cheapest of the three is the toxic purple K770. The shape feels very familiar, but there are still a few details that make your phone stand out. Instead of tiny dots to buttons being exploited throughout the Mobile’s width by four chrome moldings that are divided into three buttons each. Samsung i200 competes with K770 to have the largest numerical buttons, but if we also weigh in the feel of the keys win Sony Ericsson. Another nice detail is the lens cap. It consists of an aluminum bar that is completely recessed in the back of the phone. The solution is recognized from Sony’s smallest digital cameras. Unfortunately, it is difficult to open and close the lens cover because the surface is so smooth, but the traces of the engraved Cyber-shot logo makes it a little easier.

K660 has a little more playful exterior than other three Sony Ericsson mobiles. The small, round buttons works well and the colors along with the surfaces of transparent plastic enlivens. C702 has roughly the same shape as the K660, but is 10 grams heavier and some millimeters bigger in each dimension. C702 is a durable mobile, but a rather discreet. If you look closely at the lids over minnerkortplats and battery so you can find the o-rings and a small screw that holds the battery cover in place, but otherwise, C702 no bulkier than other phones. The camera has a good lens cap, but the number keys are a little too short stroke.

Nokia 6500 Slide has superior quality feel.

In terms of form and quality feel leaves Nokia 6500 Slide competitors behind. It clearly feels more exclusive than the average cell phone in this price class.

Winner: Nokia 6500 Slide

Ease of use

The three Nokia handsets in the test, all the second-to-last, fifth, edition of Series 40 with Feature Pack 1. A Sixth Edition is in the works and will be released with the first Supernova phones. Compared to older Series 40 lurking, the difference is quite small. The advantage, of course, is that anyone who owned a Nokia cell phone in the last five years, quickly recognize themselves, but at the same time begins the Series 40 feel more team than other mobile interfaces. The Visual effects are not as developed as in Sony Ericsson mobile phones, which have lots of animated elements in everything from icons to image shifts.

However, the response in the Nokia menu system very fast-especially when it comes to models 5610 and 6500. 3120 Classic, I feel like a little slower-maybe have the small amount of RAM. The differences between the three Series 40 mobiles is small. On Nokia 5610 has keypad supplemented with a slider-a music button below the screen. One shoots the button to the left opens the music player and if you slide the button to the right opens the radio. I think music key deceive more than it is beneficial since it is not possible to switch back to the previous program in any convenient way.

Message handling has been vastly improved in this edition of the Series 40. Earlier arrived in sms and mms in the various baskets and was written with different interfaces, but Nokia have now beaten up functions so that you can start typing a text message, and, if you would like to attach a picture, automatically convert the message to a multimedia message before sending it. Some functions in your phone, such as the Olympics and the Opera Mini browser, is made up of java programs. It does not give quite as good performance as the S60 software or integrated functions and means a delay when starting the programs, but the Series 40 mobiles are relatively quick to run java programs exception 3D capabilities. The calendar application keeps smartphone caliber in the three Nokia headset, but the phone book is not as flexible as in the brand’s S60-mobiles.

 

It’s easy to get started with Skype for Skypephone.

Skypephone is easy to use in many ways, but the menu appearance is disappointing. The main menu is clear with white icons on blue background, but further into the menu system dominates long text lists with boring typefaces. The settings are complicated and rather limited, but the problem is not so serious in view of the fact that the cell phone only sold via the operator Three and thus comes preconfigured.

The big advantage of the cell phone is Only. Just a touch on the logo in the four-way button in the middle to start the Skype, and unlike other functions in the cell phone, it’s really easy to get started with Skype. Either log in to an existing account or register as a new user via the mobile phone’s interface. All functions available on Skype on the computer are not available in your phone, but it is possible to see the contact list and chat and make calls. In the phone book, there is of course room for postal address to contacts, but it is not possible to insert multiple phone numbers-a serious shortage.

Just as Nokia Sony Ericsson cautiously to change their interface. K770, K660 and W910 ensures a b beginning rather out, but when you examine mobiles closer, you notice that the K770 is an older product. K770 being sold by Three and the operator has been supplying custom icons for the main menu. It can make the cell phone a little trickier to use if you are familiar with Sony Ericsson’s usual appearance. The icons is also not possible to change by changing the theme in your phone.

Most differences between the K770 and other three Sony Ericsson mobiles is about Java support and compatibility with different file formats, but the K770 is also noticeably slower. This is particularly evident when starting 3Player, Messenger or any other function as three added in the form of java programs. Phone book in K770 is, however, entirely in class with the brand’s other three mobiles. It’s really just the Samsung i200 which can compete with Sony Ericsson when it comes to the phone book.

C702 has even more glitz and animations in interface than previous Sony Ericsson mobiles, but it does not affect performance. The menu system is also well organized with location services in a submenu, the media in another and so on. C702 is the only gps mobile and positioning the menu contains several applications that take advantage of the feature. Wayfinder is preinstalled and you can test the program in three months free of charge.

LG KF310 has no fancy menus, but all key features are there.

LG KF310 has, just like the Skypephone, a bit simpler interface. It is not particularly neat and, unfortunately, neither directly quickly. However, all major functions of the cell phone and it is possible to have multiple programs running at the same time and switch easily between them. The phone book is limited to five phone numbers and two addresses per contact, which should be sufficient for most needs.

Samsung i200 is the only real smartphone-and it shows. I200 has the latest edition of Windows Mobile and you are greeted by a really nice boot screen. Here you can see the most important information from the call lists, messaging software, image gallery and other applications along with clock and shortcuts to different functions in the cell phone. Start button, on the left side of your phone, open a menu with the main programmes and on the right side there is a button to quickly switch back to the previous view, or programs. A good and useful function, but it’s confounding that button switch function to erase typed characters when a text field is active.

Keep the start button pressed will open the application manager-a useful feature that shows which programs are active and how much memory they use. Windows Mobile has several built-in applications such as Live Messenger, good messaging and powerful PIM applications. There are also real bottom feeding-for example under menyernas dull appearance and bluetooth support. To send three pictures via bluetooth to a computer or another cell is childishly simple with handsets from Sony Ericsson or Nokia, but this really puts i200 patience to the test. Cell phone freezes if you try to send several files at once and when sending files one after the other, you have to make a new search for devices for each file-a time-consuming process.

Windows Mobile for phones with standard keypad has taken a big leap forward with version 6.1 contained i200, but Samsung Mobiles in other operating systems as well as several models from Nokia and Sony Ericsson still feels more thoughtful. Among those phones in the test becomes Sony Ericsson C702 favorite. It does not remove itself in any area and has sharpened the aesthetic qualities of the interface a little without sacrificing performance.

Winner: Sony Ericsson C702

Music opportunities

The mobile phone becomes even more affordable if it can replace your music player. All mobiles in the test except Nokia 3120 Classic comes with a stereo headset. The quality varies, however, and the only cons that I would consider using for music are the ones that come with the Sony Ericsson W910. It is in-earlurar with good pressure in the base-in my opinion quite superior to those snails that other eight mobile phones comes with. None of the phones have 3.5 mm standard connector for headphones directly on the cell phone, but both Sony Ericsson W910 and Nokia 5610 has headsetsladdar that acts as an adapter.

 

The Nokia 5610 is a headsetsladd that can be used as adapter for regular headphones.

Best music player, see Sony Ericsson W910. The cell phone has version 3 of Walkmanspelaren and it is a really neat interface and feature Sensme which make it possible to categorize the music for tempo and mood. W910 has a built in accelerometer allows one to change the song by shaking your phone. A fun, but not very useful feature.

C702 not far behind W910 with his media handlers. The interface looks much like the Walkman player and functions is not far behind. Players in Nokia’s mobile phones and Sony Ericsson K660 reach not quite up to the same level as the W910 and C702. In particular, does not feel the graphics just as polished and sophisticated, but there are distractions in the operation. Nokia mobiles need much time to search through a memory card and update your music library. With card on a few hundred megabytes, it doesnt really matter, but with a full 2 Gb card in the mobile phone takes the update a few minutes. Nokia 5610 6500 and like Sony Ericsson phones are equipped with rds radio.

K770 has two music player-java program 3Player and Sony Ericsson’s default player. 3Player found on the music player’s place in the main menu, so if you want to use the standard player, you must first open the Entertainment menu. 3Player makes it easy to use the operator’s radio station and music store, but as music players considered adding the not so much. Default player is also a generation older than the music capabilities of the other Sony Ericsson phones so K770 may settle for a slightly lower score.

Samsung i200 has a significantly better player than older Windows Mobile phones. Above all, the interface has gotten nicer, but now you can also manage playlists and play options in a sensible way. The link from the home screen of the music player is both attractive and useful. Music library and automatically-generated charts and the like are still not Windows mobiles strong side, to get handsets from Nokia and Sony Ericsson score higher.

Also LG KF310 has a fully acceptable music player. Not the best looking menus, but most important features are in place and your phone quickly finds the music when you insert a new memory card. You can browse by artist or album, but there is no full-text search in LG’s music player. Skypephone has the simplest music player. You can set up playlists, but the interface is cumbersome and the settings are very limited. For example, there are only four different levels of sound volume.

The Sony Ericsson W910 is best when it comes to music features.

W910 is the clear winner in the music category. It comes with memory card, headphones, of good quality and a good player interface.

Winner: Sony Ericsson W910

Synching

Mobile phones from Sony Ericsson and Nokia, all to sync using the manufacturer’s PC software. Nokia 3120 Classic comes with no cables or software, so this is either a bluetooth-equipped PC or to buy cable as accessories. Sync application found at our site.

Nokia PC Suite is significantly heavier and more power hungry than Sony Ericsson’s counterpart. There are some more features in the form of photo and backups, but it still feels like Sony Ericsson made a better balance between functionality and performance requirements. Sony Ericsson mobiles sync also slightly faster than Nokia. Both Nokia and Sony Ericsson offers the possibility to send sms via pc software when your phone is connected.

Skypephone and LG KF310 comes with synkprogram, but the limitations of phone books makes mobiles don’t work optimally for this. This applies primarily to Skypephone that doesn’t pass the additional telephone number. It creates conflicts when trying to transfer contacts from Outlook or from a more competent cell.

 

Windows Mobile Samsung i200 breaketh the others when it comes to syncing.

Samsung i200 is using Microsoft’s Activesync software. It is both fast and works well with Outlook and Windows Media Player. Another good feature of Activesync is that it makes very little fuss of itself on your computer. The computer starts basically as fast as before the program was installed, and Activesync seems to take relatively little space in the working set. The i200 Windows Mobile makes a winner when it comes to syncing.

Winner: Samsung i200

Screen and camera

Samsung i200 has a really good display, but unfortunately saved on camera performance. megapixel camera without lens cover or lighting puts i200 in the same class as the Sony Ericsson W910, K660 and Nokia 3120 Classic.

Skypephone and LG KF310 faring worst in this category. The screens have the lower resolution 176 x 220 compared to other mobiles which has qvga. This means both that the sharpness deteriorates and it fits less information on the screen. The cameras are also not the same class as tvamegapixel mobiles from Samsung, Nokia, and Sony Ericsson. Skypephone has a high noise level while LG will tend to choose long shutter speeds with camera shake as a result. However, there are a great many options for LG’s camera, such as exposure compensation, white balance burst shooting and with multiple modes. Unfortunately, the usefulness is limited when the hardware cannot keep up.

Sony Ericsson K770 has 3.2-megapixel camera, photo lamp and lens cap.

Four mobiles excels with good cameras. Sony Ericsson K770 and C702 carries both Cybershot logo. The resolution is 3.2 megapixel and the cameras have lens covers, auto focus and lighting. Photo bulbs in the K770 is powerful, but not as far as a xenon flash. Just as in other areas, the K770 a little older interfaces with fewer bells and whistles than the C702 which have geo-tagging, face focus and link to blogs. However, there is nothing wrong with the picture quality, and it’s easy to use the K770 camera because there are LEDs that indicate which buttons have important features in photo mode.

Nokia 5610 6500 and has the same resolution as the Sony Ericsson K770 and C702, but unfortunately does not have lens cover. Photo lighting has dual LEDs, but is not as strong as in Sony Ericsson cameras. The images become slightly noisy indoors. 6500 videos with good quality and can withstand 15 frames per second in vga resolution. Sony Ericsson C702 takes home first place thanks to a great screen, great photo quality and feature-rich camera mode.

Winner: Sony Ericsson C702

E-mail and internet

Browser in Nokia Series 40 is a sad story. Therefore, the mobiles have been supplemented with Opera Mini. It works fine in the 6500 and 5610 but 3120 Classic is much tougher. If Nokia’s favorite brand, and the browser is an important feature for you-bet rather on a cheap S60 mobile. Nokia has succeeded better with e-mail features and it is easy to set up new accounts-either manually or by using the built-in Wizard. The interface is not pretty, but it works. The same is true for LG KF310. The browser is slightly more competent than Nokia’s standard browser, and has support for rss. On the other hand, missing zoom functions and the low screen resolution pulls down the browsing experience.

Skypephone has a very simple Web browser and mail client, but the most important internet feature is, of course, Skype. The program works far better than Skype in home wireless phones, but chat interface could be nicer and it appears that the contacts do not appear with the correct status in the list.

 

Sony Ericsson K660 has an impressive collection of Internet functions.

Sony Ericsson K660 has impressive online features considering the price tag. Just like Samsung i200, Sony Ericsson W910 and C702 has the turbo 3 g with 3.6 mbit/s maximum speed. The browser is tuned with new bells and whistles, reaching almost up to the same class as the Nokia S60 browser thanks to the master images and a pointer. A soon to be classic parade branch of Sony Ericsson’s rss reader. The C702 has moved from the message menu to the media menu to make room for the podcasting functions, but just as in the K660 is there the opportunity to view the news as a “ticker” in standby mode. The email application and message handling has a small face lifts in both W910 and C702-for example, it is easy to see which messages are new and which you answered. K770 uses a slightly older version of Netfronts Web browser than the other three Sony Ericsson mobiles, but despite the great as surfmobil.

Browser in Samsung i200 is updated since predecessor i600, but Internet Explorer is still no favorite among mobile Web browsers. Microsoft has added the ability to zoom out and use snapshots, but the step is still a long way to the top browsers from Netfront and Nokia.

Sony Ericsson K660 offers much internet for money. Messaging, browser and not least the program for rss news is enough to secure a first place in the category.

Winner: Sony Ericsson K660

Winner

Sony Ericsson C702

C702 is the most expensive phone in the test, but you get a lot for your money. The cell phone can tolerate a bit more than the competition and performs well both when it comes to internet functions and multimedia. There are also built-in gps with geo-tagging program, logging of rounds and road navigation.