NEC N600i

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NEC N600i
  • NEC N600i
  • NEC N600i
  • NEC N600i

Pros

  • i-mode functionality, TransFlash slot

Cons

  • No standout features, slow operation

Bottom Line

A phone with very little to recommend other than its internet features. Nothing special.

Would you buy this?

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Billed as Australia's first 3G i-mode phone, the NEC N600i offers the ability to keep track of all your important information whilst on the go. However, while the phone's internet functionality may be above par, we felt the rest of its features were far less exciting.

The phone itself is a clamshell design with a matte silver finish. Though it is by no means ugly, it is clearly tailored to the user for whom practicality is of greater importance than aesthetics. The phone also falls down in terms of its size - while it is a great deal better than some of NEC's previous 3G efforts, the N600i still feels bulky and cumbersome to use. Combine that with some awkward, blunt edges and you are left with a less than comfortable handset.

Typing on the keypad was fairly simple, with a good amount of space between keys, however it did feel a little cluttered as an abundance of unnecessary buttons litter the face. Coupled with a complex and unintuitive menu, the phone can be confusing and slow to navigate. It is also relatively sluggish when opening applications and even powering up can take a frustratingly long time. SMS fanatics will be similarly unimpressed with slow text entry, as we found the phone failing to keep pace with user input. Capping it all off is an overly sensitive predictive function that continuously inserts random unwanted words.

Continuing the mediocre specifications is below average speaker quality with voice calls marred by a muffled sound. The phone provides a talk time of 180 minutes with a standby time of 240 hours, normal for this type of phone. External connectivity is provided through Bluetooth and USB, though there is no standard USB connection so you will have to make do with a cable from NEC.

Phone LCDs have been improving in leaps and bounds recently, but compared to the competition, the N600i's screen is of average quality, displaying 65,536 colours at a resolution of 240x320 pixels. Although this is nothing exceptional, the display is clear and bright and can show up to eight lines of text. The external monochrome LCD is of a basic design though, showing only the caller ID and otherwise a clock.

As a multimedia phone, the N600i is equipped with the basics, offering both camera functionality and music playback, but no FM radio. Both MP3 and AAC formats are supported by the music player but annoyingly there is no standard headphone jack meaning it is proprietary headphones only folks.

The camera is again fairly standard, offering a maximum resolution of 1280x1024, and falling short of the 2 megapixel quality that is slowly becoming the norm. With a measly 20MB of internal memory there isn't much opportunity to store images and music either. NEC does provide a TransFlash slot which would enable an upgrade to a respectable amount of memory. This, however, is one of the very few interesting features in an otherwise disinteresting package.

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