You wait and wait for a new UIQ handset and then three come along at once. Well, OK, not exactly ‘at once’, but SonyEricsson’s P990 can’t be far off, its W950i should also be around before too much longer, and to whet the appetite we have the M600i, available in either black or white, though I’ve not seen a white one yet.
While the P990 is the obvious successor to earlier models in the P series, the W950i is the Walkman variant of the M600i. The M600i and W950i look rather similar, but the W950i has 4GB of internal memory and is definitely consumer focussed.
Which, logically, should leave the M600i as dealing with the business market. That’s certainly how things shape up when you start to look at the specifications. SonyEricsson has crammed in just about as many types of remote email compatibility as it could find. You can pick up Web based email either by setting the phone’s email software up or just using webmail. Companies can take advantage of Exchange ActiveSync, BlackBerry Connnect, Altexia and Visto, and the SonyEricsson website promises support for iAnywhere, Nokia Intellisync and SEVEN in due course.
Another clue to the business focus of the M600i is that this is a 3G handset but there is no camera in sight front or back. So we are talking about using 3G for fast data access such as Web browsing and email delivery, but not for video calling.
Clearly SonyEricsson is swayed by the idea that businesses don’t want their staff wandering around with cameras in their phones in case they take shots of things they shouldn’t. There’s not a lot to stop an employee carrying any one of hundreds of other phones with cameras around, though.
Leaving camera(s) out also means the production costs are lower. I can’t comment on whether this is reflected in the price operators are asking for this handset, because as I wrote this review only one, Vodafone, was listing it, and even then only as ‘coming soon’. Operator free, though, the price does not seem particularly low.
Missing out the camera also means that SonyEricsson has been able to keep the M600i very trim indeed, and this, in fact, is probably going to be what will sell this handset rather than the grandeur of UIQ, the built in software, or that email capability.