It’s hard to imagine that this handset is now over 16 years old, but it’s true. The Sony Ericsson T610 debuted in 2003 and became a very successful phone in its own right and was one of the models that would lay the foundation for the manufacturers’ success over the next few years.
It is quite apparent to see how Sony Ericsson’s approach to this phone was rewarded. At the time, the dominant and best selling handsets were almost all exclusively Nokias: the Nokia 3510 was released the year before. The higher-end was still considered to be models such as the Nokia 7210 or Nokia 7250, or for those wanting the most functionality, the Nokia 6600.
All these phones featured the familiar plastic designs with interchangeable covers. The T610 differed from this in going for a much more premium metallic finish in a well-rounded design. The overall look was coming, as predecessors Sony Ericsson T310 looked similar, but the screen size was greatly enlarged for this model. Full specifications here.
While the T-series ended up dying out (a later Sony Ericsson T630 was released and that was it), the basic design of the phone lived on in a variety of other models as the phone moved with the times.
Pros of Sony Ericsson T610
The screen technology was ahead of Nokia’s: offering both a larger display and more colours on the screen vs the Nokia 7250.
As mentioned before the design was simply more classier and came in a metallic finish. The overall package was nicely weighted and the ideal size for a candybar phone at the time.
Unlike many other phones at the time there was a dedicated camera button on the side of the phone which immediately started the camera: handy for taking snaps.
The Sony Ericsson UI was still evolving but the iteration on the phone was very close to the Nokia one, meaning that people could move across with ease.
Cons of Sony Ericsson T610
At a time where phone cameras were rapidly improving, this now looks slightly underpowered, a weak resolution combined with no video recording.
There was no additional memory card possible and with on-board memory restricted to 2MB this had some limitations. Java apps were supported, although it was easy to run out of space.
The phone cases were not easy to change. Personalised faceplates were available but generally meant needing a screwdriver to disassemble the front.
Future Prospects and Current Pricing
This was a very popular handset and found its way onto all the main networks. It is generally quite easy to pick up models as there are plenty available in the second hand market. The metallic housing also means that on the whole these have aged pretty well, although they will suffer from scratching to the screen.
Overall it probably will not command much of a premium in price despite its success, which will probably be reserved for the more quirky phones such as the Sony Ericsson P900.
Where can I get one?
Interested in more phones? See a list of phones I own here.