The SE T630 is an upgrade to the T610. I reviewed the T610 nearly a year ago. At that time, I really like the T610 and it turned out to be a great recommendation because the T610 was a huge success and I believe it was the main reason why the Sony Ericsson JV turned around. Even today, the T610 is still a great handset.
As some of you might know, I have moved on to 3G. But I did end up keeping my 2G account as well for the time being. But I decided that I didn’t want to keep my Sony Ericsson P900 even though I quite liked it. Instead, I sold it and turned to the T630 as my backup.
The T630 is extremely similar to the T610. Technically, the T630 is slightly smaller and lighter (less a whopping 2.5 grams!) than the T610. But the difference is so inconsequential, it’s very difficult to tell the difference. For argument sake, I’d say they’re the same. On its own merits, the T630 is extremely small and a welcome to most users as it travels well in a pocket, purse, or jacket.
There are some nice cosmetic changes on the T630 over the T610. First, the T630 comes in a much nicer “shiny” finish than the T610. Some may argue that it looks a bit “plastic” but the T630 has a beautiful chrome/metallic finish. I love the floating look on the front where the Sony Ericsson sits on top of a mirror finish. This phone is simplistic and stunning at the same time.
I also really like the new setup and buttons for the keypad. Instead of the very tiny silver buttons, the T630 comes with a much larger plastic keypad. The buttons themselves almost feel like rubber that makes them feel much sturdier. Even though the keys are right next to each other, dialing or texting is much easier in my opinion with a T630.
Like the T610, the T630 is the “brick” design that Nokia is famous for. In truth, I still am relatively indifferent between the “brick” versus the “clamshell” design debate for handsets. I like them both! However, I find some “clamshells” a bit thick though I like the protective design of covering the keypad and the screen. I have no complaints about the T630. Some may argue that the Z600 is better. Again, that’s a personal preference. Since I’ve had both, I guess I’m able to give a fair opinion. Personally, I like the T630 better. The screen on the Z600 is outstanding, but the Z600 was just a bit too thick for my liking. I really think Sony could have made it thinner.
The T630 comes in only two colors at the moment – white and black (I don’t think there will be others as the K700 just hit the market). In contrast the T610 came in a red and a blue in addition to the metallic/black version. But both the black and the white T630 stand out on their own and despite splashes of color, they look pretty remarkable.
There isn’t too much of a difference in terms of function between the T610 and the T630. Voice quality is as good as before, functions and menus are as easy to navigate and use as before. Again, please refer to my older T610 review.
The main difference that I know of is that the T630 has a better screen. The T630 has a TFT LCD while the T610 had a STN. In that respect, you can tell the difference. The T630 is brighter than the T610, especially in daylight. If you had the T610 or know what that’s like, then you’d definitely notice a difference. Images and pictures look better on the T630 (though it still doesn’t compare to other brighter and better screens on other mobiles). The screen size though is the same and while the colors are brighter, you do sacrifice quite a lot for the small size of the phone. I’m used to larger screens and its hard to move back.
I’ve read other places that note you can add the gamepad to the T630. Well with the upgrade for the T610, you can use it there too! Also, my T610 had the V-Rally game as well so that’s not much of a difference. One new function I did find was the inclusion of the ‘My Friends’ folder that helps you manage your friend’s contacts.
I did complain in the past that the T610 seem to have a little “time” lag in some of its functions. You push the button and you’d have to wait just that extra split-second more than other mobile phones. Well, the T630 isn’t that different. Although it feels as if the T630 could be slightly faster, there are times when it just takes a few extra moments to react. (Canceling a call for instance seems somewhat sluggish to react.)
In general, its very much the same phone, and who could blame SE for doing that – the T610 worked perfectly fine and for the purpose of the T630, it will do just as well.
The T630 is only a marginal upgrade to the T610 and as a result may not excite too many users. But, given the improvement in the screen, and the fact that the T610 was such a good runaway success, you probably won’t go too wrong with the T630. Best of all, at just around US$270 for the phone, the T630 is an amazing value. The T630 is an ESSENTIAL buy if you are looking for a cheap, good quality, nice-looking, well-tested phone today. If you are looking for the latest, coolest handset, then this isn’t for you. Try the SE K700 or the new Nokia 7610.