Philips W6610 first impressions: more than just marathon battery life

“The W6610 can beat even tablets with its monstrous 5,300mAh battery”

Philips is one of the leading players in home electronics segment in the country, but the manufacturer pulled out of mobile phones category several years ago when it wasn’t able to compete with the rivals like Nokia and Samsung. Since then, the market has become even more competitive with not only multinationals, but homegrown manufacturers also eyeing market share. However, it’s also true that the Indian smartphone market is rapidly growing and hence Philips is hoping to make a name for itself this time. At a press event in New Delhi today, the company introduced its new lineup of smartphones and a features phone for Indian consumers. We got to spend a fair bit of time with its flagship Android device, the W6610. Here are our initial impressions.

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The USP of the Philips W6610 is its high capacity 5,300mAh battery. Yes, you read it right. If you think smartphones with 3,000 or even 4,000mAh batteries just don’t make the cut and you have to hunt for power socket often, then the W6610 definitely could be a good choice. Furthermore, the brand has made use of various techniques to reduce battery consumption and increase the efficiency of the device. It has optimised the circuit board design in such a way that it draws very less energy from the battery. The company has also added fast-charging capabilities to the smartphone.

But battery isn’t everything for a smartphone, so let’s take a look at other specs of the Philips W6610. It’s built around a 5-inch display with the resolution of 960 x 540 pixels. Sadly, the display looks pale with colours looking slightly washed out and a few instances of pixelation. The processing is handled by 1.3GHz MediaTek quad-core chipset backed by 1GB of RAM. During our usage, the device seemed zippy while navigating between screens and opening or closing apps. However, we will wait till we can spend some more quality time with the device to comment about its performance.

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Storage-wise, we were a little disappointed with the inclusion of just 4GB of onboard memory. Moreover, most of it will be used by the OS and its resources leaving roughly around 2GB of storage accessible to users. However, you can make use of a microSD card of up to 32GB for personal files. On the camera front, the W6610 offers an 8-megapixel camera at the back with flash and a 2MP front shooter. Sadly, due to low-light conditions we weren’t able to test the camera capabilities of the device. The operating system on offer is relatively old Android 4.2 Jelly Bean with no customisations whatsoever. There’s a preinstalled app for enhancing the battery life by shutting down non-core features of the device automatically when battery is low. Connectivity is fairly standard with the support for 3G (only the first SIM slot), Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS.

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In terms of design, the front of the device is fairly typical, with the display being flanked by the earpiece and sensors on the top, and three capacitive keys at the bottom. While the huge battery capacity should help in making the device last long on a single charge, it also adds a lot of bulk to the device. In fact, the W6610 is one of the heaviest smartphones we have came across. The plastic construction doesn’t generate much confidence about the build quality, but it isn’t bad in any way. The right side of the device gets a power button along with a switch, while the volume rocker is available at the left. The switch is another way to elongate the smartphone’s battery life by shutting down all the features like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc. and only  allowing to use it for calls and messages. A standard 3.5mm audio jack is at the top panel and the micro-USB port can be found at the bottom hidden under a plastic flap. The rear cover of the device isn’t removable, but the brand has chosen an innovative design for inserting the SIMs and the microSD card. Only a part of the back cover just below the camera is removable, revealing these slots.

Overall, the smartphone is definitely an interesting proposition for those who want long battery life and its innards also match today’s standards. However, the pricing of Rs 20,650 feels a tad too much for this combination. Ideally, we would have loved the device if it would have been priced around Rs 16,000. However, we’d still like to reserve judgement till we get a chance to review the W6610.

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