Sony Ericsson T303 in-depth review -

Look and feel

Stylish and compact, what it lacks in features it makes up for in looks.

Ease of use

The keypad is perhaps a little small and lacks resistance and the screen is adequate for most functions. Having said that, the camera would benefit from a larger screen, and also a dedicated function key.

Features

The emphasis is clearly on the handsets low price rather than extensive features, but it does include a camera, radio, MP3 player and GPRS data connection.

Performance

Although this is a basic handset, it does everything it needs to do and well. Loading websites was surprisingly quick, and the radio even has a record function. On the downside, the camera is lacking in features and the on-board memory is quite small.

Battery life

The handset has an excellent battery life.

 Sony Ericsson T303 Review -
2

Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:54:23 PM

4

out of 10

Performance

6

out of 5

Look and feel

4

out of 5

Ease of use

4

out of 5

Features

8

out of 5

Battery life

Pros:

It looks great, is well built and has an excellent battery life

Cons:

The camera is very basic, screen resolution is low and the onboard memory is small, at just 8MB

While flagship handsets will always grab the headlines, manufacturers are beginning to recognise that prepay and low-end devices are core to the mobile market place, particularly in light of the current economic climate. One such handset that caught our eye was the Sony Ericsson T303, which makes up for what it lacks in terms of features with a gorgeous looking exterior.

Sony Ericsson T303 – Look and feel

The Sony Ericsson T303 is a shout back to the time when the smaller the phone, the higher regard it was held. With a tiny body and a feather-like weight of just 93 grams, it’s impressively compact, especially considering that it sports a slider format with a roomy, flat 3x4 button keypad. However, along with the shortcut and cancel keys on the front of the device, the keypad lacks resistance and consequently feels spongy. Likewise, the two selection keys situated just below the screen are too narrow and feel a little sharp.

The T303 is available in two colours; Shadow Black and Shimmering Silver. Our review sample was the latter, and it simply sparkled. The screen has a mirror like finish that perfectly complements the silver body. But activate the screen and it’s difficult to contain your disappointment. The resolution is extremely low at just 128x160 pixels with only 65,000 colours; however, the most disappointing aspect of the display is that it only measures 1.8-inches diagonally across. While the menu icons are dainty enough to fit comfortably in view, and text is easy to read, the camera view suffers as a result. Particularly disappointing is that, while a small tool bar takes up the bottom of the screen, a further quarter of it remains redundant for no apparent reason.

Sony Ericsson T303 – Camera credentials

There is no dedicated camera key, so you’ll either have to access it through the menu options or press the navigation pad upwards when on the home screen. This also means that to take a pic you need to press the central command key, which we always feel is a constant reminder that you’re using a camera ‘phone’ rather than a dedicated camera. The pictures themselves are below average, with a lack of pre or post settings available. There’s also no zoom option.

The T303 operates on a GPRS data connection, which meant that loading up websites was not as lethargic as we feared. However, when scrolling down pages it did take a couple of seconds for the page to catch up with the scroll bar.

Sony Ericsson T303 – Radio recording

Music wise and the T303 has an onboard MP3 player. Unfortunately, there is only 8MB of shared memory and no memory card slot, so you’ll only have room for your favourite tracks. There’s also no 3.5mm headset port, and it’s strange that Sony Ericsson has decided not to double up the boxed-in headset as a handsfree device. But we will award points for the fact that you can record radio direct from the handset. The sound quality does suffer, but it’s a useful feature on a low-end device. Users will also be able to identify tracks with Sony Ericsson’s stalwart TrackID, which is also onboard.

Sony Ericsson T303 – The verdict

Placing too much emphasis on what the Sony Ericsson T303 doesn’t have would be a disservice to what is effectively a decent low-end, affordable handset. Sure, there is no 3G, the screen’s resolution is poor and onboard memory is rather pitiful. Yet, what you do get is a phone with an excellent battery life, that is expertly built and with looks that far surpass its low-end price tag.