A light, candybar phone in matt black or ‘sparkling’ white, it looks pretty similar to other handsets from the Walkman range.
The W302 is a basic handset that is simple to use. It has some useful shortcuts and nothing that will cause too much confusion.
Even for a more advanced phone the music player on this handset is good, however; the camera is a bit of an add-on.
The audio player offers excellent sound quality even though the headphones are not the best – use the adaptor and plug in your own.
Battery life is excellent.
It’s another uninspiring release from Sony Ericsson, but if you’re after a low-cost replacement for an MP3 player with decent sound quality, then the W302 can’t really be faulted.
Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:54:55 PM
Look and feel
Ease of use
Great sound for such a low-spec device, slick design, intuitive user interface.
Token camera and video, nothing new.
Music phone. Good sound. Mediocre camera. Yes, it’s another Sony Ericsson low-end Walkman phone and, like the rest of the family, it’s a decent handset with just enough nifty apps to rouse some interest. We just can’t help feeling a bit jaded by the W302’s incredible similarity to the W205, W350i, W395 and…
The W302 is a small, light candybar phone that comes in matt black or ‘sparkling’ white. The front is elegant, brushed steel while the back is textured plastic. We have to hand it to Sony Ericsson – even its lowest end handsets have a style and class that a lot of other budget phones fail to achieve. The keys are small and great to text on, and there is the notable addition of a new shortcuts button that takes you directly to features like the music recognition app TrackID and Record Sound. There’s also a dedicated music player button on the side of the phone.
The W302’s Walkman player ponies up some remarkably full bass and good treble for such a puny device (no Clear Audio for ramped up bass like you’d get in the mid-range and better handsets, though). There’s no 3.5mm audio jack – hey, even the top of the line W910i is jack-free – but at least you get an adaptor to plug in your own set of headphones. It’s a mark of Sony Ericsson’s prowess at music phones that even in such a low-end handset bundled with extremely unimpressive headphones, the audio still provides such good listening.
The music player runs in the background while you poke around the rest of the phone, although there is one odd glitch – a song played via the Music tab in the navigation menu stops when you leave that menu. Granted, this isn’t the ‘official’ music player, but as you can play tracks via that route, it should at least not cut out if you leave the screen.
From the lowliest to the most impressive Sony Ericsson Walkman phones, the camera is a token add-on, and the W302 is no exception. However, there are a few effects you can add, for example, you can choose to shoot in normal or ‘burst’ mode, where you get four shots in quick succession. At two megapixels, you’ll get snaps just decent enough to view on the two-inch screen, but the zoom is pretty ineffective.
There’s a video camera function, but it’s very rudimentary, producing clips that are noisy and blurry even on the phone’s tiny screen.
As you’d imagine, the W302 is extremely basic – your phonebook stores names and numbers, and that’s it. A nice design touch however, is that if you select a contact, an option appears on the home screen’s OK button to message that person. Conveniently, you can access the memory card slot without taking out the battery. Of course, the definition of ‘basic’ has grown sophisticated over the years – once you’re in the texting menu, you have the option to add a picture, video, or song before sending. You can also snap the picture directly from the menu and have it automatically attach.
Another day, another music phone from Sony Ericsson, and at a very decent price. Uninspired as it may be, the W302 is a great low-end music phone, and once you pump it up with a 4GB memory card and some good headphones, it’s a cheap and viable MP3 player replacement. Just don’t expect anything else.