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Review SonyEricsson T300
T 300 is an fashion phone, it has an intermediate position between T200 and T600 in new phone line from SonyEricsson. The colour of this model (Ice Blue) is exactly the same as the color of SonyEricsson T68i. Furthermore it is possible to call T300 as a simple version of T68i. However, the design of new phone has some differences. The phone outline is more angular, it doesn't have the streamline form of T68i though it doesn't look like older models from Ericsson. In my opinion the dimensions (106x48x21 mm) and the weight(101 g) of the phone are acceptable, it's handy. It is possible to change the colour of "phone face" and the covers themselves. Until now image phones from SonyEricsson don't support this service (the phone body stays Ice-blue, also model available in another two colours).
The same display used in T300 as in T68i: graphical, colour (with up to 256 colours). It measures 34x28 mm and has a resolution 101x80pixels. The screen contains up to 8 text-lines. As you can see it is quite large and allows to view shot messages or Wap pages without any difficulties. It is impossible to read anything on the screen without backlighting in the standby mode. When the backlight is switched on you can easily see text and images. You can set the permanent light-up duration but in this case your phone will work only one day and you'll need to recharge it at night. There are also many other screen-settings in this model: adjustability of display contrast (10 points), opportunity to install 3 kinds of types - standard, large and small (I liked standard most of all). Finally, in the standby mode nice light digital clock moves on the dark screen. The display is illuminated with a help of light-emitting diode situated on the sides of the screen. It is very bright inside and sometimes it's rather difficult to read the text on the street. There is no such problem in winter but, to say the truth, the bright sun in this season is rare.
A new kind of joystick type key is used in T300. It allows to scroll in 4 directions and it also reacts on pressing. It seems to me it's more comfortable to use the new joystick than the older one, it is almost impossible to press it by mistake. Small plastic keys are positioned tightly but you don't feel discomfort while working because of their height. I can't say that the keypad is perfect but it is not the worst one. The phone has the special key to provide access to the quick(context) menu.
A standard interface cutoff is situated below the phone and the locking catch of the interchangeable cover above. I tested only the prototype of T300 and the cover of my phone wasn't removable. Let's wait for commercial samples! Of course I should say that at the beginning of the article. Frankly speaking this paper isn't a real review, it's rather an estimation of the possibilities of the new model, which I made during the work with the prototype.
A slider is on the left side of the phone. With the help of it you could regulate the volume of the loud-speaker in the talk mode, find out the date and view current information about profile and battery level. In the final version the slider will look different from this phone that I tested.
On the right side you can see a dark window of an infrared port. There is no hole for a holder on the body of the phone but there are not so many people who definitely use it.
A rear part and a battery are two independent elements, the same construction as in T200. The cover fits reliably to the phone body, there is no any backlash. A Li-Pol battery has 700 mAh capacity. According to the manufacturer, this battery works 300-350 hours in the standby mode and 6-7.5 hours in the talk one. In the reality it operated approximately 4 days in case of 45 minutes of talking (the Megaphone network) and 45-50 minutes of using different applications (games, organizer, alarm-clock) a day. It takes about 2 hours to recharge the battery.
The structure of the menu in comparison with T68i didn't change considerably but though several functions were modified. The main menu represents a set of 9 icons, that open an access to the list of items. Each item has its own number and I think that you've already guessed what it for. Of course, you are right, they are used for a fast menu navigation.
Phonebook. One can store up to 250 names and phone numbers in the memory of phone. Note, that for one name you can add 3 phone numbers (mobile, office, home) and e-mail address (up to 10). The memory distributes dynamically. It means that if you input one number for each name, you will have 250 entries. T300 supports caller groups. For individual subscribers one can set a specific ringing tone or a graphic on the display. You could select an image either from the phone collection (around 50 images) or make it yourself with a help of MCA-25, MCA-10 view, MCA-20 camera. A new pleasant feature of T300 is the possibility to set a default phone number for each contact. There is also one more additional function in this submenu - sending all the phone numbers via the IR port. It will be of indispensable help when you decide to transfer your data to the other phone or PDA.
Messaging. Apart from sending and receiving standard SMS and EMS messages you can create and receive MMS messages and also your mail (POP3/SMTP). You can read detailed explanations of these features in the reviews of T68 and T68i.
Calls information (register). This function traditionally provides a registration of calls. This phone has two lists of calls: the list of missed calls (up to 10 numbers) and the general list (up to 20 numbers). The user can view the data and time of each call. Note that this model has one peculiarity: if you reject an incoming call this number will be registered in the list of missing calls. Here it's also possible to view call duration and the volume of sent and received data.
Entertainment. This submenu includes games and some other functions. Here you can change (the appeareance of) interface, there are themes in the phone that allow to change the colour of the menu. Other features are Composer (Musical editor) with a set of images and melodies and a Dictaphone. The memory of the dictaphone is limited only by free space (about 600 Kb - approximately 10 minutes). It records fragments, during the talk as well, that last one minute. To make your record active during the talk you should scroll to many items of the menu that is very inconvenient to do. Record fragments appear in this submenu, in the item My sounds and they are automatically designated by the days of the week (if you made several records in one day they are also numbered). Afterwards you can rename any file you like.
Parameters. The title of the submenu shows that here are collected all the settings connected with the phone operations: clock and date, adjustabilities of display (contrast, wallpapers of the screen), a language of menu and text input, profiles.
Organizer. The phone has two alarm clocks: one of them sounds once, the other has the recurring settings by the days of the week. The alarm clocks work even when the phone is switched off. A countdown timer, a stop-watch and a calculator are located also here.
Connection. T300 supports a package data exchange (GPRS 3+1). You could work with a special cabel (PC connection) or via the IR port. T 300 is the phone of middle class, that is why you can't find bluetooth in this model. You could use GPRS for SMS exchange and browsing Wap (version 2.0).
The connection quality and the volume of speakers are similar to SonyEricsson T68i and it means that T300 does its main job quite good. Polyphonic melodies sound pleasantly, you could hear well 24-voice polyphony. Let's wait how it will be realized in the commercial product. The vibrating alert is neither powerful nor weak.
It is expected that this model will appear in shops in September and the initial price of it will be $300. During 2 or 3 months the price of T300 can go down to $200. It is the main price for this model. It seems to me that the end of the year would be rather interesting because many mobile phones with colour screen will appear on the market. Now you've got acquainted with the first representative (in the middle segment) of new mobile phone generation - the model SonyEricsson T 300.
A commercial samples of T300 appeared and as we promised before, we write a continuation of the review. The main features are described earlier. Here we'll tell about changes occurred. Not all features were realized properly in prototype. For example, interchangeable covers were announced but it was impossible to open the phone. Now to change a front cover, press on the holder above the phone and pull the cover. It's rather hard to do but it works. There are no information about the colours yet and their photos as well.
Two words about the construction of the phone. A slider volume key, placed on the left-hand side, didn't change at all. It remained simple. It's a pity that the battery isn't fixed tightly. If you shake the phone you'll feel how it dangles. I hope that it is a defect of only my sample. In any case you can check it before purchasing.
I was asked to show the icons of the organizer, it's really a new feature in the handsets from SonyEricsson. Here are they. A disadvantage of a commercial series is the absence of the calendar, now you can record only separate events.
The phone has 5 standard themes to change a menu design, 4 of them are pictures of different seasons.
The games are really distinguishing. They resemble the old PC games. There are 4 pre-default games in the phone: Erix, Alien Scum, Black Deal, Minigolf. The first one is well-known, we've seen it in the other phones, and three remaining games are not so popular. BlackDela is a simple card game. Minigolf is an interesting mini golf. Alien Scum is a typical Arcade, it's very captivating and you can waste much time playing it. All games has a mood music, all the tones are polyphonic, what is really pleasing.
The sound quality is excellent, the melodies are nice. The phone has a loud calling alert. It loses to Samsung S100 but wins if to compare it to T100. Here you can listen to some of the ringing tones (mp3 file, 1 Mb). There are 12 polyphonic melodies and 18 simple ringing tones in the phone. The latter ringing types are louder and if you are not satisfied with the volume of polyphonic calling alert you can change it to simple melody. The vibrating alert is rather strong here, it can be felt well. Musical editor is also placed in the phone, it enables to edit and to download your own ringing tones (not polyphonic). You can't record a melody through the dictaphone, anyway my sample doesn't have such capability.
If to say about shortcomings of this software version (R1B), they are the following: impossibility to listen to the dictaphone records. The phone doesn't play them, surely it will be correct in the next software version.
As a conclusion I'd like to say that in spite of the controversial design of the phone, it might be rather popular. It is one of the first handsets that will have a colour display and a polyphony in the middle class phones. A rival -Nokia 3510i will appear later, till that time SonyEricsson T300 might cost 200-250$. So this phone is really worth to think about.
Published 28 August 2002 / Update - 19 September 2002
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