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Sony Ericsson T303
The Producer of the Product
The Target Audience
People who are after a simplistic phone that is capable for making phone calls and text messages. Perhaps for a first time phone user or even kids this would make the ideal phone for them.
Is the product for you?
If you're looking for a compact phone that's good for making calls, sending texts, and maybe taking the odd photo, then this could be the one! It's extremely stylish and quite relief after playing around with much larger phones such as the IPhone and the HTC Desire. If you would prefer a phone whereby you can store a lot of music and have a lot of useful applications then this phone isn't for you, there isn't a memory card port and the phone isn't powerful enough for applications, it is literally good for making phone calls, texts and looking good as either a spare phone or a first phone.
The product in one
This mobile phone was initially designed as a look the part budget mobile phones, the body work on the t303 is metal and chrome which looks beautiful which fits comfortably in any pocket or hand at a size of 83x46x15mm weighing just 93g. With the screen, Sony has tried to save as much as possible under that reflective display panel. Hidden away is a small 1.8 inch, low resolution 128x160 pixels, 65K colour panel LCD, which does not offer an awful lot of detail for viewing images on the phone or when browsing the internet. This little slider phone for operation is pretty straight forward, generic Sony Ericsson style. There is a conventional control set up on the outside of the shell, based around a responsive D-pad navigation control, plus the usual soft key and Activity menu fast access buttons. Menu layout is standard Sony Ericsson style, and the limited functionality means you're not likely to get confused with options. Shortcuts on the D-pad can help you get around in typical mobile fashion too, though the Clear and Activity menu buttons surrounding it are a bit stiff to press. The slider number pad buttons are a large, tap able size, and well-separated, though the plastic panel does feel cheap and creaky. Its action is a touch heavy for texting but okay if you're not worried about speed.
Compared to the vast majority of camera phones out there these phones features are pretty rubbish to be honest. A 1.3 megapixel camera isn't good for anything except a last resort when you really need to capture a moment. It is very low quality and will show a lot of pixels when copied on to a pc or laptop. It doesn't try at sophisticated snapping - there's no flash or autofocus system, and no dedicated camera control buttons. The user interface is plain and simple, shooting in portrait mode with a central portion of the screen acting as viewfinder.
There is a music player installed on to this phone but it's not much use as you are not able to update the memory on the phone so you are restricted to the on board 8mb memory. When you open the box you will notice Sony do supply you with their own set of average earphones which to be honest are pretty handy as there is a built in FM radio which does the job when you are walking around and fancy a bit of free songs. If you are listening to the radio and you aren't sure what a certain song is you are listening to then why not open Sony Ericsson's very impressive TrackID song identification software, so it can take a sample and within seconds tell you what the song is so you can go and purchase it on ITunes or have a listen on you tube.With little high-end functionality to drain the power, the T303 does score well in battery performance. Sony Ericsson estimates it will deliver up to 9 hours talk time or up to 400 hours on standby, which should be enough for most users. The ear phones provided with this mobile phone must be used as an antenna like all old Sony Ericsson mobile phone with FM capabilities, which can sometimes be a little annoying if you don't want them sticking out of your phone. A couple of games - including old-school favourite, Asteroids - are onboard, too, and you can download more Java ones if you so wish.
How does it compare to other Products?
In comparison to other mobile phones, we are able to see this phone is extremely basic and is definitely a budget phone. It has limited features and doesn't really leave you with anything to do on the phone other than make and receive calls and texts. One of the ways which Sony have saved money with this phone, which isn't a big issue as it is a budget phone after all, is the screen size. When measured, the screen under that shiny display is 1.8 inches diagonally. There is a lot of room left over for a much bigger screen but this is what Sony thought was the best screen to get a way with whilst saving money. The screen produces a resolution of 120 x 160 pixels, and this is clearly visible when looking at photos on the phone and sometimes the display can seem a bit pix-elated when glancing over it.
Does the Product Achieve its Purpose?
This phone achieves its purpose of providing a stylish phone, with basic facilities which is useful as a spare phone or for first time mobile phone users. You can store music on here and listen through earphones but it's not really worth it as you can't store a lot and will be sure to run out fairly quickly.
Breaking it down
· Dimensions - 83 x 47 x 14.7 mm
· Main Display - TFT, 65K colours
128 x 160 pixels, 1.8 inches
· Memory - 8 MB shared memory
· Weight - 93 g
· Digital Camera - 1.3 MP - 1280 x 1024 pixels - Digital Zoom
· Features - MMS, GPRS, Java, Bluetooth, V2.0WAP 2.0 / XHTML, Speaker phone, MP3 ringtones, USB port, Email, MP3 player
How to Improve
One way to improve this phone would be to either increase the phones overall memory to something acceptable or to input a memory card slot so the user can upgrade the memory easily and transfer files to and from the phone a lot quicker and easier. Although in this phones defence it does look nice and it was only ever intended as a budget phone which it does do pretty well.
Over all I would give this phone a 3/5 as it does what is intended for it to do but it does lack an awful lot of features and has a terrible LCD screen despite its beautiful, metallic, chrome style.
I got my Sony Ericsson T303i free on contract from T-Mobile and kept it to bring here and use with a local SIM. It's funny because back home it wasn't an especially fancy or coveted phone, but here people seem to think it is über cool. I think it's because it's pink, and clearly not a PRSP (poverty reduction strategy paper) phone. I have used a number of phones over the years - Siemens when I worked for them, Nokia when I was in Mexico as it was the standard issue from my company there - but this is my first Sony Ericsson.
This is a slide phone, with the pink framed screen moving up to reveal a keypad. Again, it was my first slider, and after some normal, no movement handsets, and a minor flirtation with a flip model, it took some getting used to though now it's like second nature. The slider is easy because it glides with little resistance - you can push it from pretty much anywhere on the front and it will open. This is especially handy as, if you press on the mirrored surface, you will get it all grubby with fingerprints pretty quickly. Being able to push from the edge or base helps it stay looking clean for longer.
I like the size of the phone. It is slightly chunky as it has top and bottom layers than slide together but is otherwise nice and compact. It easily fits in my pocket, in the phone compartment of my handbag or in the palm of my hand, and at the same time is hard to lose. But, while the overall size is good I feel they could have used the space better: the screen has a big border which reduces the display area, for example.
The screen can be hard to read. The resolution is not wonderful and on sunny days (that's every day here!) it can be a struggle to read texts though the initial announcement of who has send the SMS is easy to see. The screen lights up when you are called or texted, but if you miss it you can switch it on manually by opening the slider or pressing one of the buttons. I use this quite a bit when I need to know the time, or check no one has called, and since it only flashes on for a brief moment it doesn't seem to affect the battery life too much.
I do find the keys on this model a bit tricky. They are not raised at all, and are rather smaller than some I am used to. These two things combined mean sending long texts can be time consuming, and you have to pay attention when entering numbers to be stored, so you don't mistype any digits. I tend to leave my phone on predictive text as this cuts down on the typing I need to do. I also take advantage of the option to add words of my own to the dictionary - everything from VSO to my postcode to the names of local restaurants. Something else I particularly value in this phone is the option to change the writing language. My phone offers Dutch, English, French, German or Turkish, which is handy when I'm texting an Austrian friend here as I can just switch to predictive text auf Deutsch rather than having to spell out every word manually.
From the main screen there are two short cuts to calls (latest received/dialled/missed) and contacts as well as to the main menu. This is a GUI and most of the icons are pretty straight forward, plus when you navigate to each one, the description in words appears in a bar at the top. There are 9 main options, with several others embedded beneath them. For example, under 'Organiser' you will find alarms, calendar, notes, stopwatch, calculator and so on. You can have 5 different alarms set at once, with daily or weekly options. I have one for every Sunday to remind me to take my antimalarial and find it a useful backup. I don't use most of the other features much, but I appreciate having them and have found that most things you would expect on a mid-range phone exist, you might just have to search a little.
I find the sound quality on this phone is good, and never have trouble either understanding or being understood. The speakerphone option is one I use now and then, especially when I'm on hold, and it's quite easy to toggle between this and the regular setting, even mid-call.
The phone has an inbuilt 1.3 megapixel camera. It's not good enough to warrant me giving up my proper one, but it is useful if you're out without your camera and see something you simply have to snap a picture of (or want to take a photo subtly - here if people catch you pointing a lens in their direction they might demand money and/or get upset that you've stolen their soul). There is no flash option, nor a video camera, neither of which is that surprising given the price of the phone. The way to see it, I think, is to say it's not a camera phone...it's a phone with a camera for emergencies. In other words, the camera is a bonus, not a feature whose quality lets the whole phone down.
Bearing in mind mine is the pink version (black and silver are also on offer) I don't mind telling you about another girly feature of it: when closed and on standby mode, the screen serves as a mirror, and not a bad one at that. It is one of the most supremely useful features in my mind, as I rarely carry a compact but am never without my phone.
The phone lasted well for over a year but now has started to develop issues. One is to do with the charger: sometimes it simply ejects this after a few minutes, and unless you notice and try to fix it back in, you'll come back and find a phone that should have power is now deader than when you left it. When the charger is fitted properly it doesn't take long to get to full power, and it also works well with my solar charger, but maybe a third of the time at the moment I have issues getting the connection to stay put in the first place.
The phone has an FM radio, a music player and some games that are a quite acceptable way to waste some time, battery permitting. Speaking of which, the battery life of this phone is outstanding. I only have to charge it maybe 3 times a fortnight, and I use it every day for texting, and quite often for talking. Officially it claims to have 9 hours talk time and 400 hours standby on a fully charged battery, which is considerably more than any of my previous phones. Again, I've not found this to be something that deteriorates over time, and am still happily using it a year and a half on.
The model is quite robust. It has not dented despite repeated rough treatment, and the slider function has not deteriorated despite constant use. The pink paint has only peeled off in a few tiny places and even the embossed Sony Ericsson name on the front and back has not lost any letters or chipped. That said, another issue is to do with the screen, which seems to have developed bubbles in one corner, almost as if it has been burnt or melted for some other reason. I am very careful not to leave it in direct sunlight (and even hide it in the shade while using my solar charger) but maybe the heat and humidity here have got to it anyway. It doesn't affect the clarity of the screen as it is restricted to the border area, but I am wondering whether, with time, it will spread.
I have had trouble sending texts on occasion, and get a 'sending failed' error message. This has happened in the UK and Sierra Leone, on different networks, so I think it is a problem with the phone rather than my signal. It doesn't often happen, but it's frustrating when you're trying to send an important message.
The internal memory is poor, rendering the music player pretty useless. You can't store many photos, but then the resolution's not wonderful so you probably wouldn't want to. There is also no memory card slot, so you can't even increase the memory that way. I do think this limits what the phone can be used for, though I know most people have cameras and MP3 players so don't necessarily rely on a phone for these features.
This is classed as an 'entry level' phone by many, but given the features it boasts (camera, radio, music player) I initially thought it was more than that. It's not the swishest phone on the market, but there are much simpler models too. My overall opinion, though, is that this is a good basic phone, but could confuse consumers with the inclusion of some features - raising expectations that are then shattered when you realise that the camera's not that good, and there's not enough memory for a decent amount of music, for example. Buy it for talking and texting and I think you'll be satisfied, but for anything more remember the adage that you get what you pay for - this is a cheap phone, and you'll realise why once you try to use it for anything more advanced.
If you'd asked me before I wrote this how I would rate the phone, I would have said highly because I am very happy with it and it has proved to be reliable. Having spent a few days thinking about it in more detail I can see its flaws which I don't tend to notice on a day to day basis. I suppose it all depends on what you're looking for in a phone. For me I want something that is simple and straightforward, lets me text and call, and doesn't require recharging every night (a bigger deal than ever now I live without electricity most of the time). With that in mind, I'm still giving it a reasonable score, though if you're thinking about getting this one I'd suggest double checking its limitations mentioned above aren't deal breakers for you. It talks the talk with respect to the camera and music player, but it doesn't really deliver on these.
I have only talked about the features I have used: as with every product, there are at least as many again that are just too obscure for me. The official specs for the Sony Ericsson T303i are:
* 1.3 megapixel camera with 4x digital zoom
* Display: TFT, 65,536 colours, 128 x 160 pixels
* MP3 player
* FM radio RDS
* MP3/AAC ringtones
* Sound recorder
* Messaging: SMS, MMS
* Java games
* Picture wallpaper
* Personal organiser functions
* Connectivity: Bluetooth, USB
* Memory: 8 Mbytes
* Vibration alert
* Triband (GSM 900/1800/1900)
* Size: 83 x 47 x 15 mm
* Weight: 93g
* Talktime: 9 hours
* Battery standby: 400 hours
At present (December 2010) Tesco have this for under £25 - one of the cheapest offers I could find.
As for the title, as an ex-pat working in Africa for a bit I am something of an Alien, but I'm not ET - after all, I never phone home. That's what email / review writing is for - as long as I'm dooyooing they know nothing too bad can have happened to me...
I brought this phone about a year ago and I was quite impressed that such a small phone can have some very useful features.
The pros about this phone is that it has Bluetooth, camera, fm radio, it has a steel casing which really does make it sturdy. It's very small and will fit into any pocket size. It has a music player and a few fun games. It's stylish looking with a classic style that won't go out of date too quickly.
The cons, well it really doesn't have much storage space at all, I think you could get away with putting 1 full song on and maybe store a few pictures taken with the camera. It does not have a video camera and the screen resolution is s little poor.
All in all I would say that for the price of the phone it really is worth it, especially if you are looking for something that is very basic e.g. Mainly to take calls which has the added bonus of a few extras. The fm radio is awesome on this little phone, and is surprisingly a feature that some expensive phones don't have!
I bought this mobile phone a few weeks ago as a temporary phone. After I bought the phone, I tried to return it as I was not initially happy with the product- But Orange told me that they had a 'no return policy'- was not happy with the stupid policy, or the asistants attitude. However im no longer looking for another mobile phone as I have grown used to it. The battery life is rather good on the mobile phone and the features (of the limited ones there are) are quite easy to follow and get to.
Despite this, I would only really recommend this mobile phone for people who only use the phone for making phone calls (as I use it for) as the phone doesn't have very good graphics, camera nor features- but then for the price, thats explected. Although I have always been a fan of petite slide phones, this phone is really petite and quite easy to lose (but that may just be me!).
I only had this phone a couple of months before I lost it at the Oxegen festival during the summer. It was a great phone, and probably the only phone I was sorry about losing.
The mirror glass display was great - especially for fixing appearance before meeting someone if a mirror wasn't quite handy!
Not in keeping with the more recent Sony Ericsson phones in terms of music, this is still a great little phone with, among other features eg camera etc, an FM radio. The radio is great when the signal is 100% however otherwise it is slightly annoying as it breaks up quite easily. Another annoyance, not with the phone necessarily but the headphones supplied, the different length of the headphones for each ear can be quite a pain at times.
This phone is pretty sturdy, and waterproof to a certain extent, having survived the first 2 days of constant rain at Oxegen, the rough and tumble of 3 days hiking/camping AND a prodigy gig, it was still fully functional and virtually brand new looking. My only warning would be, ladies, if you have long nails (even slightly long) I found the little directional square button to chip pretty easily, so be mindful of that.
The camera isn't great, especially in low light, however, does do the job, and pictures can always be brightened on the computer anyways. Transfer of pictures is relatively easy with no software installation required.
Otherwise a great little phone, fits in pretty much any bag, and even the pockets of your skinny jeans perfectly! Looks great too!
a very cute little phone and an ideal mobile especially for children. i only paid 50 pounds for it for my 13 year old and she is very impressed. it didnt take us very long at all to learn how to use it. there was no reading through loads of pages in the manual as sony tend to make things quite simple to work out. its really small but the screen is fantastic becuase of its size. the camera isnt perfect but to be fair this wasnt something i looked at before i bought it so if you are wanting cracking pictures then maybe it would be worth looking at a different phone. i would say this could be used easily from about the ages 8 and upwards if you were wanting to buy your child a phone and the fact that it is a pink sony ericsson makes it a winner.