Sony Ericsson W300

I’m gonna cheat a little, and reprint an article that I wrote for a publication a while back.  Now that the W300 has been released in the Philippines, it seems like an apt time to do it.

Sony’s merger with Ericsson a few years ago reinvigorated the staid and aging cellphone giant.  Now, with some success behind them, Sony is starting to push even harder into the mobile market, using its well known brands to attract customers to their phones.  And what better brand than the once ubiqitous walkman?

The walkman changed our way of life when it came out in the 80s, and a few years ago Sony Ericsson tried to capture that phenomenon once more with their W800 and W550 walkman phones.  Howver, these phones were slightly on the high end, and cost more than the average consumer could afford.  The company promised to build a walkman phone for the masses, and now it’s arrived.

The aptly named Sony Ericsson W300 (W for Walkman and 300 as a model number to dictate that its below the 550) is a clamshell phone that boasts many of the features of its older brothers.  It’s got the same software (including the music playing software) and it’s a quadband phone with a VGA camera as well.  The phone boasts 20mb of internal memory, which is surprisingly large for its price point, and also accepts memory expansion using Sony’s new proprietary memory stick micro (M2) memory card.  Buyers need not worry about space, because a 256mb card comes with the box, which is usually more than enough space for the average user, since that’s enough to store roughly 60 songs at an average of 4mb each.  Connectivity through bluetooth and USB 2.0 is also very handy, so the computer can be hooked up very easily to your PC to transfer music and photo files, as well as your calendar.

The screen size is 128×160, which is tolerable at this price point, and looks to be replacing the old standard of 128×128 for budget phones.  When closed, the phone has an external monochrome display that lets you know the time, signal, etc. and additionally also provides you with music information when you’re using the phone as a walkman.  Buttons on the side also let you use the walkman without having to flip open the phone.  Earphones similar to those packaged with the W800 and the W550 will also be included, and they sound just as great when used with the phone.

The camera function is almost negligible, as it seems to have been added only as an afterthought.  This isn’t to say that it doesn’t work well, but remember that this is a budget phone that’s focused on being a music player on the side, so the camera wasn’t given as much focus.

The keypad’s been given a facelift as well, and it really does seem that this particular walkman was given a much more design-centric focus, with its nice curves and small form factor.  The circular keypads look like they might be a little difficult to get used to, but I’m sure that the new user will get used to it in time.

In conclusion, if you want a stylish phone that doubles as a music player with some camera functionaily thrown in, this is the phone for you.

Note: I’ve actually gotten to try out the phone for a while at my office, and I must say it’s a looker.  Plus the keypads aren’t as hard to use as I figured they’d be.  The recessed middle button on the navigation key does offer minor difficultes, and the way Sony uses the T9 dictionary feels far less functional than how Nokia does it).


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