The new Sony Ericsson K300 is a cheap and elegant phone equipped with built-in camera, plenty of interesting functions and immensely fast Java applications. In terms of design it picks up again the legendary T610 model. Its initial price, however, was set at less than 170 euros.
The first news about Sony Ericsson K300 was published as early as November last year. At a discussion forum back then a blurred photo of a somewhat small mobile phone appeared. Its code name was Kristina. Many people did not trust that information, many other considered it even spurious. Fortunately, it turn out not to be a fraud and the new Sony Ericsson K300 is now lying on our editor's desk.
In no way does the K300 model renounce its parents. Take one quick look and your doubts will disappear. We have been offered another device manufactured by mother Sony and father Ericsson. The new model is closely related to the current K500 model. In fact, both phones have almost identical functions. What is different about the new model is its slightly poorer equipment and lower price.
The first impression the phone leaves is of a solid device, whose keypad resembles a certain relation to the older T610 model. The phone is available in two main color versions - silver and silver-blue.
When you see the phone for the first time, your attention will be attracted by the wider margin around the display, which optically outstands far more in the phone's silver-blue version than in the plain silver one. Nevertheless, this detail does not disturb the well-balanced image of the whole device for it gradually curves the upper edge of the phone and continues onto its back side. The keypad takes up approximately one half of the front side of the phone.
Sony Ericsson K300's size is 100 × 46 × 21 mm; together with its weight of 85 g it fits into the category of small and light phones. The antenna is built-in, as usual. If you take a close look at phone's side parts, you will find nothing else but the QuickShare button placed on the left side of the phone, which shortcuts the start of the camera. On the top edge is the switch-on button, accompanied by the dark slot of the infrared port. Under the latter is also hidden the unobtrusive state diode. The only thing to be found on the bottom side of the phone is the system connector, which is just the same as the connector of the older Sony Ericsson models. It provides enough support for all equipment extras.
The plastic shell of the battery spreads over nearly the whole back side of the phone; the latter includes a bulging tiny mirror which serves for taking self-portraits using the built-in camera. Right next to it you will find the camera lens. The shell that hides the battery is quite thin, so creaky sounds come out every time you press the cover, no matter how much effort you put into this.
What keeps body and soul together is the lithium-polymer accumulator of 700 mAh capacity. According to the information provided by the manufacturer, it should be enough for 300 hours in a stand-by mode and up to 420 minutes of phone calls. Our experience from the phone's testing proved this rather high-standard holding time. Yet, we did not have enough time to measure it properly. As for the charging time, the accumulator needs about two hours to get fully charged.
The distribution of the keys is similar to the keypads of other new Sony Ericsson mobile phones. Right under the upper edge of the display you will find a pair of soft buttons, which manage the main controlling functions of the phone. Their role changes during the work with the phone, with the current one being displayed in the bottom state line of the display.
The phone has a five-way joystick, which is relatively embedded, but is still quite comfortable and easy to control. On both its sides you will find the correct key and a button, which gets you back to a higher menu level. Perhaps many users will find the button that serves for starting the WAP browser unnecessary; fortunately, its functions will be possible to change in phones, which are offered separately, besides the official promotions of the mobile operators.
The keypad left me somewhat puzzled. Even though the keys are big enough for comfortable and fast writing, the distance between them is sufficient, and their uplift is not bad at all, it is a mystery for me why one does not write on them as well as expected. Apparently, the blame is to be pinned on the touch layer used under the keys, which lacks a sure final press; besides that, pressing the keys requires too much effort.