Sony Ericsson T303 review: Small is beautiful
User interface - low end upgrade
Sony Ericsson T303 has a scaled-down version of the regular Sony Ericsson interface. It lacks in looks and its functionality is nowhere near the standard offering, yet it is much sharper than what we found in T280.
Although there's no Flash Lite theme support, there are several upgrades over the core functionality of the UI, compared to the low-end peer Sony Ericsson T280 we previewed not so long ago. The major improvement is the tree soft key layout, which we love the most. Other than that, there is "My shortcuts" menu, tabbed settings, smart search, TrackID, etc.
Overall, it is nice to find several important features of the UI included in such a low end phone.
There are four themes preinstalled in the T303 - the first is not labeled, the remaining ones are Clarity, Gray Possession, and Silver charm. The animated .gif wallpapers are a welcome extra.
The phonebook stores up to 500 entries with a total of 2500 phone numbers available. As usual, you can choose whether the SIM contacts or the phone contacts should be default for the phonebook. Displaying both lists simultaneously is impossible. On a different note, a nice option allows you to auto save to SIM any new contacts that you're adding to the phone memory.
Contacts can be ordered by First or Last name. They are searched by gradual typing of the desired name. When adding a new contact, the first tab of fields offers 2 phone number fields. The second tab is for email addresses. The third is for assigning a picture, a custom ringtone, and a custom message tone. The fourth goes for postal details. The last, fifth tab, is for making an additional note and adding a birth date.
When it comes to making calls, a nice feature is the Smart Search, which lists all available contacts in the phonebook starting with the digits typed on the standby screen. The search facility looks up both letter combinations in names, and phone numbers that start with the digits entered.
The Call log is divided into four different tabs. They are: All, Answered (Received), Dialed and Missed. When there are several calls made to a single contact, only the last one gets displayed.
The loudspeaker performance is average. Here is how the Sony Ericsson T303 stacks up against some of the other handsets we've measured in our speakerphone loudness test.
|Speakerphone test||Voice, dB||Ringing ||Overal score|
|Sony Ericsson T303||65.5||66.5||73.5||Average|
|Nokia 3500 classic||65.9||65.7||75.7||Average|
|Nokia 5310 XpressMusic||64.8||62.0||75.9||Average|
You can find more info about our loudspeaker test, as well as the results of other tested devices here.
T303 has a simple messaging functionality, with no email client onboard. What you get is text, picture and voice messaging. The Manage Messages function is not available but, luckily, sorting messages by category is available.
All messages use one Inbox. No matter what kind of message has been received, it goes to the shared Inbox. When composing a message, the character counter will alert you when you're 10 symbols short of the 160-character limit. The T9 dictionary goes without saying.
Users may opt to sort messages by category list, if a specific category has been defined for a message. Categories are fully customizable as well. You can also delete all messages in a given category. Furthermore, messages in categories can have their own sorting with Contact, Date, and size the available filters to choose from. Much like in W890, in the general inbox there is no indication if a message has been assigned a category. The same holds true for messages that are opened.
Composing a picture/MMS message uses the same interface as most latest Sony Ericsson phones. Opening a new Voice message automatically starts the voice recorder. After the message has been recorded it can be sent immediately or played first.