At first sight, the passive display appears to be identical with the display of the cheap Z200 stylish clamshell. Both displays have been manufactured by using (nearly) the same technology - STN for Z200 and DSTN for K300. Both feature the same resolution: 128 x 128 pixels and have identical size: 29 × 29 mm. The only difference is that K300 supports 65K colors, while the Z200 model supports only 4K. In addition to that, the new model features images of much better quality.
The display is one of the main features that differentiate this model from Sony Ericsson K500. The latter one had an active and also a bigger display: it featured a resolution of 128 × 160 pixels on a surface of 31 × 39 mm.
The rectification of the information on the Sony Ericsson K300's display is good. You will not meet "ghosts" even if you make the fastest moves possible. The display is easy to read in a room or in twilight. Yet, at direct daylight, you will not see that much. The backlighting could have been evener.
The Sony Ericsson developers have proved to be very good at designing the graphic environment of their mobiles. Nor this time have they let down our expectations. The main menu view consists of icons we are familiar with from other models of the brand. You can choose out of 9 icons, which are displayed in a square matrix scheme. When marked, the icon starts to animate impressively; it gets fluently bigger until it finally stands out in an oval bubble.
To switch from the stand-by mode to the menu press the middle part of the joystick. Fortunately, this model's joystick is not as soft and sensitive as the one of the K500 model. Any non-intentional swinging sideways mistaken for confirming is almost impossible, even if you go for a quick move.
Main display with various wallpaper • possible setup of the navigation key
There is no doubt you will manage the phone's control functions with ease, provided the K300 model is just another Sony Ericsson you are holding in your hands. Runaways from the competition brands may be blundering about a bit in the first few moments, but be sure you will get used to the controlling process in a very short time.
What is worth praising is the option for using one's own graphic themes. You can create them on your computer or download them through the WAP browser, directly from internet.
Samples of graphic themes
The phone's speaker is loud enough. The phone also offers a built-in handsfree, which is of a surprisingly high quality. The voice does not get modified even at maximum loudness level, and has a balanced bass component. Nor did the opposite side have any complaints about echoes or voice cuts when we were testing phone calls and assessed the quality of the voice reproduction as being slightly above standard. You can change the loudness level during an ongoing call by moving the joystick sideways.
The built-in phonebook of Sony Ericsson K300 takes in up to 510 numbers, but not names. The disadvantage of the K500 model is back: if you assign 5 phone numbers per contact, the phone manages to save 100 contacts only. And let's confess it - it is lamentably insufficient. Why does Sony Ericsson improve its address books in its latest expensive mobiles only? Apparently, the problem is not caused by lack of storage space, since the phone has 12 MB memory. At the same time, the device allows for assigning of as many as 18 records to each item! Fortunately, it has finally become possible to search the address book by more than one initial letter. However, a joint view of all items in the internal memory and in the SIM card is still not available.
Searching the phone address book • to view the items of a certain contact, roll horizontally • contact editing
Pressing the joystick downwards gets you straight to the address book - this type of setting can be easily changed later. A given thing is the call-filter function for each individual profile: either in the address book as a whole, or among names or groups. Filters could be used for mass SMS sending as well. When I was synchronizing data I was pleased to find the phone is equipped with an option for contact sorting by both first and last name. Each contact can be assigned a picture or a photo, which appear on the display when a call is received.
Polyphonic ringing plays 40 voices. Due to the implemented independent speaker it is loud enough even for the loudest environment. Ringing can be quickly lowered by pressing the hash key; if you press and hold the same key in a stand-by mode, you will turn on or turn off the quiet mode of the phone. Ringing melodies could also be created by using favorite music saved in MP3 format. Moreover, you can create melodies of your own using the comfortable environment of the MusicDJ composer.
The phone manages MP3 files • creating one's own ringing profile • multimedia data
SSony Ericsson K300 could be considered the nearly ideal phone for writing messages. It manages common SMS and modern MMS; the graphic design of the editor environment is once again impressive. There are two ways for writing messages: using the T9 dictionary or the standard Multitap system.
When writing SMS, the phone offers four text lines only, although the display allows for at least one more common size line. Well, the toll for the attractive graphics must show somewhere, earlier or later. The font size is big enough; 5 text lines are offered for reading received messages. Up to 100 text messages of common size can be saved into the phone's built-in memory.
As for the high quality editor, it has stayed almost unchanged in several Sony Ericsson models. Some old good functions are to be found here again, for example, the "Reply and delete" function, the option to view sent messages, or an automatic list of the last four contacts sent to the selected message addressee. As usual, the incoming messages are saved in the phone's built-in memory; the SIM card is used only as an archive, into which messages have to be copied manually.
Writing text messages • creating multimedia messages
The built-in memory for multimedia messages is shared with the rest of the data. As for the editor - no changes have been made: you can insert pictures, photos or music accompaniment (can be in mp3 format). In contrast to the K500 model, Sony Ericsson K300 is quite fast in inserting objects into a message; yet, it is still far from being a high-class sprinter. It is still quite slow when opening messages with several attached pictures.
Nothing has been changed in the built-in email client. It is able to create up to 10 different mail accounts. It supports both POP3 and IMAP, but is not able to use secure connections yet. Even though this particular disadvantage can be considered an obstacle in an office environment, work is not the main focus of this Sony Ericsson model. The phone does not support SMTP authentication.
Email client menu • reading email
The email client is equipped for working with email attachments; it easily attaches any type of document taken from the phone's built-in memory. Attachments which are part of the incoming mail can also be saved into the phone, no matter if the phone can open them or not. Just like in the older K500 model, this phone denies to open received messages which contain text attachments. According to our findings, email messages' capacity is limited, allowing a maximum of 1000 characters.