The Sony Ericsson W300i Walkman phone is based on the Sony Ericsson Z530i and has a similar design. It's a petite clamshell phone with an orange monochrome screen on the front and a fish-scale-style keypad inside. This is the sixth phone in the Walkman phone range, and the cheapest so far. It's available for around £130 on pay as you go and free on a monthly contract.
The W300i is relatively cheap considering all its features. It has a Memory Stick Micro slot that can support up to 1GB (240 songs) and, unlike the Z530i, comes with a bundled 256MB card. It supports quad-band, so you can use it in any country that uses a GSM network.
The phone's most important feature is its Walkman interface. This includes the player that lets you adjust the equaliser and set tracks in different modes, and the dedicated Walkman keys on the top-left and bottom-left of the keypad that let you play music at the touch of a button. There's also an included USB cable, allowing you to transfer music easily, and a 3.5mm headphone adaptor, so you can use your own headphones instead of the proprietary ones.
Other useful features include FM radio, a calendar, a speakerphone, Bluetooth, infrared, GPRS and EDGE connectivity, Java games, a Web browser and an email client. You can also use it to control certain Windows applications on your PC via a Bluetooth remote, but we had trouble getting this to work.Weaknesses
The fish-scale-style keypad is not easy to press because the keys overlap each other and there's not enough space between them. Also the buttons on the bottom left and right that activate the Walkman player and turn the phone on and off are very small and hard to press.
The 0.3-megapixel camera will shoot still pictures and video, but due to the low-resolution sensor, images come out blurry. When we shot pictures in daylight the edges of objects were hazy and the colours didn't come out as expected. There isn't a flash, so don't expect to be able to take pictures of anything in the dark.
At the top of the phone, Sony Ericsson has placed a loop aerial that makes the phone awkward to put in your pocket. It claims it is for attaching a lanyard so you can hang the phone around your neck, and in a hot climate where people don't have jackets this makes sense. Unfortunately, it's only hot for a few weeks in the UK and therefore wearing a phone around your neck isn't necessary -- we found the aerial just gets annoying in your pocket.
We also felt that the large hinge on the W300i looked out of place, and found the OK button unnecessarily small.
Sony Ericsson's W300i is a value for money handset and comes with a good balance of features. There are several ways you can communicate with other devices and storage is also made easy with the expandable memory slot. The keypad suffers somewhat though, and the camera could have been better.
Overall this phone is for people who want a Walkman phone but don't won't to spend a fortune.
Edited by Mary Lojkine
Additional editing by Kate Macefield