Sony Ericsson is attempting to capture a much broader range of users with its latest Z310i mobile phone, an entry-level model offering a combination of stylish good looks, ease of use and decent functionality. In a field consistently dominated by Nokia and Motorola, the Z310i is up against some tough competition.
The Z310i from Sony Ericsson mimics the ultra-chic look of its big brother, the , sporting a similar polished front surface that houses an icon display and a monochrome external screen. The handset comes in either jet black or lush pink and features a white band that encompasses its edges and surrounds the keypad and screen. Measurements are a tiny 87 by 46 by 24.5 millimetres, and weighing in at only 90 grams meant there were no complaints about it feeling too heavy in pockets.
The floating icons hidden within the mirrored surface display include a sealed envelope for incoming messages, an arrow for missed calls, and users can also play around with some lighting effects to colour code specific contacts or set themes to change according to the time of day. Sony Ericsson has included a USB port on the Z310i for connection to a PC but left out an expansion slot for memory cards.
The Z310i's keypad is well spaced with buttons that have a nice tactile feel to them, and is joined by a five-way navigation key. The display suffers from obvious cost cutting and pales in comparison to most other handsets on the market, even the budget ones. It has a resolution of 128 by 160 pixels and 16-bit colour, but the screen lacks sharpness and isn't as vibrant or as crisp as we'd like.