The R series from Sony Ericsson consists of two phones – namely R300 and 306 – which can be used as FM/AM radio receivers and are mainly targeted towards developing countries (seeing how FM broadcasts aren’t available in certain regions of the world).
R300, the first of the two models, is a simple-looking candybar phone built on an old platform that is miles behind the A100 both in looks and functionality.
Sony Ericsson R300 is a simple-looking, standard monoblock phone:
The phone menu is presented in a basic 3×3 grid:
The only interesting function that it – and the second phone in the series, the R306 – have is TrackID which allows you to find out the names of the songs you record from any source, and the ability to use parts of the tracks played on the radio as ringtones. The back of the phone is stylized like a small radio receiver; there are additional memory buttons for your favorite radio channels, and a speaker which takes up a large part of the back panel.
The back of the phone is stylized to look like a small radio:
Sony Ericsson R306 is the second model in the R series. It comes in clamshell form factor and has an interesting and unusual keyboard, something Sony Ericsson often puts in their flip phones. Compared to the R300, it has a slightly bigger display and a more powerful camera, but still runs on the same old software platform.
R306 is a clamshell phone with a catchy keyboard:
Sony Ericsson R306 runs on the same software platform as it’s brother, R300:
As for the design, R306 also has a stylized radio receiver on the back with all the additional buttons necessary for controlling it. The reflective cover does look good, but it’s very prone to finger marks. There’s also a small monochrome display that is enough for displaying station info or the number of the caller; it is visible in almost all lighting conditions.
The back of the R306 is designed to give an impression of a radio receiver; unlike R300, it also has a small monochrome display and two speakers on the sides:
Both R300 and R306 have little knobs on the sides which allow you to stand them on a flat surface, making the phones look like nothing else but radio receivers. Naturally, you need to connect the headset for the radio to work, since it performs the function of the aerial. While there were some rumors floating around about the integrated aerial that these two radio phones were supposed to have, they are all false.
Both R306 (left) and R300 (right) double as simple FM/AM radios:
Both of the phones are simple, smart-looking, and perform their main function – that of a radio – well enough.
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