Sony Ericsson R306
FM/AM radio with presets.
- FM/AM radio, external display, preset buttons, price, build quality, sleek design
- Sunlight makes both displays hard to read, radio requires proprietary headset, TrackID can’t be used with radio
If you are hell-bent on listening to AM/FM radio, then the R306 is a pretty handy and inexpensive handset.
Price$ 199.00 (AUD)
Best Deals (Selling at 1 store)
A basic and inexpensive mobile handset, Sony Ericsson’s R306 has the unusual feature of offering a full stereo AM and FM radio. With dedicated external controls, as well as RDS (Radio Data System) and Track ID, the R306 is clearly about listening to radio while you're on the go.
Despite being an entry-level handset at the lower end of the price spectrum, the clamshell R306 handset is both compact and stylish. Build quality feels excellent and the flip mechanism — while annoying to open with one hand — is strong and sturdy, with no signs of slackness in the hinge. The R306’s design lends itself to radio listening, as a small external display is accompanied by dedicated radio controls, including three preset station buttons. The reflective, mirror-style finish surrounding these buttons attracts plenty of fingerprints, but it complements the matte black casing quite nicely.
Flipped open, the R306 reveals a generously spaced keypad possessing flat, round keys. These buttons require a slightly firmer press than we’re used to, but they offer reasonable tactility and are comfortable. The rest of the controls are straightforward, with the grunt of the operations performed by the five-way navigational pad and two selection buttons. Unfortunately, both the external and internal displays don’t fare well when faced with direct sunlight — we found the screen difficult to see in this situation.
The R306’s radio features RDS (Radio Data System), data that is transmitted along with the audio information on a radio signal. In other markets, RDS can display information like track title and artist and the program type being transmitted, but these services aren’t available in Australia. Only the station name (e.g. 2DAYFM) is displayed, appearing instead of the frequency. The radio offers 20 presets (for both FM and AM). You can effortlessly listen with the phone closed thanks to the display and preset buttons on the outside of the unit.
The fact that the R306 allows you to listen to AM frequencies is a point that Sony Ericsson has emphasised. While many Australians listen to AM radio this isn't the case for many places around the world, hence it is rarely seen on mobile phones. If you regularly listen to talkback radio, or perhaps horse racing or even rugby league on the weekends, then the AM radio will definitely appeal to you.
Quality is reasonable for radio, though a sour point is the fact that you have to use the included proprietary headphones. Unlike most Sony Ericsson models, the R306 doesn’t include an adapter to use standard 3.5mm headphones. A strange feature is the fact that Track ID — Sony Ericsson’s service that allows you to record music externally and receive track and artist information — isn’t able to record from the radio.
Radio aside, the R306 doesn’t offer many extras. A standard affray of PIM functions, Bluetooth, a basic WAP browser, a sound recorder and a 1.3-megapixel camera without flash are just about it. The R306 isn’t a 3G-capable phone, so only operates on tri-band GSM networks. Quality of calls is reasonable, though incoming audio could be a little louder — it is sometimes difficult to hear in a noisy environment.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Is the world ready for a 4K phone?
- 2 Mazda MX-5 (2016) review: Absolute driving purity
- 3 Sony 75-inch UHD TV (X9400C) review: Sony and Android are a winning duo
- 4 LG 55EG960T OLED UHD TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera UHD TV review: good hardware, fragmented software
Best Deals on Good Gear Guide
Latest News Articles
- Telstra restores mobile network after mass outage
- Amaysim wins with lowest TIO complaints
- Optus moves into wearables space with Cash by Optus
- 7 smartphone trends to watch this year
- LG G5 to debut on February 21, going head-to-head with Galaxy S7
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- FTDigital Marketing Specialist | Media BuyerNSW
- CCOracle Developer - 3 month contractSA
- CCProgram Master SchedulerNSW
- CCRisk and Quality Assurance AnalystVIC
- FTSoftware Developer - Ruby on RailsNSW
- CCIT Solutions DesignerNSW
- CCProject ManagerACT
- CCContract System Analyst (Linux/Security/LAN) 160211/SSA/521Asia
- FTNetwork Systems LeadVIC
- FTTechnical Consultant - ApplicationsSA
- CCSenior Visual DesignerNSW
- FTBusiness Intelligence AnalystVIC
- FTSenior Oracle DBANSW
- CCJava Development Contract - MelbourneVIC
- CCSAP DS and BI SpecialistVIC
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (MS.Net/Visual Basic) 160129/AP/vtdAsia
- FTJunior Project Manager | Permanent role in Canberra | NV1/2 clearedACT
- CCContract Programmer (Crystal Reports/JAVA/SQL) 160129/P/vhs-cAsia
- CCBilling Assistant / AdministrationACT
- CCPortfolio-Program SchedulerNSW
- CCOracle Project OfficerSA
- CCProject AdvisorNSW
- FTNetwork EngineerNSW
- CCSenior Business AnalystACT
- FTHelpdesk support - Level 1VIC