By September 10, 2009

Sony Ericsson S312 review

The S312 is another in Sony Ericsson’s low priced low end devices and so often it is natural to instantly assume that low price = low quality and with these devices Sony Ericsson are desperately trying to change this perception and portray the fact that a mobile can be well featured and stylish and can still be sold at a budget price.


The Sony Ericsson S312


What’s in the box?

Actually, not a lot! The box is not only tiny but also mostly empty.

  • The S312 Handset
  • Battery
  • Mains Charger
  • Manual and Warranty Card

Check out Matt’s Sony Ericsson S312 unboxing video for a closer look at the handset.


Sony Ericsson S312 specification:

  • Dimensions: 100 x 46 x 12.5mm
  • Weight: 80.1g
  • Battery:  Talk Time: 8 hrs / Standby Time: 400 hrs
  • Display: 176 x 220 pixels/2 inch
  • Network: Quad-Band
  • Camera: 2 mega-pixels
  • Video: Video Recording (QVGA)
  • Music: Supported formats: MP3, AAC, eAAC+ & WMA
  • Messaging: SMS / MMS (with video)
  • Memory: 15MB (internal) / M2 (external)
  • Bluetooth (2.0)


The S312 in my opinion is a very attractive looking device and certainly considering its price. It has weight to it yet remains light enough so as to not pull on the pocket of your trousers and despite its plastic casing it does not feel low quality in terms of build and is a true representation of how looks can be very much deceiving.

The front of the S312 is home to one of the shiniest screens when switched off and could easily double as a mirror. The front of the device does look a little crowded and although this is the case to a certain extent it does feel that every button has its place and that no space has been wasted. At the top of the device below the screen in a multi directional menu navigation button with a selection push in the centre either side of this are call control and quick launch buttons as well as the cancel key to the right and the shortcut launch away to the left. Below this is a rather small numeric keypad with 4 strips of keys.

Sony Ericsson S312 Front View

Sony Ericsson S312 Front View


The left of the S312 is home only to the Sony Ericsson propitiatory connector which given its size does make this side of the device feel slightly more used than it actually is.

Sony Ericsson S312 left side

Sony Ericsson S312 left side


The right has more to offer from left to right as seen above a dedicated shutter button sits next to a quick launch playback control and to the top of the device in the 2 way rocker used for volume and zoom.


Sony Ericsson S312 right side


The back of the S312 is a familiar site for any Sony Ericsson users featuring the usual Sony Ericsson branding and the 2.0 megapixel camera with a single LED flash.


Sony Ericsson S312 back view


Highlights and Lowlights
+ Low Price
+ Ease of use
– No 3G
– Small Keypad



On first impressions the Sony Ericsson S312 is certainly an attractive phone and combined with its low price tag it fast becomes a very attractive mobile phone. One that offers stylish looks and all round functionality and features.

The phone feels small in the hand and although it has a distinct plastic feel to it doesn’t feel cheap or poorly made, I think this is largely due to the silver finish. It would be extremely difficult to own this phone without becoming extremely vein for no other reason than the Screen doubles for a very clear mirror which fortunately does lose its shine somewhat when the screen is active which is a relief for me as I just could not take staring at myself every time I wanted to send a text or browse the web. This aside the phone does have a very classy style to it which I can tell is continued throughout the device both in style terms and in terms of functionality. One problem I did have however was with the keypad, the keys are in four rows and are not individual keys or apart in any way and I did at times find myself accidentally pressing multiple keys at once and I don’t have the biggest of hands so for others with larger fingers may struggle with the S312’s smaller keypad.

Sony Ericsson S312 Keypad

Sony Ericsson S312 Keypad


Although the navigation on the S312 is identical to many Sony Ericsson phones currently on the market with the simple browsing of user friendly icons to access the phones key features the S312 does manage to achieve this fairly mundane task with a certain flair and smoothness which I have found to be absent on a number of Sony Ericsson devices I have spent time with recently. The menus are nicely animated and offer an interesting change to the standard static icons and although only a small change it is a welcome one.

The S312 includes a 2MP camera which I found to be of fair quality and seems about in line with models of a similar price it also features a camera light which although helps a little in low light situations it is certainly no substitute for an LED or Xenon flash. The screen is not a fantastic size but given the quality it does allow for fairly enjoyable playback of photos and videos without the need to transfer them to a PC. File Manager is present on the S312 which is something that has been missing in action on other cheaper Sony Ericsson devices and although not a major addition it does reduce the need for launching an individual feature in order to playback videos, music, photos etc.

The Device is also home to a music player which although is more complicated to use than the layout on walkman phones it is not what I would describe as difficult. Headphones are not included in the reduced size packaging which means these and the Sony Ericsson headphone adapter would have to be purchased elsewhere. Playback though the S312 itself is surprisingly impressive for a phone which is not designed specifically for music, sound is crisp and clear and offers real clarity. An FM radio is also present but with no headset or hands free kit provided this is something that will only be able to take advantage of if you purchase this separately but you should have enough change from the S312 to be able to do so. Track ID is also on the S312 and something I found interesting was the fact that the S312 has support for up to 4GB via M2 which is incidentally more than the budget Walkman phones from Sony Ericsson.

Connectivity is limited out of the box as no USB cable is provided meaning another separate purchase. There is no forward facing camera which again take video calls off the agenda. No 3G makes internet browsing a drawn out affair and although not painfully slow I often ended up giving up as it just did not compare to a 3G device. The S312 does have Bluetooth however and this is of course a welcome addition as it allows for easy transfer of data from one phone to another or between your device and computer.

The organiser features are all accounted for however they are still basic in terms of a modern mobile phone but at the price of the S312 it wold be wrong of me to criticise this particular short fall. The Sony Ericsson S312 is 100 x 46 x 12.5 mm and weighs just 80.1g, battery life is quoted at up to 8 hours talk time and around 400 hours stand by which are impressive figures for a device as light weight as this.




Overall the Sony Ericsson S312 is a solid mobile phone which I really enjoyed using which surprised me as it did not come with the down fall of many low priced mobiles I have used in the past, instead it offers an attractive phone features and functionality wise and packages it albeit in a tiny box with this great sleek styling with its mirrored finish and brushed silver effect.

This phone would be ideal as possibly a second phone for short trips etc. But I would say it wold easily fit in to someone’s full time life style and I would hate to see it wasted in the former mentioned fashion. A great phone at a great price a real triumph for Sony Ericsson in their low cost alternative mobile range.


Review by: Nick

Posted in: Reviews

About the Author:

More than 20 years in the IT industry. Blogging with a passion and thirst for new technology since 2005.
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