Sony Ericsson Aino review: I know fun

GSMArena team, 05 November 2009.
Pages: 123456789

Introduction

Sony Ericsson are on the move recently and the Aino is very much part of the agenda. But living in the shadow of the Satio and X10 is not much fun we guess. So, the Sony Ericsson Aino is keen to live a double life. At first glance, it's a touchscreen PMP, but on a second look it's a regular slider phone with an extra big screen. It's not the ultimate PlayStation phone but it does have Remote Play, to wirelessly pair with Sony's PlayStation 3.

Sony Ericsson Aino official photo Sony Ericsson Aino official photo Sony Ericsson Aino official photo
Sony Ericsson Aino official photos

As far as feature phones go, the Aino has pretty much everything - excellent connectivity, full-featured navigation, a great camera, plenty of internal storage and a simple-but-snappy touch media menu.

By the way, don't let anyone tell you touchscreen functionality is limited to the proprietary Sony Ericsson multimedia menu. We were pleasantly surprised with Opera Mini, which seemed to quite agree with the Aino touch system. Touchscreen navigation is all there and it performed very smoothly. This means touch controlled Java games might work as well.

All right, this was just a single little secret revealed. Let's take a closer look at what else the Aino may be hiding there.

Key features

  • 3" 16M-color capacitive touchscreen, 240 x 432 pixels
  • Quad-band GSM support
  • Tri-band 3G with 7.2Mbps HSDPA, 2Mbps HSUPA
  • 8 megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash; geotagging, touch-focus, face detection, image stabilization; VGA video recording @ 30fps
  • Some degree of touchscreen functionality - touch-enabled media and camera interface
  • Touch works in Java apps as well, e.g. Opera Mini
  • Built-in GPS receiver with A-GPS; Trial version of Wisepilot navigation software
  • Wi-Fi with DLNA
  • FM radio with RDS
  • Stereo Bluetooth 2.1
  • microSD card slot
  • Wireless Bluetooth headset with 3.5 mm audio jack and nice headphones, desktop docking station and 8GB microSD card in box
  • Remote play for Playstation 3

Main disadvantages

  • No standard USB port
  • No 3.5mm audio jack (but there's one on the Bluetooth headset)
  • Touch control is limited to camera, gallery, multimedia players and some Java apps
  • Media library updates very slowly in the touch media menu
  • No DivX/XviD support
  • No xenon flash
  • No camera lens cover

The box contents are a sweat deal too - the matching desk stand and wireless headset would fetch a pretty high price as a separate purchase, but with Aino they are part of the experience. And the 8GB microSD card in the box should be enough for most people.

Sony Ericsson Aino photo Sony Ericsson Aino photo Sony Ericsson Aino photo
Sony Ericsson Aino live shots

Uncomfortable questions start to emerge though - the Remote Play feature doesn't really do much more than DLNA and is useless with anything but PlayStation3. The touch functionality sounds great but not having it in the built-in browser sucks.

But asking these questions is missing the point. If you owned the original PlayStation, then upgraded to PlayStation 2 and have the 3rd version sitting next to your BRAVIA set, well this love letter in the shape of Sony Ericsson Aino is addressed to you.

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