Sony Ericsson Yari review: Move to play

GSMArena team, 02 February 2010.
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Messaging

The Sony Ericsson Yari handles all common types of messages, all of which - save for emails - share a common inbox. The phone also supports push email but can't handle any documents that are attached to emails (such as .xls, .doc, or .pdf files for example) due to the lack of a document reader.

Much like all the recent Sony Ericsson phones, the Sony Ericsson Yari has enhanced message sorting - the so-called Conversations mode, a.k.a. Threaded messaging. We missed a preinstalled IM client though.

Going back to Conversations mode - it is the alternative conversation-style layout and displays messages in threads. The SMS communication with a certain contact is organized in speech bubbles much like in an instant messenger program.

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The Conversations section in the messaging department

Along with the standard messaging functionality, the Sony Ericsson Yari also offers the proprietary Manage Messages feature. Messages can be moved to memory card or phone memory, arranged by categories, date, size, and contact. Each message can also be sorted into one of six categories - Business, Favorites, Follow Up, Fun, Holiday, Important – but you can create new categories as well.

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The Manage Messages application enhances message handling

The Email application failed to retrieve the settings for our Gmail account automatically – by now we’re used to the phones doing most of that work for us. On the upside, the app supports push notifications – when you set up a push-enabled email account, the Yari will ask you if you want to receive push notifications. Click Yes and you’re all set up – at least that worked great.

The Sony Ericsson Yari also offers the proprietary Manage Email feature, which is the equivalent of Manage Messages, but for email (duh!). You can arrange messages by email address, date or size, and copy them to either the phone memory or the memory card.

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The Manage email application enhances message handling

The Media Center is a winner

The Sony Ericsson Yari runs the flash-based Media Center. Its menu lists the Photo, Music, Video, Games, RSS feeds and Settings icons. As we've already said, there's an accelerometer on board so auto screen rotation can be activated if needed.

Music player

The Music Player to be found in Yari is version 3.0 - a slightly abridged edition of Walkman player 3.0. Across the Media Center menus, you can enjoy screen auto-rotation. The player supports numerous file formats, including the regularly used MP3, WAV, WMA, M4A and E-AAC plus the MegaBass equalizer preset and Stereo widening. The player can naturally be set to run in the background.

The interface colors of the Media center vary across different themes. The Walkman player on the Yari also offers fun Styles – skins that change the look of the player into a vinyl record player, a reel-to-reel tape player, CD player and others.

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The Styles change the look of the player

There is no shake control however, despite the built-in accelerometer. It was quite a hip feature – you could skip songs or even shuffle the playlist by just a flick of the hand.

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Sony Ericsson Yari has the Walkman 3.0

A familiar Walkman goodie, SensMe, offers a different approach to populating a playlist. It automatically generates playlists based on what tempo and what mood you want – fast or slow, sad or happy. Songs need to be tagged, which is only possible with the Sony Ericsson’s PC software.

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The SensMe interface

TrackID is also present – it analyzes the currently playing song on the radio or whatever it picks up with its mic and tells you the performer and name of the song.

Images

The Photo gallery stores the shots you've taken along with the pre-bundled wallpapers. Luckily, auto rotation is available so you can still rotate images to landscape orientation not only manually but automatically as well.

Images are generally displayed as a 3 x 4 grid of thumbs. The shots in the dedicated Camera Album are sorted by the date they were taken on.

Opening an image makes the thumb zoom in to fullscreen view mode, while exiting the fullscreen view zooms out to thumb view.

Unfortunately, the Photo gallery can get quite laggy when there are a lot of photos in a folder. Sometimes, the phone froze for a couple of seconds before moving on.

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The dedicated Photo viewer

The Sony Ericsson Yari sports an inbuilt GPS receiver and it can geotag camera images. Then, you can use the View on map option in the image gallery. It allows you to check the place where the shot has been taken directly on the map using the preinstalled Google Maps application (data charges may apply).

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The view on map feature that we love

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