Sony Ericsson Yendo review: A touch of Walkman

GSMArena team, 21 December 2010.
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Sony Ericsson Yendo 360-degree spin

The XPERIA minis are kindly letting the Yendo wear their outfit. The Yendo is an entry-level phone and potential buyers need to know what they’re getting. It’s simple and compact – but not as tiny as the couple of minis. There’s no room for extravagance – you don’t want your customers wondering if the size is right and if the phone handles nicely.

In the end, the Yendo just couldn’t have been simpler: a small QVGA touchscreen in an all-plastic set. At 93.5 x 52 x 15.5 mm, the phone is right between the XPERIA X10 mini and the XPERIA X8.

The weight of 81 grams is definitely on the light side, but the 15.5mm of thickness does sound a bit much. Never mind, the phone is absolutely OK to handle.

Design and construction

Up front, the only thing to let you tell the Yendo apart from an XPERIA X8 is the Walkman logo in the bottom right corner. Other than that, the difference is mostly in scale – the Yendo even has the unusually shaped 3.5 mm audio jack of the XPERIA droids.

The front (both the screen and the frame around it) is prone to fingerprints but the matt plastic on the back is smudge-proof.

Like the other recently launched full touch Sony Ericsson devices, the Yendo comes in an assortment of paintjobs. While the front is always black, the rear can be in 10 different colors ranging across Blue, Green, Orange, Pink, Purple, Red, Yellow, Silver, White and Black.

The QVGA touchscreen on the Yendo measures the measly 2.6 inches but Sony Ericsson has done a nice job of optimizing the user interface.

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The 2.6” display is small and low-res but the touch-optimized UI makes up for that

The screen sensitivity is excellent, and that’s no news for a capacitive unit. The slightest of touches will do, for a great touchscreen experience.

The image quality is decent – the screen size makes the low pixel count a lot less prominent. With good brightness and contrast levels the screen is more than acceptable in this price range. Viewing angles are OK and so is sunlight legibility. The screen tends to reflect light but the phone is still usable even on a bright sunny day.

Below the display there is a single hardware control. The Home key is thin but nicely raised and with good tactile feedback. On top of that, it glows in the dark.

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The only hardware button on the Yendo front • the mic hole next to it

Above the display we find a status LED, the earpiece, as well as a proximity sensor. The proximity sensor is in charge of locking the display when you hold it next to your ear during calls.

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The earpiece surrounded by the nearly invisible proximity sensor and status LED

The right-hand side of the Sony Ericsson Yendo has only the volume rocker and on the left we find an exposed microUSB port.

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The volume rocker is on the right and the microUSB port – on the left-hand side

The top features the screen lock key which also acts as a power button. It’s small and barely protrudes but it was obviously done on purpose to minimize accidental presses.

At the top of the Sony Ericsson Yendo you’ll also find the audio jack and a lanyard eyelet. While the audio jack looks a bit weird, it is absolutely compatible with standard 3.5mm plugs.

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The power/screen lock key, the custom 3.5mm audio jack and lanyard eyelet

Speaking of the unusual shape, it is designed to accommodate the optional Hi-Fi Sony Ericsson MH-810 headset with music controls.

At the bottom – which is bereft of any controls – a full Walkman logo is inscribed.

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The bare bottom of the Yendo

The back of the phone features the 2 megapixel fixed-focus camera lens and the loudspeaker. The camera lens is not covered but quite inset, giving it a reasonable protection against scratches (but not against dust).

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The camera lens and the loudspeaker grill are on the back

Removing the battery cover reveals the microSD card slot and the SIM compartment. The microSD slot is hot-swap-enabled despite being placed under the cover. Another good news here is that the battery is removable, as opposed to the X10 mini.

The Sony Ericsson Yendo is powered by a 970mAh Li-Polymer battery quoted at up to 312 hours of standby and 3 hours 30 minutes of talk time.

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A look under the back cover

Even though it’s completely made of plastic, the Yendo feels sturdy enough. We experienced no wobbles and creaks while reviewing the phone. USB charging and the standard 3.5mm jack are good things to have. The standard connectivity port is especially welcome. Sony Ericsson feature phones with USB interface are hard to come by.

Thanks to its compact size and well-thought out curved design, the Sony Ericsson Yendo fits nicely in the palm and is very secure to hold. 15.5mm thick does sound too much but the set is absolutely fine to handle comfortably. The Yendo has perfect size for single-handed use and the curved corners do help mask some of the thickness. The most important things about the Yendo are simplicity and compact size. The multiple color versions make sense in a phone that aims at the mass market.

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The Sony Ericsson Yendo: compact and simple

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