Sony Ericsson Yendo review: A touch of Walkman

GSMArena team, 21 December 2010.
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The Four corner touch UI gone dumb

Unlike the other full touch Sony Ericsson devices, the Yendo isnít running the Android OS. Itís because the thing is not a smartphone.

As a matter of fact, this is the companyís first full touch feature phone. And on top of that, itís also the first full touch handset with Walkman branding.

Having that said, letís take a look at the Sony Ericsson Yendo user interface. The phone has borrowed the Four-corner touch UI, which we first saw on the XPERIA X10 mini.

The Yendo uses almost same homescreen and main menu as its smarter bros, the XPERIA X8, X10 mini and X10 mini pro.

Sony Ericsson Yendo Sony Ericsson Yendo Sony Ericsson Yendo
The Four corner touch UI

However, this time there are no widgets available on the homescreen, not even a single one. The only thing that is somewhat reminiscent of a widget is the music controls that show up on the homescreen once you minimize the Walkman player.

And when the player is switched off, on the homescreen appears a large clock with the date underneath it.

The handy four-corner shortcuts from the X10 mini make an appearance here as well. By default, they take you to the Walkman player, message composer, phonebook and dial pad/call log. You can switch them with any four shortcuts you like though.

Sony Ericsson Yendo Sony Ericsson Yendo
Replacing a four-corner shortcut

At the top of the screen there is a thin strip hosting status info about battery, signal strength and others such as Bluetooth.

Sadly, the Yendo lacks multi-tasking. Thatís why there is no task switcher either. What we miss more, however, is the file browser. There is none on board!

The Sony Ericsson Yendo uses a regular feature phone CPU and unfortunately you can feel it throughout the user interface Ė itís sluggish all around. We experienced lots of short freeze-ups and weíre generally displeased with how it performs.

Keep in mind that this review is based on a pre-release sample of the Sony Ericsson Yendo so some things (including UI speed) might change until the handset ships to the market in Q1.

Nice phonebook

The Yendo phonebook has space for 1000 contacts and 5000 numbers. It lets you input multiple phone numbers and there are additional fields for email address, address, organisation, ringtone or birthday.

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The Yendo phonebook ē editing a contact

When viewing a contact, the various details are displayed in sections. Tapping on a given number dials the contact while opting for the envelope icon next to it launches the message editor. Those two buttons fill an entire horizontal row so that they are more thumbable.

Telephony without Smart dialing

The Sony Ericsson Yendo had no issues with reception and the in-call sound was loud and clear.

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The in-call screen ē No Smart dialing

Unfortunately, the device lacks Smart dialing unlike most of the recent Sony Ericson phones. By the way, even the Android-driven Sony Ericsson smartphones havenít heard of Smart dialing yet.

In the Yendo the call log is a part of the dialer application. You can easily search the entries in it by flick scrolling.

Thanks to the proximity sensor the Sony Ericsson Yendo automatically switches off its touchscreen when you hold it next to your ear for a call. There is no chance of ever hitting an on-screen button with your cheek on this one.

We also ran our traditional loudspeaker test on the Sony Ericsson Yendo. The Yendo scored "Good", meaning you could miss some calls in noisier environments depending on the ringtones you use. More info on the test, as well as other results can be found here.

Speakerphone testVoice, dBPink noise/ Music, dBRinging phone, dBOveral score
Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 mini65.9 66.567.3Below average
Sony Ericsson XPERIA X866.6 66.669.1Average
Samsung I5700 Galaxy Spica66.6 62.175.7Average
Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 mini pro66.6 66.675.1Good
Sony Ericsson Yendo68.7 66.677.5Good
Samsung S5620 Monte75.769.775.7Very good
HTC Desire75.275.785.5Excellent

QWERTY-less messaging

The SMS and MMS messaging section is quite straightforward and simple. When you add multimedia content to the message, it is automatically turned into an MMS.

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Writing a message

Moving onto email, the Yendo mail client supports both POP and IMAP inboxes, however, we had to configure it manually. This took us only a few moments, though. The Email app interface is simple and thumbable.

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The Email app

The screen of the Sony Ericsson Yendo as tiny as the device itself so you shouldnít be surprise hearing that the phone lacks a virtual QWERTY keyboard and since there is no hardware keyboard either, all you get is the on-screen alphanumeric keypad. It certainly wonít please heavy texters but itís good enough for the occasional use.

Sony Ericsson Yendo
The Yendo has no virtual QWERTY keyboard

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