Sony Ericsson Yendo review: A touch of Walkman

GSMArena team, 21 December 2010.
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The gallery offers one-finger zoom

Strangely, the Sony Ericsson Yendo gallery doesn’t locate the images stored on the memory card or in the phone’s storage automatically. If you don’t move your images to the DCIM folder, you won’t be able to see them using the gallery. As for the interface you get a plain grid with the images sorted by date.

The gallery supports finger scrolling or panning so you can skip images without having to return to the default view. Just sweep to the left or right when looking at a photo fullscreen, and the previous/next image will appear.

Since the phone lacks a built-in accelerometer the screen orientation doesn’t switch automatically when you rotate the device.

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The image gallery is decent but hardly the best we’ve seen

Pinch-zooming isn’t available but Sony Ericsson has come up with their own version of one-finger zoom that actually works great. You just hold your finger down and than sweep upwards for zooming in or downwards for zooming out. The one-finger zoom could be both quicker and way more responsive, though.

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The one-finger zooming could be quicker and way more responsive

With the Yendo sending pics over Bluetooth is easy. You can also send images as email or as MMS.

Video player is basic

The video player is simple in looks and functionality. You get a list of all videos stored in the Video folders in storage and on the microSD memory card as well as play/pause, skip controls, and a draggable progress bar.

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The video player is as simple as it gets

As far as playback support is concerned, MP4 videos are as good as it gets. The Yendo cannot play DivX/XviD or AVI files.

The Walkman player could have been better

As we’ve already mentioned, the Sony Ericsson Yendo is the company’s first full touch phone with Walkman. Interestingly, the Walkman player interface is almost identical to the one we’ve seen on the Android-powered XPERIA family, save for the Walkman logo replacing the Infinite button in the upper part of the screen.

In order to be able to listen to the music stored in your device or on the memory card, you have to move the files to the Music folder. Sounds familiar, huh?

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The music player is decent looking and snappy

We first thought that the Yendo music player lacks an equalizer. But as it turned out, it does. But it’s found deep in the Sounds and vibration settings menu. There are numerous EQ presets (including Bass, Treble, Heavy, etc.) but none of them is user-customizable. There is also stereo widening on board.

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The Yendo sports diverse EQ presets, none of them user-customizable

The Yendo arranges your music by artist or you can see the most/never played tracks, the newly added ones of all of the tracks at a time. Creating your own playlists is impossible.

There is an option to play a random track but, unfortunately, you can’t make the Walkman player repeat a track. Even non-music-centric phones can do that, don’t they?!

Fortunately, at least the TrackID service is present here too. Its user interface is as simple as it gets – just tap the “Record” button, record a short sample of a song from any external source and let the app find the artist and track information for you.

The FM radio is good

The Sony Ericsson Yendo is also equipped with an FM radio, which has a really neat and simple interface. It automatically scans the area for the available stations and places “notches” on the frequency dial for easier scrolling to the next station. Or you can mark some of them as favorite for easier scrolling.

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The neat FM radio app

2 megapixel snapper is so two-thousand and late

On the hardware side of things, the Sony Ericsson Yendo has a 2 megapixel camera module for a maximum image resolution of 1600 x 1200 pixels. Sadly, there is neither autofocus nor flash.

The camera interface is as simple as it gets with three buttons in total. There is a camera/camcorder switch, a gallery button and an on-screen shutter key, which replaces the hardware one.

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The camera interface

There is no geotagging or other advanced features. This is certainly one of the most basic camera interfaces on the market but we guess Sony Ericsson thought users wouldn’t need much more and would prefer simplicity to functionality. In the end, it all comes down to the image quality, so let’s see.

Unfortunately, the amount of resolved detail is pretty low and the contrast of the photos is a mixed bag. And with the noise levels also pretty high, you get the idea that you better use the Sony Ericsson Yendo camera for taking contact pics only.

Here are some real-world samples from the Yendo camera:

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Sony Ericsson Yendo camera samples

QCIF video recording

Video recording on the Yendo goes as high as QCIF resolution which, needless to say, is far from impressive. At least the framerate is a good 30 fps and consistent enough.

The interface of the camcorder is similar to the one on the still camera.You can only set the video quality, no other settings are available.

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The camcorder mode

Videos are rendered in 3gp format suggesting lower bitrate, which in turn leads to lots of compression artifacts. The videos taken with the Yendo snapper are only good for MMS.

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