Sony Ericsson Yendo review: A touch of Walkman

GSMArena team, 21 December 2010.
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Final words

The Sony Ericsson Yendo is still a couple of months away from launch and we hope the time is used wisely. There’s quite a few software-related things to polish. The sluggish user interface for one ruins the fun of having such a neat and good looking touch phone.

There’re too many unknowns with the Yendo and perhaps the slow processor should not take all the blame. After all, this is a feature phone with a small low-res screen and few power-hungry apps. The software package is far from final, so we shouldn’t be too tough on the phone. But at this point it’s obvious there’s a lot of tweaking to do before launch.

Then, the Walkman branding is raising more questions than answers. Ease of use and good looks are key in a low-end touch phone but you can’t help but notice the media package here is just a bit too basic. The Yendo has no accelerometer, hence no fancy features such as Shake Control. There’s no integrated Media Menu to begin with. The poor file management is a letdown too.

Having repeatedly praised the interface of Sony Ericsson feature phones, we’re afraid we can’t hide our disappointment with the Yendo. What we miss the most is the Activity Menu – a quick way to access favorites and the event log – not to mention the Running Apps tab. In fact – smart dial and the multitasking ability were the great Sony Ericsson advantages in feature phones. None of them is enabled on the Yendo. And there’re no homescreen widgets either.

We’ll skip the unimpressive camera and the basic web browser – after all imaging and web aren’t meant to be Yendo’s full-time jobs.

We’ve been painting a rather bleak picture but these are all things users will be right to expect in a Walkman – albeit an entry-level phone. Not least, the Yendo isn’t exactly short of rivals in the basic touch phone segment.

Starting with Samsung, the entry-level C3300K Champ is obviously going after the same crowd. Of course, a bunch of Corbies are a must-consider, including the S3650 Corby or its music-centric twin, the M5650 Lindy.

Samsung C3300K Champ Samsung S3650 Corby Samsung M5650 Lindy
Samsung C3300K Champ • Samsung S3650 Corby • Samsung M5650 Lindy

There’s no shortage of options in the Cookie jar either. LG will be betting on the Cookie Fresh, the Cookie T300 and the Cookie Style T310 to keep a touch Walkman in check. They’re all similarly priced and spec’d and for a bit a more you can grab yourself a 3G-enabled Cookie 3G T320.

LG GS290 Cookie Fresh LG Cookie Lite T300 LG Cookie Style T310 LG Cookie 3G T320
LG GS290 Cookie Fresh • LG Cookie T300 • LG Cookie Style T310 • LG Cookie 3G T320

And you know, full touch smartphones are not out of reach either – the Symbian-powered Nokia 5230, 5250 or 5530 XpressMusic are not that much more expensive than the Yendo.

Nokia 5230 Nokia 5250 Nokia 5530 XpressMusic
Nokia 5230 • Nokia 5250 • Nokia 5530 XpressMusic

The Sony Ericsson Yendo is an entry level phone and we think the concept is well worth it. An affordable touchscreen Walkman can do well for the company in the low end. With wide operator support, the Yendo would be a steal of a deal.

But the launch of the phone was just postponed by another couple of months. Maybe this delay will do the Yendo good. We’ll be looking to fill the gaps in our review and hoping for the same on the part of Sony Ericsson. We hope they give us something positive to write about. Stuff like audio quality, system speed and a more mature touch interface would be welcome.

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