The Aino display is 3 inches wide and sports the somewhat peculiar WQVGA resolution (432 x 240 pixels). We cannot remember a pixel count as peculiar since we reviewed the Samsung F490 a long, long time ago.
Despite its compactness, the closed Sony Ericsson Aino instantly creates the impression of a full touch device. The lack of any keys whatsoever on the front panel and the relative slimness have led to a simplified front panel that comes so natural to touchscreen devices.
The truth however is Sony Ericsson Aino does have touchscreen capabilities but those are only limited to a few multimedia parts of the menu. Not that we haven't seen a similar approach before - the LG KF750 Secret had the same semi-touch multimedia thing going on.
The Aino front panel is mainly occupied by the large 3-inch display and a bunch of sensors located in the vicinity (some of them are hidden in the earpiece).
As far as picture quality is concerned the Sony Ericsson Aino performs decently although its prematurity shines through. We are hoping to get better treatment once units closer to release become available.
The touchscreen capabilities are limited to a new and specially designed multimedia menu, which has nicely thumb-optimized icons. We are glad that Sony Ericsson went for the capacitive technology this time as we tend to prefer it over its resistive alternative. However we cannot pass a judgment on the touchscreen responsiveness as our Sony Ericsson Aino unit was way too unstable to be a proper reference.
Opening the slider reveals a whole bunch of keys and turns the Aino into an incredibly long handset.
The dedicated Call and End knobs are crammed between the soft keys and the Activity menu and C key, but they are still large enough and easy to hit. The problem with our unit was that they were on the stiff side, which made actually getting your press registered a somewhat harder task. We are certainly hoping that this will be sorted out in the final version of the Aino.
The alphanumeric keypad of the Sony Ericsson Aino is using a waved layout but is too rather rigid, much like the keys above it. That's why we will refrain ourselves from passing a judgment on it usability at this stage and wait for a more final unit to arrive.