The Sony Ericsson Yari box contains all the standard stuff and comes with two not so typical additions. Inside, you’ll find the Yari itself, the charger, a one-piece headset, a USB cable (the Yari uses FastPort so you’ll probably need it), as well as manuals. The Yari also comes with 1GB microSD card to get you started.
As to the two additions we mentioned – one is a stand for the Yari, which can hold the phone in portrait or landscape mode, and the other is a microSD card reader. The stand is intended for use with the camera-enabled games, but you can use it to watch videos or play music too. The card reader supports microSD only, but it’s well made and offers faster transfer rates than using the USB cable.
The Sony Ericsson Yari has rounded corners and a nicely contrasting color scheme. It’s available in three versions – Achromatic Black, Cranberry White and Metal Rose.
Sony Ericsson Yari sports a neat and simple design that will probably seem attractive to more conservative users. However, under the ordinary hood lay some pretty extraordinary features that tech-buffs will certainly want to explore.
For starters, there are two small knobs above the display, which are the so-called gaming keys. Those are quite small but that’s by no means their biggest problem. It turned out that their usage in games is quite limited (close to nil actually). Fortunately, they have their function in the camera application. Between the keys in question are the light sensor, the secondary camera and the earpiece.
Below them is the 2.4" 16M color display which has pretty good picture quality and acceptable sunlight legibility.
Under the display, an ample circular D-pad is sided by four controls. They are topped by a thin soft key, followed by pretty large Call (left) and End key (right).
The bottom buttons are Activity Menu on the left and Clear key on the right. The styling of the navigation pad is quite elegant and the controls are reasonably usable – except the soft keys that is.
Those are so thin they look like design accents rather than actual buttons. Most likely, you'll be pressing the call key below instead of the soft key itself. Nothing major but it does take some getting used to.
The Up key on the D-pad also acts as a shortcut to the music player, hence the music player icon on top of it. The other sides can also be assigned various shortcuts.
Sliding the phone open reveals a 12-key alphanumeric keypad. It is quite flat offering no tangible borders between the different rows: at least the columns are separated by a slightly raised ridge.
The left and right rows of keys are somewhat problematic – they look wide but in fact the active area is limited, so if you’re not pressing spot on, no press is registered. It was frustrating at first and that makes the Yari keypad one of the less comfortable we’ve worked with.
The left side of Sony Ericsson Yari features nothing but the regular FastPort, which echoes back to Sony Ericsson’s glory days but unfortunately also hampers usability quite a bit. A standard microUSB port would have been a much better solution here.
The right side of the handset is the top side in digicam terms. It hosts the volume rocker and the two-position camera key. Here you can also find the hot-swappable microSD card slot (no complaints here), hidden under a small plastic lid.
The bottom and the top are pretty simple, the lanyard eyelet the only thing to see there.
Flipping over the Sony Ericsson Yari we find the 5-megapixel camera lens accompanied by an LED flash. The camera is inset deep into the phone, which offers pretty good protection against scratches and fingerprints. The two loudspeaker grills are also here at either end of the battery cover.
Removing the battery cover reveals the 1000 mAh Li-Po battery. It sounds like enough for a feature phone, but after a day of moderate use (10 minutes of telephony, two hours of fiddling with the interface and about 30 photos) the battery fell to 50%. Charging the Yari in the evening is likely to be a common occurrence.
The general build quality of the Sony Ericsson Yari is very good. The matte plastic on the back hides all fingerprints, even the glossy plastic on the front does pretty well in that department. We tested the Achromatic Black version, but we imagine that the other two - which are predominantly white - will be even better at concealing fingerprints.
The Yari weighs 115 grams, but it doesn’t feel heavy in the hand. The rounded corners make the phone fit snugly in your palm and the big call keys are a pleasure to work with. The positive impressions last until you have used the soft keys or the keypad – the compromised usability will inevitably affect your opinion of the device. On the other hand, the round D-pad is doing great. Excellent press in all directions, and a very soft and responsive confirm button with nice rubbery finish. No worries with the slider either.