The Sony Ericsson Aino was released late 2009 and we were lucky enough to receive one of these devices to play around with. I’ll start off by saying that the Aino is a touchscreen, but only to be used when using the multi-media menu which I found to be quite weird as well as annoying. Hit the jump for more on the Aino.
Design and Features
The Sony Aino slider phone features a large 3.0 lcd 240 x 432 screen with an accelerometer and limited touchscreen functionality. It comes with 55mb of built in memory and a microSD card slot upgradable up to 16gb. The device has an 8.1 megapixel camera with LED flash as well as WiFI, bluetooth, FM radio and accelerometer. The Aino runs on 850/900/2100 UMTS for AT&T or Rogers users.
The Aino is built mostly out of solid plastic which very strong and sturdy. The slider mechanism is well built and isn’t loose at all. Sliding it up reveals the d-pad and the number pad as well as making the phone quite long and awkward. The keys are very small and I think are very uncomfortable to use. The Aino is available in Luminous White or Obsidian Black.
Interface & Playstation 3 Remote Play
I found the interface to be quite snappy. While it isn’t a smartphone, it’s got many features including WiFi and 3G. You’ll also find applications like Facebook, Google Maps, Twitter, YouTube, AccuWeather and many others. It also has a very well built in multimedia interface which the touchscreen is used for. Unfortunately the Aino device does not have a 3.5mm headphone jack, instead you must use the Sony Ericsson dedicated port.
The Aino has the ability to control your Playstation 3. You have the ability to access the Playstation Network to message with friends or purchase and download content to your PS3 using the Playstation Network
Call Quality & Signal Strength
Signal strength on this device was very strong. I was able to get signal almost everywhere and the 3G 7.2mbps speeds were great as well and because this phone is quadband GSM 850/900/1800/1900. It’s a world phone and can be used anywhere in the world, especially since it’s sold unlocked.
Call quality was beyond my expectations. As usual, Sony Ericsson seems to out-perform when it comes to call quality. The speaker is loud and very clear while the other person on the phone was able to hear me loud and clear. Speakerphone was also quite decent. While there are sometimes echo’s, it’s not as bad as many other phones out in the market.
The Aino features a 8.1 megapixel camera with an LED flash. I’ve found the picture quality to be pretty good but colors seem to be darker or faded for such a high megapixel camera and since the LED flash has only one LED, brightness isn’t too good. The Aino, because the LCD is so long, can take pictures in 16:9 (6mp) or 4:3 (8mp) mode.
If your a Sony Ericsson fanatic. You should know that Sony Ericsson makes quality camera phones. One of the best in my opinion was the K790/K800 with the 3.2 megapixel Sony CyberShot camera lens which I still have and love. I was disappointed that Sony didn’t use their famous CyberShot lens, although it might cost a bit more. It is a huge difference in quality.
Like I have said before, this isn’t a smartphone, and with a pricetag at $600.00. I just don’t see how it’s worth it. I’ll have to admit that it is very stylish since it is a long phone and the 8.1 megapixel camera, while not the greatest, is quite impressive. I also love the multimedia interface and how the touchscreen is dedicated for it but the biggest mistake was to not include a 3.5mm headphone jack which will turn consumers away from this device.
If you have $600.00 to spare, I would say save it up for the next big thing which is the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 running Android OS. Expect a review on the device soon.
16:9 (6 Megapixels)
4:3 (8 Megapixel)