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Sony Ericsson Aino review

Will PS3 connectivity make this a mid-range media marvel?

What is the Aino for? Is it a featurephone with smartphone leanings? Is it the PSP phone with some other functionality thrown in the mix? Either way, it's expensive - around £470 SIM free, or £170 for the phone on a one-and-a-half year, £25 a month contract.

We liked

We liked the simplicity of the layout and what the phone is trying to do - it's got a fairly solid build, although it feels a little long in the hand.

BBC iPlayer is always a plus, and the easy-to-use touch media interface is nice. We like the included stand and are big fans of the bundled MH100 headset, and the GPS system with a number of location based services is a nice touch.

We disliked

Sadly we disliked a great deal more about the phone, from a laggy OS when multi-tasking to an odd touch/non-touch combination.

Elements like the touchscreen seizing up, the camera taking 15 seconds to move from one picture to another and the fact the PS3 connectivity doesn't work regularly make it hard to love this phone, especially when the battery dies for the umpteenth time.

Verdict

We liked the Aino a lot when we got it out the box, and our opinion dwindled downwards from there. When the main selling point isn't fully functional (ie, the PS3 compatibility isn't up to speed) and both the camera and media player are slow to react, we're struggling to find a reason to recommend this phone.

The Sony Ericsson W995 has the same UI, but is a lot faster, and comes in a nicer chassis, has a faster camera, a 3.5mm headphone jack and crucially is around £120 cheaper to buy.

We would have given the Aino half a star less than we have, but we're still fans of the simplistic Sony Ericsson interface, and the overall package doesn't deserve to be among the worst phones of the year - we're just disappointed with the effort.

Tech Specs

Product TypeCellular Phone
Network BandQuad Band
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported32 GB
Built-in Memory55 MB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA
GPS ReceiverYes
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 850, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 2100
Rear Camera Resolution8.1 Megapixel
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleSlider
ColourLuminous White
Brand NameSony Mobile
Battery Talk Time8.50 Hour
Product ModelAino
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Screen Resolution432 x 240
Weight (Approximate)134 g
Maximum Video Resolution640 x 480
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Height104 mm
Width50 mm
Depth15.5 mm
Radio TunerYes
Battery Standby Time300 Hour
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product NameAino Cellular Phone (Unlocked)
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer
Manufacturer Part NumberAINOWHT
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sony.co.uk
Marketing Information

Get all the entertainment you've ever craved on the beautifully crafted Sony Ericsson Aino phone. Designed to match your life, you can pack the Aino phone full of your favourite music, photos, films and podcasts. Then take your mobile entertainment everywhere you go to enjoy on its stunning 3" touch screen. The super-stylish Sony Ericsson Aino touchscreen phone comes with a matching Bluetooth headset and desk stand charger.

Limited Warranty2 Year