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Sony Ericsson Aino review

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

Our Verdict

A phone that looks great on paper, but a large number of bugs scupper it in actual use

Product features

  • Built-in Memory : 55 MB
  • Rear Camera Resolution : 8.1 Megapixel
  • Battery Talk Time : 8.50 Hour
  • Screen Resolution : 432 x 240

View full specification

For

  • Good GPS signal
  • Easy to use media interface
  • Decent build quality
  • Well laid-out interface
  • BBC iPlayer included in the box

Against

  • Laggy operating system
  • Poor battery life
  • Sporadic PS3 connectivity
  • Constantly updating memory card
  • High price for a feature phone

Similar to calling on the Sony Ericsson Aino, the messaging experience is simple and easy to use.

The main texting option is as simple to use as you'd expect, and Sony Ericsson is also using an updated text input system to make things easier. It basically apes the simplicity of Nokia's Symbian OS, meaning the space key now lives on the '0' button, and the cycling through words is possible with the '*' key rather than just the down button.

Text messages are arranged into two options - the normal inbox/sent message format and conversations, which are thankfully under the messaging icon and not stuffed away in the applications section (we're looking at you, Satio).

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Changing a message from a simple SMS to an MMS is an easy process as well, something Sony Ericsson has traditionally done well. You can simply add a picture, GIF animation, sound or video, with the Aino updating the message accordingly. It can cost more to send a message this way, so make sure you check your contract or PAYG deal to see if it will incur extra charges.

There's also a direct link to Facebook from within the messaging menu, but it's sadly not as good as on the INQ1, where FB messages are as easy to send as a text. You have to access the Facebook portal on the Aino, meaning an internet connection and even if you have that, you'll be waiting a while before you can update your messages.

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Email support is also included on the Aino, but like many other devices, it doesn't play well with webmail. We used Gmail, as many others will we imagine, and went for a POP3 connection, as this gives a more instant update for emails in the absence of push.

The Aino asked for all our details, but unlike the Nokia 6300 Classic, the phone couldn't download the necessary Googlemail settings. This means that most users will probably give up at the thought of having to input the correct POP server, and those that don't will have to track down the relevant Google page (which is here, if you're looking for it).

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Email also doesn't synchronise to the most recent mail either, and only a vast amount of playing and deleting will bring things up to date. While we like the option to have webmail on the phone, we recommend downloading the Google Mail Java application instead of relying on the inbuilt system.

We mentioned a serious amount of lag caused by an incoming message earlier - another problem is sending one too. After sending, the phone pauses for an interminable amount of time until the message is sent - it's been years since this issue has afflicted mobiles and it's very annoying.

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
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email
RealtoneYes
Radio Tuner TypeFM
Call FeaturesCall Log, Caller ID
Height104 mm
Width50 mm
Depth15.5 mm
Radio TunerYes
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