Sony Ericsson Aino Preview

Introduction and Design
Introduction and Design:

It was a nice, bright, sunny day when Sony Ericsson first announced the Aino – a feature phone that delivers large, touch sensitive screen and interesting multimedia functionality. We were happy indeed that the manufacturer was about to finally release something like this. Now, it´s another bright, sunny day and we are holding the prototype in our hands, scratching our heads how it is possible for Sony Ericsson to come up with such a concept.

Of course, we are talking about the idea of a 3-inch, 240x320 resolution screen that is only usable in the multimedia and camera menus. We’ve have seen similar idea on both the LG Secret and KS360 (Neon) and we can´t say we fans of the whole thing.

You can compare the Sony Ericsson Aino with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

The latter two at least feature navigational buttons on the front side, so both devices can be operated even when closed. Sony Ericsson blazes a trail with their “extremely innovative” idea of using the phone only when the slider is open, because otherwise you don’t have access to the navigational keys. It´s quite an irony that the camera can only be operated with slider closed, meaning you can easily end up navigating the menus (Aino is open), selecting the camera function, then having to close the slider to take pictures then opening the slider to get to the menus again when you have finished. Not really intuitive!

Volume rocker and camera shutter are on the right hand side, charger port is on the opposite and microSD card slot is under the battery cover. Oh, you got this right, it´s microSD and not M2. Sony Ericsson is taking the first steps adopting popular standards.

Sony Ericsson Aino 360 Degrees View:

Interface and Multimedia:

Given the Sony Ericsson Aino does not have an entirely touch sensitive screen, there is no need for it to utilize new software as well. There are several icons with changed appearance, the settings menu is not divided into separate tabs and the phone comes with new themes that seem to have been inspired by mainstream pop culture and we don’t like them at all. The preloaded internet browser is pretty good for a feature phone and you connect to the global network via 3G or Wi-Fi. Still, we would have liked it much better if the phone could be controlled through the screen. Alas, the manufacturer doesn’t provide such an option here.

The multimedia menu comes in two different varieties. There is nothing impressive or new in the interface when screen is not in touch sensitive mode other than the different visual styles of the audio player. It can show like a cassette, record-player etc. These do not offer added functionality, but are varied and amusing.

The touch sensitive mode is only available when the phone slider is closed. It features shortcuts to the camera, gallery, audio and video player and the FM radio. As a whole, all icons are large enough to press with your fingers, although they provide access to rather simplified functions only, say, browsing files or starting them and you do not have the opportunity to fiddle with equalizer or sound settings for an instance. Given the huge display, we hope device provides proper video playback, although this is something that Sony Ericsson is hardly famous for.

The Sony Ericson Aino sports 8.1-megapixel camera with autofocus and built-in flash. You operate it done via the touch sensitive screen and its interface offers different presets, can change the focusing mode, gives control over the flash, self-portrait function, snapshot resolution and geotagging via the built-in GPS receiver. Keep in mind the camera interface looks unfinished and will probably go through substantial changes until the retail units hit the shelves.


We do not like the concept of this device. On one hand you have this large screen and on the other it cannot be used for proper phone navigation. Like we said, we have already seen this on the LG Secret and KS360 (Neon). The thing is their displays are really small and wouldn’t be comfortable for use with your bare fingers anyway. In our opinion, the Sony Ericsson Aino should have been something similar to the LG KF700 – device that features a fully functional touch sensitive screen with the keypad being just an alternative option for people who doesn’t like pressing the screen or would rather type away without using it. Honestly, the phone looks like based on an ill-conceived concept at the moment.

Sony Ericsson Aino Video Preview:

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