Sony Ericsson announced the Aino, Satio and Yari at CommunicAsia ’09 held in June. The Aino was touted to be the coolest thing on the block because it could remotely access media content on the PS3 console — the first to be able to do so — using Sony’s Remote Play feature. As it turns out, it’s not as awesome as that.
Music and movies: While the quality of playback is not in question, the decibel level is just too low. The city noise is deafening most of the time, and without enough volume, you’ll never be able to enjoy the audio. The Bluetooth tether for the handsfree is also a little large with a rather blingy indicator system.
Radio: The FM radio worked well enough and managed to tune all available stations in good time. Reception is good enough at most places, but not while commuting.
Video: Since the company hasn’t yet got codec support for DivX or XviD files, you’ll have to spend a little time converting videos to 3GP or MPEG4. The videos that did convert were easy to watch on the 3” display.
Getting connected: The phone’s Wi-Fi connectivity offers access to your PS3 for media streaming, but that’s not really a very big deal, since it is the only console you can access. With Sony Ericsson’s MediaGo PC software, you can wirelessly transfer data from the PC to the handset. But the Wi-Fi tends to drain the battery.
Social networking applications: A Facebook application is provided so you can access your account, update your status and check on what your friends are up to, directly from the home screen. The YouTube application allows you to stream videos from the site with a simple, mobile-friendly UI. You can also configure your Picasa and Flickr accounts easily.
Games and features: The Aino’s loaded with most of the basic features, from Calendar to Notes. Surprise of surprises — there are only two games loaded on the handset; SE usually has more.