Thursday, January 14, 2010
My first post - The Sony Ericsson Aino U10i
This latest gadget from the Sony Ericsson (SE) stable is one of the two phones running on the Symbian OS, the other being the Satio. The Aino boasts of a fairly big 3 inch, 16-million colour TFT capacitive "limited" touch screen. A massive 8 megapixel camera, wi-fi, GPS, accelerometer sensor, 8 GB micro SD card, stereo bluetooth headset and a dock stand for phone and headset are some of the other highlights of this innovation. I'll further elaborate on the camera in a while.
Now, why Sony specifically shouts out limited touch-screen functionality is because the touch-interface is designed only for multimedia, i.e. camera, saved photos, music, videos and radio. As funny as this peculiarity may sound, once you actually get your hands on the device, it suddenly all makes sense. The phone has a slider form factor which helps the device maintain its big screen, with a full 23-key traditional cell-phone keypad that reveals itself under the screen. So you can take photos, listen to music, watch videos, etc without having to open the slide everytime. There are no keys at all around the screen, and almost the entire area is covered with an awesome display. Its quite an experience watching movies on the go, and the audio clarity on the stereo bluetooth headset is simply superb. Another useful bit is that the battery level of the bluetooth headset is also displayed along with the phone battery level.
The camera, with a very efficient LED flash takes photos in 3, 6, 7, 8 MP, and last but not the least - FULL HD in 16:9 aspect ratio. This was missing in the earlier C905 which was SE's flagship cybershot, and SE have done well to add this in. Apart from the auto, macro and infinite focus modes, there's face-detection and an exciting touch-focus as well. Tap anywhere on the screen to focus on a point you wish to, and the camera concentrates on the selected area. We also have the conventional scene modes found across most cameras like portrait, twilight, sports, snow, etc. A self-timer is available as well, should you want to take photos by keeping the phone on the stand, or on a shelf or table. The LED flash doubles up as a torch as well. Video recording is in VGA at 30 frames per second (fps) and the clarity is good, even if you're trying to shoot fast moving objects. You also have the nHD mode at 640 x 360 pixels, and an MMS mode. The LED flash can be used as a video light, a very useful feature.
The voice quality over calls is great, with absolutely no echo or ear piece vibrations, and the loudspeaker is clear even at a high volume. Calls can be answered, muted and rejected without having to slide open the phone. Battery stand-by times are good considering the large display, though it does tend to drain out quickly when used on wi-fi. The phone certainly packs in a lot of punch for its price. At about Rs. 25,000/- it certainly is a great package, and with its camera, audio, 8 GB memory, wi-fi and the stereo bluetooth headset, it looks like the guys over at Sony Ericsson have finally struck gold. My only grouch with this device is that the keys feel a little sticky at first and take some getting used to, but with all the other great things in there, this certainly isn't going to bother me too long.
For full specs, log onto http://www.sonyericsson.com/cws/products/mobilephones/overview/aino?cc=in&lc=en