By November 24, 2009

Sony Ericsson Aino Review

Sony Ericsson are producing some nice looking handsets at the moment and the Aino looks pretty sweet too. Is it the perfect device for those of you that like the traditional slide out key pad?



Sony Ericsson Aino with Dock


What’s in the box:

  • Phone
  • Battery
  • Charger/Dock
  • Bluetooth Headset
  • USB cable
  • Warranty/User Guide

You can view Matt’s Sony Ericsson Aino unboxing video for more.


The ten second review:

Device: Sony Ericsson Aino

Cost: £391.00

Summary: A smart looking traditional feature phone with some impressive features.

Best of: 3G, GPS, Wi-Fi, Camera.

Worst of: Keyboard, Video.

Buy it now from: Clove


Sony Ericsson Specification:

  • On Board Memory – Up to 55MB
  • Display – 3 inch- 240 x 432 pixels – 16,777,216 True Colour TFT
  • Operating Frequency – GSM/GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900 & UMTS/HSPA 850/900/2100
  • Bluetooth technology
  • Wi-Fi
  • DLNA Certified
  • Google Maps
  • PictBridge Synchronisation
  • USB mass storage mode
  • A-GPS
  • MicroSD Slot
  • 8.1 megapixel camera
  • 16x digital zoom – Photo flash – Video recording – Auto focus – Face detection
  • Battery – Talk time GSM: Up to 13 hrs, Standby time GSM: Up to 380 hrs
  • Dimensions – 104 x 50 x 15.5 mm
  • Weight – 134 grams with battery



A single button sits on the top of the Aino. This shuts off the screen.


Sony Ericsson Aino top


On the left side of the device is the Sony Ericsson propriety USB socket.


Sony Ericsson Aino left side


The right side house the up/down volume rocker as well as a dedicated camera button.


Sony Ericsson Aino from the right


On the rear of the handset is the camera lens and flash. In addition there is a nice Sony Ericsson logo.


Sony Ericsson Aino from the rear


The front of the device, when closed, has no visible buttons and only a speaker grill at the top.


Sony Ericsson Aino front (closed)


With the phone slid open there are tons of buttons.


Sony Ericsson Aino open



  • Wi-Fi
  • 3G
  • GPS
  • Camera


  • Keyboard
  • Video Camera
  • Music Quality



Out of the box the Sony Ericsson Aino feels very good. Its sleek, smooth and sits well in the hand. Its quite heavy but feels solid. Once opening the sliding keypad  the phone still feels solid but now big. From top to bottom it measures 15cm!

The Aino has a strange kind of form factor which will suit some but not others. When the device is closed the screen is touch sensitive and acts as a PMP with quick access to the camera, pictures, music, video and the radio.  This worked very well although it does not have the biggest screen for viewing pictures.

Open the keypad and the screen is now non-touch and you must use the phones buttons and track pad to navigate. Odd!

One thing I will say about the Aino is it has a lovely animated home screen. This consists of a black background with various coloured bubbles floating upwards. Its quite beautiful to watch!

On a downside, the buttons on the slide out key pad are way too small for me and too close to each other. I have not got big hands and I really struggled to navigate and type on the Aino.

When open, under the screen are two soft keys. Beneath these are the call send & end keys. Beneath them are the shortcuts and cancel keys. The track pad/wheel sits in between all the buttons and this can be used for up/down, left and right with a push button in the centre for selecting.


As you would have seen at the top of the page the Sony Ericsson Aino comes supplied with a charging dock and Bluetooth headset. There is not much I can say about the dock apart from it makes the device look good when its on charge. The Bluetooth headset however is a nice bonus as I saw this headset for sale the other day in an O2 store for £60.00.

So lets have a look at the main features on the Aino.

Using the web browser was a bit difficult. Although the pages looked good on screen navigating was a bit of a pain using the track pad. You get an onscreen arrow (mouse pointer) and this can be moved up/down/left & right. If the Aino had a track ball or optical track pad like on a Blackberry this would have much nicer as you can move diagonally, but this cannot be done on the Aino and I just found that selecting text was time consuming. The mouse movements were also jumpy which again didn’t help doing stuff quickly. The browser does auto rotate but using this with the track pad is a bit strange.


Most features on the Aino are very similar to on the Sony Ericsson Satio that I reviewed recently. Like the Satio the messaging applications are straight forward and setting up an email account is simple. The Aino is just let down buy its key pad.


The Sony Ericsson Aino comes with an 8.1MP camera built in and this was one of its better features. The photos I took in daylight came out rather well and once on the computer I was able to crop and zoom and still retain a good quality image. Low light photos are no problem. The flash on the Aino is more than capable of lighting up nearby objects. I was quite impressed. Not so impressive was the video quality and that’s all I am saying on the subject.


Listening to music on the Aino was surprisingly not all that special. The sound just lacked the wow factor which we have become used to on so many devices. Very disappointing. On the up side though the supplied Bluetooth headset is nice. It consists of standard in-ear headphones that connect to a bass unit which houses the controls. Would I buy the headset on its own – no, but for free its okay. I would have tried some other headphones out to see if the bad music quality was due to the supplied ones but as Sony Ericsson have used their propriety socket this meant I didn’t have any that were compatible


The last feature I am going to comment on is GPS. The Sony Ericsson Aino comes with A-GPS which is always good for a quick fix of where you are. I firstly tested Google maps and it worked a treat. Also built in is WisePilot, a GPS navigation program. The good news is I tried it and it seemed to work perfectly. The bad news is the maps are not stored on the handset but downloaded over the air as required, so if you are going to use it a lot then please make sure you have a decent data plan to prevent extra costs from your network provider. I liked WisePilot but I certainly wouldn’t give up using TomTom or CoPilot for it. Nice to have for emergencies though.



The Sony Ericsson Aino is definitely suited to people who currently use this form factor of a slide out key board. It’s jam packed with features and seems to perform fairly well. As you have probably gathered it’s not my cup of tea but like most devices this all comes down to personal preference and what you are going to use the device for.  For a phone that does not excel in many departments it is rather expensive to buy sim free, but it does have that beautiful animated home screen!


Posted by: James

Posted in: Reviews

About the Author:

Five year veteran of the site. BlackBerry specialist, but experienced in most operating systems. Enjoys flower arranging and cross stitch.
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