On the defensive for many months, Sony Ericsson has changed to attack and unveiled their mobile strategy for the end of the year. This includes mobile phones that are differentiated in terms of usage while still conserving the general user multimedia base and offensive mobile content thanks to the deployment of PlayNow Arena, their download portal which should be considerably enriched over the coming months with music, VOD and mobile applications! Satio, Aino, Yari are three names to remember as these will be reinforcing the manufacturers interoperability while reducing their environmental impact with the implementation of GreenHeart.
Sony Ericsson’s new strategy
Sony Ericsson Satio
The Sony Ericsson Satio created a sensation during the Barcelona MWC 09 show in February when released under Sony Ericsson Idou name. This was due to its 12 million pixel lens, a first in Europe even if the future Samsung Pixon12 will be the first mobile with a 12 megapixel camera to be sold.
Its particularities don’t end here as this model is entirely tactile, using the Symbian S60 5th Edition operating system already present on the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic, and the soon to be released N97.It will be possible to customize the phone by adding applications to it that can be downloaded from different portals.
Following the first of the three new strategies being implemented by the maker, “Merging the experiences and entertainment”, this is an excellent and flexible handset that offers a 3.5” 16:9 640x360 pixel screen which is able to provide all multimedia functions.
The smartphone comes with a lot of options: WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, TV output, accelerometer and all in the dimensions of 112 x 55 x 13.3 mm and weighing 126 g. While the internal memory is only 80 MB, the storage space can be extended to 32GB via a microSD memory card, with Sony Ericsson having now abandoned their own memory for MS Memory Stick Micro from Sony.
You almost forget that the Sony Ericsson is also a quadband GSM/GPRS/EDGE and UMTS/HSDPA phone due to the heavy multimedia orientation. Offering 7 hours of battery life in GSM conversation and up to 300 hours in standby, it will be available at the beginning of the fourth quarter in 2009 for a price of between 875 and 950 dollars without subscription.
Sony Ericsson Aino
Meeting the second aspect of the new mobile strategy (“Interaction of mobiles with general public electronic equipment”) the Sony Ericsson Aino conserves a heavy multimedia program while offering the possibility of remotely accessing content stored on your computer via the Media GB synchronization program, or even your Sony PS3 console.
This is done with the WiFi, with communication between devices being assured thanks to the open DLNA protocol (Digital Living Network Alliance). We appreciate that for once, Sony hasn’t tried to impose a standard which they end up being the only ones to use and causing interoperability problems.
The Japanese giant has given until 2011 to make 80 to 90% of their products interconnective, with the DLNA protocol assuring this link. This isn’t really anything new as the VAIO computers have been equipped with this since 2005, along with Bravia televisions and the PS3 console.
As for Sony Ericsson, numerous models are already compatible, starting with the Sony Ericsson C905. The Sony Ericsson Aino has inherited this capability which is turned on once connected to the transmitter, assuring the data synchronization via WiFi with a computer equipped with Media Go.
It should be noted that Media Go assures the transformation of data content during the transfer to the phone so that they can be directly played. As for the PS3, it is the Remote Control function which allows you to access streaming content and if the console is connected to a TV tuner then you can watch the television stations on your mobile phone from anywhere that offers a WiFi hotspot.
The Sony Ericsson Aino is a phone with a sliding keyboard and 3” QVGA tactile screen (240 x 320 pixels). Very original, the function buttons are also placed on the slide out part.
Closed, the Aino resembles a multimedia device on which you can view photos or watch videos (you just have to transfer them to the screen via a DLNA compatible device) while when the keyboard is open then it once again looks like a mobile phone.
The presence of the keyboard makes its thickness 15.5 mm, which is still reasonable. The device weighs 134g and has an 8 mega pixel digital camera on the back with flash and autofocus. While there is 55 MB of internal memory, there is a microSD memory port which will allow you to increase the devices capacity to up to 32 GB (8 GB card provided).
While the operating system is proprietary, the Sony Ericsson Aino doesn’t give away anything to smartphones as it has Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity options as well as an A-GPS module which can use pre-installed Google Maps.
The mobile is delivered with a MH100 recharge/synchronization adaptor which also integrates the wireless stereo EC100 earpiece, also provided. As for the telephone, you will find that it is quadband compatible GSM/GPRS/EDGE and triband UMTS/HSDPA with 13 hours of battery life in GSM communication or 4.5 hours in UMTS, 1h40 as a videophone and 31 hours when listening to music.
It will be available at the beginning of the fourth quarter for a price that is yet to be released.
Sony Ericsson Yari
The Sony Ericsson Yari is the most up market mobile of the group thanks to the use of the accelerometer and the camera on the front which can be used as a movement detector. After the first model, the F305 which has a Gaming Motion mode, this mobile has all of the major characteristics required for a top of the line model.
Its goal is to redefine the interaction of a mobile and discover new ways of playing. The accelerometer allows you to simulate certain movements, like launching a bowling ball or performing a golf swing.
The small camera on the front can be used to detect player movement, which can lead to fitness games which require you to perform specific movements, and boxing, as the player has to simulate jabs and uppercuts.
In this case, it will be necessary to place the telephone on something, or get a friend to hold it. We will have to see how well this works though, as even though we had some demonstrations it is yet to be seen how far you can really take this in its current form. If you can put it up on a big screen then the multiplayer combinations will be rather impressive.
While numerous games using Motion Gaming will be pre-installed on the device, we have been promised a rich catalogue of games through the PlayNow portal which will start to fill up in the coming weeks.
The Sony Ericsson Yari is a phone with a slide out keyboard with two game buttons located above the screen. This is a quadband telephone with GSM.GPRS/EDGE and biband UMTS/HSDPA all displayed on a 2.4” QVGA screen (240 x 320 pixels) with the resolution being conform so as to allow Java mobile games to be enjoyed.
Compact, with dimensions of 100 x 48 x 15.5mm and weighing 114g, it has 60 MB of internal memory, extendable via the microSD port (1 GB card provided) and with an autofocus 5 mega pixel camera. The Bluetooth and A-GPS modules are also present.
The phone offers 10 hours of battery life when in GSM communication, 450 hours in standby and up to 31 hours when listening to music. It will be available in the last quarter of 2009 for an as yet unknown price.
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