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Review of Sony Ericsson Yendo W150i GSM Phone
Live photos of Sony Ericsson Yendo
Sony Ericsson in 2010 housed marketologists not developers. The creation of Yendo (also known as W150) was difficult. It was the story of marketologists asking engineers to cut down on one more feature and replace the standard memory module with something cheaper but slower. It is a classical example of a dead product where the key objective was to save as much as possible. People from SE hoped the model will be fast, high quality and will sell like hot cakes. For marketologists the price is the key element, but in real life things can get a little bit different. An awful product will never sell well, while those who venture to purchase it will give negative feedback to all friends and relatives. If I were an enemy of Sony Ericsson I would offer phones like Yendo.
Sony Ericsson lost its race for preeminence in the segment of touchscreen models once and for all. The company cannot produce anything at low price and of high quality, but they are still trying hard. This is how the ODM model from Sagem appeared on the horizon. In fact the engineers of the manufacturer (Sagem in this case) were against the way Sony Ericsson positioned the phone, but they had to do their job. Old popularity of the Walkman brand could have carved out a niche for the product. It did not happen though, because this price range is overcrowded with numerous models from different companies at lower prices running Android, while Yendo has a closed OS lacking the file manager and multitasking. The product, which could have been barely good enough in 2009 cannot be sold in 2011. The positioning is weird. The phone can be bought by customers who are somehow unaware of the fact that SE is rather dead than alive and still remember Walkman phones. Only then will they realize the mistake.
The quality of the build is above criticism. The plastic is nice. By default you get a black panel, which can be substituted by another one. In the box we found a greenish panel. The variety is guaranteed and the phone will please young customers. The green variant has something childish about it. There are around ten panel types and you can choose your own mix.
Dimensions of the phone are the following - 93.5 x 52 x 15.5 mm, weight - 81 g. The handset is small and resembles a toy to some extent. This effect was achieved due to the absence of additional buttons. Only the right side is used for a paired volume rocker and the top hosts an activation/unlocking button. Nearby is the headset jack. In the box we find decent headphones, but the sound is far from impressive. Its performance has nothing to do with Walkman models of the past. It is merely an accessible Chinese phone in the nice body.
The button under the screen (to move one level up or down) contains a light indicator, while the button has an orange backlight. If you miss an event the indicator blinks. The left side has a microUSB jack.
At the back one can spot a 2 MP camera hole and the speaker.
The model can boast only QVGA (240х320) resolution with the size of 2.6″. Brightness and contrast of this cheap screen are fine (TFT, 262,000 colors). Not every pressing of the resistive screen is correct. The slow model becomes even more sluggish.
As far as the control of the model is carried out only from the touchscreen we cannot consider the handset convenient. Fonts are large for better reading, but the screen fits only 8-10 lines of the text, which requires scrolling. There is no automatic rotation or backlight adjustment. In the sun the screen is fading away, but stays legible.
The model comes equipped with 970 mAh Li-Pol BST-38 battery. The manufacturer claims up to 8 hours of talktime and 450 hours on standby. In real life the handset went strong for 3 days with 2 hours of talktime and minimum use of other features. The average operation time ranges from 3 to 4 days. The full charging takes 1 hour and 30 minutes.
The memory card slot is under the back cover on the side. Hot swappable cards of up to 16 GB are supported. The inbuilt memory is 5 MB.
Make sure your hands do not tremble. Press the camera icon and wait for the file to be saved, which takes several seconds. A couple of seconds are needed to start the camera itself. This difficult approach can yield 2 MP shots. The camera has no auto focus and the overall quality is average. On the other hand it can record video at the speed of 15 fps in QCIF resolution at best. It is surprising to get such low results in 2011 for the price of Yendo. Look at the samples below. I cannot say anything special about the camera.
The first problem appears when you connect via USB in the Mass Storage mode. The memory card is detected, but the speed of copying files is no more than 700 Kbps. Frankly speaking, I have not experienced such speeds for a long time. Music can be stored only in one preselected folder. The search of media files is not effective and in the second level folders certain music files can be overlooked. It is a gamble. The absence of the file manager turns the whole procedure into a challenging quest.
Bluetooth works better. You can send and receive files from other devices, but the speed is extremely low. At least you will find something to do on long winter evenings and this slow phone will irritate you a lot. On the other hand A2DP allows for music playback via cord headphones. Do customers need this option?
I will break the traditional structure of our reviews, because I see no point in detailed accounts of the model you can buy only in a crazy dream. During the video recording for the review the handset displayed Dear Sony Ericsson line in the browser and got frozen. During the week long testing of the commercial model the phone crashed three times in the middle of ordinary operations. This weird solution poses more questions than gives answers.
The design of the handset was copied from X10 Mini and the same happened with the interface. You can see 4 icons on the screen by default. They take up all corners. With one touch you can dial a number or compose a message or access contacts. The menu is represented by the icons matrix. Drag the screen up and the menu will appear. There are three screens you can navigate by moving up and down.
The phone is not only slow, it is outrageously pedestrian. You will not be able to drink a cup of coffee in between, but you will definitely squeeze in several gulps. Press and stare at the screen. Marketologists exceeded all expectations, because it is virtually impossible to use the phone.
As far as it is a music phone I was eager to find here many features worthy of a Walkman name. I was thoroughly disappointed. The sound and the player itself are mediocre to say the least. It offers ordinary playback and filters (performer, tracks, all files, genres). You cannot select a particular folder on the memory card and the phone is smart to make this choice for you. Traditionally it fails to find music files in inside folders. Apart from мр3 files you can use AAC and WAV files if you are still interested in the format. Rewinding from the screen is complemented by 5 fixed equalizers and the stereo base boost. Taken together these gimmicks look excessive. The sound is too indifferent and equalizers will not solve any issue here. To add MH610 headphones was silly too. They are used well with expensive models, but here they reveal the mediocre playback capabilities of Yendo. In the hands free mode the model sounds fairly decent though.
The inbuilt FM radio is good enough and can work in the background, which is revelation for this handset bereft of multitasking. The radio can search for stations, save them and uses RDS. SE did not think of allowing recording shows on memory cards. There is a folder "Saved Radio Shows", but I could not find an appropriate option in the menu.
Track ID is an additional feature to guess the music near you. It works via GraceNote service and is a tried and trusted element, which is above criticism.
Calculator, stopwatch and timer are traditional.
The phonebook is simple. By default you need to enter the first name and family name together with the phone number. You can select a picture for a contact with several faded samples looking like ghosts. From the contact editing mode you can add some more information. There is no synchronizing with online services envisaged.
In SMS you can use the input from the screen keypad (no QWERTY available). Т9 is rather convenient. Messages are displayed as a chat and everything works fine, while the mail client is pretty basic.
The inbuilt Obigo Q7 browser is a source of distress. It freezes over at times and cannot handle large pages. If you have a contest to choose the most sluggish and useless element of the phone the browser would definitely come on top. The EDGE connection was also in the running.
There are almost no clients for social networks and you will have to use appropriate web pages. Taking into the account the browser you will unlikely to enjoy the experience.
There is not much to talk about in the settings. The only useful innovation is an idea to keep the most frequently used settings at the top. That's it.
The calendar displays dates of the month and you can add events, which can be shown on screen. Notes are similar to alerts. The note can be placed on the desktop.
I have no complaints about the connection quality. Ringtones are loud, the vibro is strong. It is a budget solution, which still costs around 100 Euros, which is way too high. I think that brave people who purchase the phone should be paid a bonus for their decision.
This slow and buggy model is offered in a nice looking body similar to the successful X10 Mini. There is no multitasking, file manager, while the player is austere and the radio does not sound right. The model has no 3G or WiFi, while the interface is so slow that you feel like smashing the handset against the wall. I do not know how can you use this phone. If it was given to you as a present you will have to suffer and adjust, but it is impossible to purchase it independently.
I would like to add that I have not come across such a low quality solution for years, while it is the worst model from the serious market player. The model was planned for November, but had to be delayed until February-March. An appropriate action would have been to ditch it out completely. This model was released despite the fact people will not use it as a main phone.
It's a pity I had to waste time on this awful handset. If you want to support the company go ahead. Next models will be cheaper and slower.
You can easily choose from a multitude of 100 Euros touchscreen phones and it is difficult to pinpoint one particular offering in this respect. Still pay attention to Samsung Star II, which is even cheaper. Compare features, screens and menu. They come from different technological periods. Unfortunately, Sony Ericsson is still living in 2009.
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Published 15 May 2011
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