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Sony Ericsson Yari U100i
It's fair to say the Nintendo Wii has been a phenomenal success and the vast majority of that success can be attributed to its revolutionary, at the time, motion controller. It's thus no surprise that other companies have been falling over themselves to grab a piece of this apparently lucrative market. This makes sense if you're Microsoft or Sony and you want to extend your existing games console's capabilities but is the world really ready for gesture gaming on a mobile phone? Sony Ericsson thinks so and the first fruit of this less than obvious tangent in the mobile phone market is the Yari. Read on to see if we've been convinced.
Contrary to what you might expect given its gaming pretensions, the Yari isn't a premium all touch-screen phone with a super fast processor like the 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon used in the HTC HD2 and Toshiba TG01. Instead it's a relatively modest slider phone with a 2.4in non-touch screen that has a resolution of just 240 x 320. It's not just that it's a phone with modest pretensions either, it's also clearly made to a budget.
Most of the body is, as you'd expect, plastic but where other phones manage to pass off there build quality limitations with a bit of clever design, the Yari, simply looks and feels cheap. The most obvious culprit here is the keyboard that uses a single piece of thin malleable plastic to cover all the buttons, instead of using individual keys. While little raised dots mark each key, making touch typing still possible, it's still a pretty poor typing experience.
Also causing concern is the rather flimsy and unsecure back panel, the awkward volume control on the right edge, and the navigation keys. These consist of a D-pad ring, the centre of which is the selection button and four large black surrounding keys for call answer, call end/power, task manager, and delete/clear. Above these are two thin, clear soft-keys while a further two soft-keys sit above the screen. These serve a variety of functions while in games and both open the games folder when on the desktop. The problem, then, with these keys is that the large black ones are rather mushy and lacking in feedback while the thin clear ones are a tad difficult to press – particularly the top two.