Sony Ericsson Yari review: Sony Ericsson Yari

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CNET Editors' Rating

2 stars Mediocre
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Built-in Facebook and photo-sharing sites; huge selection of minor features; FM radio; numerous camera options; GPS.

The Bad Flat keyboard; small screen for gaming; gesture-controlled games are innovative but impractical; basic Web browser; crowded, poorly organised user interface; no Wi-Fi.

The Bottom Line The Sony Ericsson Yari's billboard feature is its gaming capability, but we think its gesture-based games will lead to more embarrassment than fun. There are still plenty of good on-board features, like a built-in Facebook app, but it's not as good-looking or talented as last year's Sony Ericsson W995 Walkman, which you can buy for the same price

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The Sony Ericsson Yari promises to be a rock 'em, sock 'em gaming handset that turns your body into a joystick and your phone into a Nintendo Wii. We'd rather not use the Yari's goofy motion-controlled gaming features, but there are plenty of other on-board treats to tempt us.

The Yari is available from free on a £20-per-month, two-year contract, or for around £210 SIM-free.

Stop playing games with my phone
The Yari doesn't look like much more than a bog-standard slider phone, but it's packed with stuff that's supposed to be more fun than a barrel of monkeys. An accelerometer lets you control games by tilting the phone, and a front-mounted camera spots your flailing arms when playing with the Yari's gesture-controlled games.

The fitness game will have you squatting like an imbecile. If you do play it, make sure no-one's looking

The Yari comes with a bunch of games pre-loaded to get you started, with more available to buy from the PlayNow app store. We gave some of them a spin and found that the accelerometer worked well in games like the cutesy LocoRoco.

The gesture-based games were less successful. You have to prop up the phone on the included stand and wave your arms like a drunken octopus to bash a ball in the tennis game, or work your whole body up and down in the fitness game, for example. Not only were the games hard to control, they were embarrassing to play. They're really only suited to lonely nights on your own when an ill-timed power outage has killed your games consoles and PCs.

Take the shot
The Yari has a 5-megapixel camera on the back, and we were impressed with the range of options that it gave us, from smile recognition to a timer. Our shots in good light came out slightly pink, but they weren't too bad otherwise. In low light, our photos were grainy and noisy, but the LED photo light helped to brighten things up, and it's better than having no illumination at all. The front-mounted camera can be used for video calling, as well as for games.

Not one for Web addicts
The Yari has 3G and HSUPA, but no Wi-Fi, and its poor Web browser means that it's not much fun for surfing the Web. Its GPS is better, and Google Maps is on-board to keep you on the right path. You can even log into Google Latitude to share your location with your friends.

The Yari's keypad is rather lacklustre. The buttons are flat and their soft travel is unsatisfying

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Where to Buy

Sony Ericsson Yari

Part Number: CNETSony Ericsson Yari

Typical Price: £210.00

See manufacturer website for availability.