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Bravia phone is from old Sony playbook

Emphasis on Sony's hallmark style

Sony sometimes reminds us of a battered Hall of Fame quarterback in his final season: Although both are in decline, every once in awhile they still manage to show flashes of style if not brilliance.

That was our first reaction, at least, upon seeing the photos of Sony's new phone, which it is marketing under the Bravia insignia alongside its expensive line of high-definition TV sets. The 3G flip handset includes an MP3, a 3.2-megapixel camera, 1GB of storage space, and an LCD display that's supposedly based on Sony's HD screen technology. But what really caught our eye was the look of the phone: a bright orange casing with brushed steel trim, with a unique design on its top shell.

Let's face it: Sony's previous success was always about aesthetics, creating coveted designs for higher-priced products that often didn't perform as well as less expensive rivals. So we wouldn't expect its approach toward this latest Bravia item to be any different.

(Photo: Akihabara News)