Back in September, we saw the prototype of what would have been the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play 2. Now, XDA has shared images of the Sony Ericsson Xperia VAIO, and older device. And it may be more impressive, depending on your tastes.
Of course, the first thing to note is the name. It is both a Sony Ericsson and a VAIO, names that have since split from the PlayStation maker for many years. In fact, an old report from a decade ago suggests that this was supposed to be launched back then.
Like the Xperia Play 2, the Sony Ericsson Xperia VAIO took the laptop maker’s name pretty seriously. To that end, the device came with a QWERTY keyboard beneath the display. It even had an interesting two-stage hinge. This allowed the screen to first slide off away from the keyboard, and then prop itself up at an angle like a laptop. The keyboard even had the three Android buttons as those found just beneath the display.
Befitting a relic of its time, the Sony Ericsson Xperia VAIO has physical buttons for the three Android functions. The display itself is a 5.5-inch screen, and it runs Android 2.1 Eclair.
And on the back, the phone had rubber feet, allowing it to stay in place when you use it like a laptop. The VAIO branding sits prominently at the centre, and it has its camera and LED flash close to the edge.
Like with the Xperia Play 2, it’s possible that the Sony Ericsson Xperia VAIO came out way ahead of its time. But on the flip side, while one can see why physical game controllers could make sense on a phone, it’s difficult to say the same about a QWERTY keyboard, and especially one so small.