It's been years since we last remembered the idea of a Sony Ericsson VAIO phone was perfectly within our reach. Well, once upon a time, at least. Fortunately, what emerged today is a de facto look at one such alternate reality. To be exact, an early Sony Ericsson VAIO phone prototype over half a decade old just emerged on the World Wide Web.
The images featured herein showcase something more ancient than even the Panasonic Eluga U2, also known as the VAIO Phone. If that name doesn't ring any bells, it belongs to a 2015 gadget that came and went without much fanfare. And for good reason, at that, seeing how utterly unremarkable it was overall.
Well, today's leak from the history books reveals there was more where that came from. At least originally. But the project was killed way before resulting in another lukewarm addition to the sea of mediocre Android smartphones. Thanks to whoever was in charge of deciding the fate of this atrocity, of course.
Consequently, Japan Communications' 2014 acquisition of Sony's VAIO mobile brand was certainly not the best business decision ever. To put it mildly, of course. But realistically, it's closer to one of the worst trade deals in the history of trade deals. Maybe ever.
There's VAIO-old but a 'Sony Ericsson VAIO' phone branding is on another level of ancient
Just to put things into perspective, this prototype dates back to around 2010 or thereabout. Because it carries Sony, Ericsson, and VAIO's branding all at once. That's like, a trifecta of trying too hard, or something. And let's not forget there's an actual "Prototype" designation embedded into its back panel, as well. In any case, there probably aren't any regrets concerning the fact this thing never amounted to a commercial product.
Regarding the prototype's specifics, that upper portion of the sliding mechanism features a 5.5-inch display. And the biblical software seen in these real-life images is Android 2.1 Eclair. Talk about a throwback. As for the physical keyboard beneath the screen, it certainly won't star in any product design case studies. It's such a textbook example of overengineering that it even features duplicate Android system navigation buttons.
Of course, some would argue the world wasn't ready for this thing a decade ago. That it was ahead of its time. But that position is really hard to defend if you aren't big on being a hipster fully committed to romanticizing evolutionary dead-ends in product design. Which this thing most certainly is, no matter how highly you think of Sony, Ericsson, VAIO, or any combination thereof.