A 2010 report appeared on a prototype Sony Ericsson VAIO phone that featured a 5.5-inch screen and a hinged slide-out keyboard.
And while the device never saw the light of day, the XDA community of developers has now posted high-quality images of the device that give us a look at what could have been a game-changer for the company.
The Sony Ericsson VAIO prototype shown in the pictures precedes the first VAIO Android smartphone that was introduced to the market in 2015, after VAIO split from Sony.
The device features a screen measuring 5.5 inches long with thick edges on the top and bottom.
The phone runs on Android 2.1 called Eclair, and features the physical back, home, and menu buttons at the bottom of the screen.
Something unusual is the prototype’s two-stage hinge mechanism, which first slides the screen out flat and then tilts upward to reveal a full-size keyboard with ergonomic distances.
Despite the space restrictions, the phone features a second set of Android buttons to the left of the space bar, a special search button, and a function key.
The Sony Ericsson VAIO prototype features the VAIO branding on the back, the small Sony Ericsson logo at the top next to the single rear camera and flash, and the prototype badge at the bottom.
The device includes four rubber feet at the bottom for installation, which is useful while using it on the desk, and it seems that the device comes with a traditional headphone port within the front edge and a micro USB port within the back edge.
And like the Xperia Play 2, this Sony Ericsson VAIO prototype was ahead of its time.
It is reported that the XDA developer community had previously published information and pictures about the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play 2, a smartphone from early 2010 running Android system that was not released, so that it could revolutionize the mobile gaming industry.
Designed to run PlayStation mobile games, the Xperia Play 2 features a sliding screen with controller, integrated with a D-Pad, PlayStation, Start and Select buttons, and two touch-sensitive joysticks hidden below.