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Sony Ericsson Satio

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 Sony Ericsson Satio Discontinued
28th May 2009

The Sony Ericsson Satio was revealed to the world back in February under the codename "Idou". Probably the first 12 megapixel camera phone to market, the Satio hopes to re-establish Sony Ericsson as a force to be reckoned with in the mobile phone business.

Three months after the initial announcement, does the Satio still impress? Even though we have to wait until early Q4 to see this phone, it will probably be the only 12 megapixel camera phone available. The large 3.5" 640 x 360 pixel display is certainly competitive with most of the competition, and as you would expect the Sony Ericsson Satio has GPS, WiFi and HSDPA. It will also be one of the first phones to run the new Symbian Foundation operating system. So yes, it is still quite impressive.. for now.

The Satio is perhaps the true spiritual successor to the Sony Ericsson P990i - perhaps the last phone where Sony Ericsson really tried to include everything they could think of. Sony Ericsson clearly hope that the Satio will help to revive its flagging fortunes, along with two other very oddly name phones announced at the same time - the Aino and the Yari.

The 12.1 megapixel camera is certainly one of the most interesting things going on here - it has autofocus, a Xenon flash, face detection, image stabilisation, red-eye reduction and geotagging.

 Sony Ericsson Satio On paper, a 12.1 megapixel camera sounds very impressive, but in practice the real issue is the camera's optics. If your camera is saddled with poor optics, then adding more megapixels is not going to help - it just makes blurry pictures bigger. We don't know how good the optics on the Satio are, but we do know that this handset's success really depends on getting them right.

We mentioned GPS - the Sony Ericsson Satio comes with Advanced GPS plus Google Maps and turn-by-turn navigation. The large 3.5" touchscreen will be ideal for this type of application, and because the Satio runs Symbian then it should be possible to load a different mapping application if you need it.

The operating system is Symbian S60 5th Edition, similar in capabilities to that found on the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic. It supports handwriting recognition, it automatically adjusts to screen orientation and it will support a wide variety of applications. Some of the bundled apps include a WebKit based web browser, built-in applications for Facebook and YouTube, email integration (including Exchange ActiveSync) and a multimedia player.

 Sony Ericsson Satio On the subject of multimedia, the Sony Ericsson Satio also includes an FM radio, and there's also an 8GB microSD card included in the standard sales package which should provide room for plenty of media clips.

Underneath, the Satio is a quad-band GSM phone with UMTS 2100 and HSDPA support plus WiFi. In the US, a slightly different version called the Sony Ericsson Satio(a) adds tri-band UMTS support.

The Satio measures 112 x 55 x 13mm and weighs 126 grams. Sony Ericsson have not stated how large the battery is, nor how long the Satio will last on a full charge.

Other features include a TV out, plus of course USB and Bluetooth connectivity. The standard sales package has a stereo wired headset, USB cable, an 8GB memory card plus all the usual components. Sony Ericsson can also supply an IM920 viewing stand as an option, allowing the Satio to be used for video playback or on a desk.

There's no doubt that Sony Ericsson badly need the Satio to succeed. But when it comes out in "early Q4", we will have waited 8 months or more from the initial announcement, and Sony Ericsson's competition is not exactly standing still.

We have no guidance on price at the moment, although we assume that the Satio will not exactly be cheap. Three colour combinations should be available: Black, Silver and a red "Bordeaux" colour.

Sony Ericsson Satio at a glance

Available:

Q4 2009

Network:

GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 +
UMTS 2100 or UMTS 850 / 1900 / 2100

Data:

GPRS + EDGE + UMTS (3G) + HSDPA + WiFi

Screen:

3.5" 360 x 640 pixels, 16m colours

Camera:

12.1 megapixels

Size:

Large slider
112 x 55 x 13mm / 126 grams

Bluetooth:

Yes

Memory card:

MicroSD

Infra-red:

No

Polyphonic:

Yes

Java:

Yes

GPS:

Yes

OS:

Symbian S60 5th Edition

Battery life:

Not specified

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