Yes, I know Sony Ericsson wants us to scream "Hooray, hooray MORE megapixels" but it's all just getting a little bit silly now. Yes, SE has just unveiled its latest pair of high performance snappers: the 8MP Walkman 'W995' and the world's first 12MP mobile phone in the shape of the codenamed 'Idou' but these are pretty much the most boring aspects of these devices.
As the old argument validly states: more megapixels does not make for better picture quality. In fact, it can make for far worse picture quality - and at far larger file sizes - if the processing behind the image isn't up to scratch. Given this isn't yet the case with dedicated compacts it's all rather pointless cramming them into camera phones with horrendous lag. 7MP is fine, just fix the engines behind them!
No, far more interesting than this numbers game is what Sony Ericsson has planned with the 'Idou' notably a 3.5in 640 x 320 pixel 16:9 touchscreen display - the first time it has directly targeted what must be described as the 'iPhone form factor'. Given its prototype nature however all else we learn is hype that it will integrate the best elements of the Cybershot and Walkman ranges (CyberMan?!) and be announced under the new 'Entertainment Unlimited' banner. With a launch not until in the second half of 2009 we may not find out more for a while.
Returning to the real-worldly (read: samey) nature of more immediate Sony Ericsson offerings however is the W995 which looks like many a slider Walkman and packs a 2.6in QVGA display, HSDPA, WiFi, integrated speakers, 3.5mm jack and an 8GB M2 expansion card. At 97 x 49 x 15mm and 113g though this is a fairly petite handset which we could see as soon as Q2.
A decent enough start for Sony Ericsson at MWC, but it'll have to do more yet (a fully fledged app store and market ready touchscreen models come to mind) if it plans to really revitalise the brand...
Sony Ericsson UK
Sony Ericsson Unveils 12MP & 8MP Handsets