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Sony Ericsson Unveils 12MP & 8MP Handsets

Gordon Kelly


Sony Ericsson Unveils 12MP & 8MP Handsets

Oh sigh...

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


February 16, 2009, 5:48 am

Well whatever the argument against high spec cameras on phones are, what's indisputable is that the iPhone's stingy 2 MP has quickly became a joke, only protected by the brand name status.


February 16, 2009, 2:06 pm

Sony hasn't impressed me since they launched the K750. That was when they were ahead of everyone else, now every model they release is a slightly tweaked version of a phone that's been on the market for 2/3+ years.

Nokia gets a lot of flak, but at least they bring something to the table.


February 16, 2009, 3:54 pm

@GoldenGuy - to an extent, though at least the iPhone camera has no lag when taking photos. In the right settings it takes very nice shots but the right settings mean perfect lighting conditions!!


February 16, 2009, 4:01 pm

Gordon, you should see the photos I took with my Nokia E66! Absolutely horrendous if the light wasn't perfect. To be fair, it is a business phone, but you'd think for the &#163300 I paid for it, they'd be able to fit a better sensor/lens than the one they did.

I didn't get on with the E66 thanks to the rubbish s60 OS, but the camera was such a let down.


February 16, 2009, 4:06 pm

What the Hell is an average Joe going to do with a hard drive full of P-Poor quality, 12MP images? Start their own advertising campaign, get prints the size of a London bus?

You need some proper kit to push around and edit photo's that big! I have been shooting professionally with 10 & 13MP SLR's for years and very rarely, only of late, I have been eyeing up the 5DMK2 for clients. But none of my clients ever want bigger images than a 10-13MP camera produces, so to see a 12MP shooter in a phone is hilarious.

Obviously, they have absolutely no idea how to improve image quality, so their only sales pitch left is to use that great American philosophy of 'there's no replacement for cubic inches'. Stupid!

Just give me a phone with a minty 3.2 - 5MP camera with manual control of shutter speed and aperture values, xenon flash - manual control too, zero shutter lag, creative modes, less noise, bigger front element, and make it flush with the case of svelte, metal encased s60 / Android handset. Easy.


February 16, 2009, 4:26 pm

@lifethroughalens - amen my friend, amen.

Hamish Campbell

February 16, 2009, 4:32 pm

errr... does that say 3.5 mm jack?? Isn't this the first time an SE phone has a standard headphone jack??


February 16, 2009, 5:12 pm

@haim, no the likes of the W595 and W760 had 3.5mm jacks but they were stupidly located by the mic. Hopefully we'll get better placement here. At least in general manufacturers seem to be waking up to the idea that WE WANT THEM!

Jonathan Fletcher

February 16, 2009, 5:21 pm

Absolutely correct lifethroughalens............


February 16, 2009, 5:23 pm

@lifethroughalens - PS - so well put is this comment, I may well link to it now and again ;)


February 16, 2009, 6:27 pm

@ Gordon - I'd be delighted :)


February 16, 2009, 6:52 pm

Did I read Micro-sd somewhere :)


February 16, 2009, 10:30 pm

@ILoveGagdets - not that I saw :(


February 17, 2009, 2:18 am

so which phone at the moment would you guys say has the best picture quality or best compromise for a mobile phone?


February 17, 2009, 4:27 am

@ Jay: to be honest, the only phone i've ever personally owned for a long period and rated as having a good phone camera, was the SE K800i. I have worked my way through tens of phones over the past couple of years in the hope of finding that perfect balance, but never found it.

I now use an ancient 6310i for travelling outside Europe (because the batteries are cheap as chips and last for glacial periods of time), an E51 in Europe (for getting email) and a 5800 to play with. (which I listed my frustrations with on the review on here; it's mainly software bugs though). I'll probably get a Pre as well, eventually.

It's so hard to recommend any camera phone since more often than not, what the manufacture gives you with one hand, it takes with another. LED flashes are an atrocious substitute for and xenon flash, so I would avoid them. Which pretty much narrows your choices!

All considered, the best phone camera that i've used (but not owned) was the N73. But there are lots of SE's that deserve a mention, that i'm sure someone else can recommend. I'm a huge Nokia 'E' series fan, so not the best person to answer!

Good luck on your search. I'm sure if you give it a couple of months there will be a much larger range of handsets sporting huge MP's. If that floats your boat :)


February 17, 2009, 4:41 am

EDIT: I meant to say N82 (NOT N73!)


February 17, 2009, 3:27 pm

Amusingly I've just read on the Guardian website that the Sony Ericsson phone is "good enough for a professional photographer".

Read halfway down the page:



February 17, 2009, 5:18 pm

Amusingly I've just read on the Guardian website that the Sony Ericsson phone is "good enough for a professional photographer".

Read halfway down the page:


@joose - Hahaha, that's funny. I think the hack is one biscuit short of a picnic. It's a bit like saying the Samsung OmniaHD is 'good enough for any film maker'. Most the non-tech media (and the layman) are obsessed with numbers & who can blame them?

I may be doing the SE a dishonour, but I doubt it.

I'd recommend getting a really good compact camera and a separate phone.


February 17, 2009, 5:48 pm

@ lifethroughalens - agree as well. The annoying thing is that with the 3.2MP on the K800i, Sony were nearly there (in 2004!). I would definitely put that amongst the best camera phones to date. All it missed was a bit of manual control.


February 17, 2009, 6:35 pm

"The annoying thing is that with the 3.2MP on the K800i, Sony were nearly there (in 2004!"

Spot on purephase.

Whenever I recommend the K800i as a camera phone people look at me funny and point out that it's 5 years old and 'only' 3.2MP. But as you said, and I agree, it was the closest to getting the perfect balance between phone and decent camera, that ever was.

However, the biggest let down on this phone was the terribly poor video resolution. One hand giveth and....

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