High end trio include rebranded 12 megapixel shooter the 'Idou'...
Yes, before you say it, they do sound like characters from a manga flick…
Last night Sony Ericsson announced a trio of new handsets – one with a new name – and a (s)long overdue(/s) more sensible business approach which might just stop it losing another 358m euros this time next year.
Headlining the hardware is the ‘Satio’ – first unveiled in February as the Idou – which represents the first 12.1 megapixel mobile phone on the market and Sony Ericsson’s (s)also long overdue(/s) first entry into the full screen, touchscreen sector without physical keyboard. Away from the headlining snapper comes a 3.5in 640 x 360 resolution display along with the likes of HSDPA, WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth with A2DP and TV-out while the camera does itself favours with autofocus, geo-tagging and a Xenon flash (let’s just hope the image processing is up to scratch).
At 112 x 55 x 13.3mm and 126g the Satio is roughly the same size and weight as the iPhone 3G.
Slotting in just below the Satio is the Aino (be ”very” careful, it’s meant to be pronounced ‘I know’). This fellow large touchscreener (3in, 240 x 432 pixels) adds a sliding keypad and rocker controls, is equipped with an eight megapixel camera (no word on the type of flash) and matches the rest of the Satio specs stride from stride. At 104 x 50 x 15.5mm and 134g it’s close in size and weight too.
On the downside the Aino’s touch functionality will be limited (despite using capacitive tech) as it is only enabled in the multimedia menu and when using the camera (why oh why?).
Lastly the Yari sees the megapixel count drop to five and alters its focus to be more gaming centric using an accelerometer for Wii/iPhone-esque controls. There’s no touchscreen functionality here with a rather more standard 2.4in QVGA (320 x 240) display though you will find HSDPA and GPS (no WiFi) along with A2DP capable Bluetooth and smaller dimensions of 100 x 48 x 15.7mm (115g).
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We’ll see the Satio, Aino and Yari at some point during Q4.
So what of this more sensible approach? Well as usual Sony Ericsson gets some things right, some things wrong. On the plus side all three handsets drop M2 expansion slots in favour of microSD (could this be the end for the annoying memory format?), on the negative the company still hasn’t learnt to equip their phones with 3.5mm headphone jacks. On the plus side company representatives confirmed it will make fewer models this year and instead concentrate more on innovation. On the negative side it is still fitting proprietary charging ports.
Well, it’s half a lesson learnt.