Hands on with Sony Ericsson Satio

June 17th, 2009 | by Alfred Siew

Sony Ericsson gives preview of Satio

Thinking of junking your digital camera when you next go on a holiday? The Satio, Sony Ericsson’s new wonder-phone with a 12-meg lens, may just fit your bill.

I got a hands-on with SE’s hero phone for this year at a lavish – if rather painful – event on the sidelines of the CommunicAsia show here, and came away pretty impressed. But later on the event. First, the phone.

First impressions: The touch-screen menus are pretty quick to move between features and you get around the dozens of menus without much lag, unlike on earlier touch-screen devices. There’s none of the fancy3D flip stuff you see on LG’s new S-Class devices, but the Symbian-based S60 OS appears to be a big improvement over SE’s previously laggy UIQ operating system.

SE Satio - great 12-meg lens

The Satio’s large 3.5-inch screen is also excellent as a preview screen to take pictures with, and should do well for surfing the Web on. Interestingly, the phone is amazingly lightweight, despite its size. The 126-gram device certainly doesn’t feel as heavy as other smartphones that offer as big a screen.

More importantly, the 12-meg lens is a joy. Sherwin from Digital Life took a few pictures of one of the models at the event and was rewarded with really sharp images with good contrast. And that’s taken in the dark confines of the Red Dot Museum here. The camera light really did the trick here, illuminating the subject in a natural glow.

So, on the whole, the Satio does impress, at least where I can tell with my short hands-on.

The big letdown was the show itself. Every journalist I spoke to – more than half a dozen – was a little pissed at the event. We were told to turn up at 4.30pm but it was almost two hours later that we were afforded a glimpse of the phones.

I was “lucky” to have turned up real late at 5.30pm, but I know of at least one journalist who left halfway, amid a fancy but pointless fashion show that preceded the hands-on session. It was not an event to enjoy if you were a tech journalist just trying to get a preview of SE’s new devices.

A lesson for SE here: Just hold a party for the fashionista and celebrities at a fancy place, AFTER a separate hands-on preview for tech journalists. Keeping everyone at one place for two hours is really not the most optimal way to launch your star phone for the year.

(more pix here:)

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