Last night I was lucky enough to attend a really fun Sony Ericsson launch party – a kind of rebranding of sorts underpinned by the slogan ‘make.believe’ and used to officially launch the company’s new flagship Satio handset. The night also involved a fantastic live musical performance: A modern interpretation of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, co-produced by Goldie (and others), featuring artists such as Miss Dynamite and Kano accompanied by The Bays and The Heritage Orchestra.
Anyway, I digress. Back to the tech. Here are my first (brief) impressions of the Sony Ericsson Satio.
The 3.5 inch touch screen device is much more svelte in real life than photos suggest. And the protruding lense cover protecting that headline grabbing 12 megapixel camera is a lot more subtle too. It gives the impression of being practical but also adds a defining design cue that I really liked.
The Satio is a lot lighter than you’d expect too but feels very solid and of high build quality. There was no obvious weak spots in the casing from my brief hands-on. Aside from the camera’s specs, the other standout feature is the screen itself. While it’s resistive (and we all know how I feel about resistive screens), it has an nHD (640 x 360 pixels ) resolution and in the dimly lit night club where the event took place, simply looked stunning.
On the software side, Sony Ericsson’s starting point is Symbian S60 5th edition – think Nokia’s Xpress Music 5800 or to some degree the N97 – but they’ve redesigned the UI for some of the phone’s key applications, such as its media features where it borrows from the PlayStation’s XMB UI, for example (see the video above). It’s a big improvement over standard S60 5th but it falls down in that SE haven’t given the same treatment to other parts of the OS. The device on show was also not the latest firmware I was told and it definitely had a few software bugs, which was a little disconcerting so close to release, although I was assured that many of these kinks have already been ironed out. Watch this space for a full review soon.