I recently got to lay my hands on Sony Ericsson’s SATIO, a smartphone that the company launched last year. I must say that the phone has an impressive spec sheet while going through which you realize that the company has plugged in the best features from its WALKMAN series and the CYBER SHOT series together. The USP of the phone clearly is its 12.1 megapixel camera as well as the fact that it is the first phone from SONY to run on the S60 operating system.
I reviewed the phone on 8 key parameters: Design & Looks, Multimedia (including Camera), Interface & Touch screen experience, Storage capacity, Browsing Experience, Battery Life, Connectivity and Pricing. Let’s check out whether the impressive spec sheet translated into an equally impressive performance:
- DESIGN & LOOKS – The SATIO looks really good, easily fits into your hand and every function is within your thumbs reach. The phone is made of plastic and sports the big iPhone like 3.5 inch screen that has a resolution of 640×360 pixels. It is sized at 112x55x13 mm and even though looks huge can be easily slided into your pocket. The left part of the phone consists of screen lock slider, the universal connectivity port and the micro SD card slot. Overall the design is pretty neat and the phone looks DECENT in your hand.
- MULTIMEDIA (INCLUDING CAMERA) – As mentioned above, the USP of the phone is its 12.1 megapixel camera with image resolution of 4000×3000 pixels with xenon and LED flash. The camera comes loaded with several customizable options like touch focus, focus mode, white balance, effects, image stabilizer and self-timer, face and smile detection. The camera, with a viewfinder is easy to use and the high quality lens enables you to click sharp pictures.All in all, the camera, even though does not give you the sharpness of a 12 megapixel digital camera is still, easily the best in the market right now.
The music, as is expected of a Sony Ericsson phone is amazing. The display is quite simple with the list of songs, easy to play, with nice and large buttons to hit when you need to make things shuffle or repeat. The FM radio is very basic and easy to use up/down and left/right buttons to tune and change through stations. The handset also comes with YouTube and BBC iPlayer. If that is not enough, you also have Google Maps.
- INTERFACE & TOUCHSCREEN EXPERIENCE – The interface of the phone is built on Symbian S60 5th edition which has also been used in all of Nokia’s touch screen mobiles. The resistive touch screen supports up to 16M colors and has an amazing picture quality with splendid brightness and contrast. The new home screen is pretty well designed and works smoothly. There are 5 tabs, each with a special function that allows quick access to various functions.Unfortunately, that’s about it for the good part! The OS lacks user friendliness and the resistive touch screen spoils the experience even further. A big big thumbs DOWN here!
- STORAGE CAPACITY – An improvement from Sony Ericsson here…the company has switched to the microSD card here as it is the most commonly used format these days. The Satio comes with a 8GB card and it can be expanded upto 32 GB. That’s enough space for you to store pictures, music and what not!
- BROWSING EXPERIENCE – The browser experience is AVERAGE at best although I had to face a lot of problems navigating on pages with many links. The fonts are too tiny and many a time I ended up clicking on the wrong link.
- BATTERY – The battery does not have enough power to sustain all the features that the phone comes with. Through a week that I used the phone, I had to charge it every night.
- CONNECTIVITY– For connectivity, the phone comes with features like aGPS, Bluetooth technology, Google Maps, Modem, PictBridge, Synchronization PC, USB mass storage, USB support, and WiFi. I tested a couple of the above features and the phone responded really well on Bluetooth, Wifi, Google Maps and synchronization PC. A thumbs up there!
- PRICING – The phone is priced above Rs 30000 which, I feel is way above what you get out of it!
FINAL VIEW – The only reason you would want to spend Rs 30000 and go for a SATIO is the multimedia functionality that it offers especially the camera. Take the camera out and you have MUCH MUCH BETTER options available in the market today! Go for it, ONLY if you can’t live without a great camera!