Mobile phone operator Vodafone has announced the release of Sony Ericsson's latest cameraphone, the Satio, formerly known as the Idou, the first that comes with a camera with whopping 12.1 megapixel resolution.
It combines both the Walkman and the Cybershot brands which means that you should get the best of both world. Vodafone sells it for £35 per month, which is what you can expect to pay for the iPhone 3G.
On a 24 month contract, you get 900 minutes, unlimited texts, unlimited landline calls and unlimited mobile internet and webmail. Should you want to go on a 18-month contract, you will need to bump the monthly contract price to £40 per month.
The Satio - which was announced in May 2009 - comes with a 3.5-inch touchscreen display capable of showing 640x360 pixels complete with HSDPA connectivity, WiFi, A-GPS, Bluetooth and TV Out but still no 3.5mm headphone socket.
The jewel in the crown remains the 12.1 megapixel camera with a Xenon flash with autofocus, a 12x digital zoom and camera anti-shake filter, all packed in a chassis 13.3mm thick and weighing only 126g. Sony Ericsson has judiciously decided to kick out support for its proprietary M2 or Memory Stick Pro and replace it with a 8GB microSD card.
As for the software platform, the Satio uses Symbian S60 but an Android or even a Windows Mobile version cannot be discounted next year. Other mobile phone networks have yet to say whether they will distribute the mobile phone.
A 12-megapixel camera with some decent lenses will cost you at least £100 which makes of this smartphone an excellent deal. That said, we have found that there's nothing more deceptive that pixel count and our iPhond 3G with its 2-megapixel camera still manages to produce great pictures.