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Vodafone Unleashes Sony Ericsson Satio Smartphone

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 (opens in new tab).

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.

Our Comments

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.

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Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.