Sony Ericsson Satio review

Is the 12.1MP behemoth worthy of the year-long hype?

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This is the bit we've been really excited to talk about – and for good reason too. The Cybershot range on Sony Ericsson mobile phones has been leading its class for a number of years, and the Satio continues in that tradition.

Sony ericsson satio

We're talking a smooth sliding cover that clicks nicely into place, a good quality lens, a veritable plethora of photography options and just being able to take some darn good pictures.

We love the fact there's touch focusing (where you tap the screen to re-focus on a specific object), BestPic really does often find the best in a bad bunch, and nearly every other feature you'd expect in a decent compact is there as well, such as face detection, sports mode, macro mode, and so on.

The only slight downside is the time it takes to shoot another photo directly afterwards, where we found we had to wait as long as we might on an Android phone at times (and that has a noted problem with such an issue). Also, 12MP shots were only able to be taken in 4:3 ratio, whereas we like to see them in glorious widescreen (you have to drop down to 'only' 10MP to get this option).

But check out the photos on comparison to our prosumer Olympus SP-565UZ camera and make up your own mind whether the Sony Ericsson Satio is worth picking over a separate device.

Here we show two Satio pictures - the former without intelligent auto capture on, the latter with:

Sony ericsson satio

Sony ericsson satio

Sony Ericsson Satio - As you can see, both pick out detail well, but the Olympus does better with overall colour:

Sony ericsson satio

Olympus SP-565UZ:

Sony ericsson satio

Sony Ericsson Satio - There's no match between optical and digital zoom, but the full digital extent on the Satio is pretty poor:

Sony ericsson satio

Olympus SP-565UZ:

Sony ericsson satio

Sony Ericsson Satio - and the same at lower distance - the Satio loses detail quickly in zoom:

Sony ericsson satio

Olympus SP-565UZ:

Sony ericsson satio

Sony Ericsson Satio - Both the Olympus and the Satio have excellent macro modes:

Sony ericsson satio

Olympus SP-565UZ:

Sony ericsson satio

Sony Ericsson Satio - The Olympus does better in sunlight, although the Satio does better than most compact cameras:

Sony ericsson satio

Olympus SP-565UZ:

Sony ericsson satio

Sony Ericsson Satio - The Satio actually picks out wording in greater detail than the Olympus thanks to a dedicated text shooting mode:

Sony ericsson satio

Olympus SP-565UZ:

Sony ericsson satio

Sony Ericsson Satio - The Satio arguably has the better, more even flash, creating a less harsh shadow and more even glow:

Sony ericsson satio

Olympus SP-565UZ:

Sony ericsson satio

Video recording

Video recording is excellent on the Satio, with VGA recording at 30fps easily matching the likes of the iPhone and several sub-HD camcorders on the market.

Video was able to be taken quickly and with minimal lag (although the camera didn't like capturing continuously shaking motion, which may be something to do with the anti-shake feature).

There's an LED video light as well, meaning even those late night vids you want to shoot (no, not those – there's no night mode) are easy to do – another nice touch from Sony Ericsson and showing it's really thought about this category.

There's a number of options to upload both your photos and video too, with Picasa, YouTube and Facebook links all included. Getting to these options is a little long-winded at times as you have to navigate through three menus to get to YouTube for instance, but overall it's a great device to have for both video and photo, with only the Samsung Pixon12 coming close to providing the same level of features.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported32 GB
Built-in Memory128 MB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA
GPS ReceiverYes
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 2100
Rear Camera Resolution12.1 Megapixel
Front CameraYes
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
Operating SystemSymbian
Brand NameSony Mobile
Battery Talk Time50 Minute
Product ModelSatio
Screen Size8.9 cm (3.5")
Screen Resolution640 x 360
Weight (Approximate)126 g
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS, WEEE
Maximum Video Resolution640 x 480
Processor ManufacturerARM
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.0
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Height112 mm
Width55 mm
Depth13 mm
Radio TunerYes
Battery Standby Time360 Hour
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product NameSatio Smartphone
Processor Speed600 MHz
Processor TypeCortex
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer
Manufacturer Part NumberPD_11603
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sony.co.uk
Marketing Information

Get set for entertainment beyond your most colourful dreams. The Satio phone combines incredible technology and style and comes with a 12.1 megapixel camera. Talk with pictures. Tap directly into your favorite music and movies using the unique touch panels. Use the amazing touchscreen camera feature to focus and make every photo first-class.

The 12.1-megapixel camera with Xenon flash and intuitive touch focus gives you stunning, high-resolution shots you'll want to blow up big and keep. With the Sony Ericsson Satio phone, all your favorite stuff is just a touch away. Tap directly into TV series, mobile videos, podcasts and music via the ingenious full-touch media menu on this amazing entertainment phone.

Feast your eyes on films and images in 16 million colours on the Sony Ericsson Satio phone. On the razor-sharp 3.5", 16:9 ratio screen, you'll enjoy them as they're meant to be seen.

Limited Warranty2 Year
Standard Memory256 MB