Update: read our Sony Ericsson Satio review.
The Sony Ericsson Satio (or you can call it Idou if you're nostalgic for the last three months) is the phone everyone has been waiting for from Sony Ericsson, the one to put the company back on the map and halt its slide down the worldwide sales charts.
However, UK and Ireland MD Nathan Vautier has claimed that the Phone can even outstrip the iPhone, so after spending a great deal of time with the phone to bring you our in-depth hands on with the Sony Ericsson Satio, we had a sit down and tried to work out his reasoning.
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1. The camera
Oh, we know what you're going to say. "Who needs a 12MP camera on a phone? Nobody needs one that good". Well, you might be right, be we have to tell you, it's a stonkingly good one. In fact, it's the kind of feature that makes you want to get the phone out because it's so good. And let's face it, the less we say about Apple's 2MP failure the better.
2. The Symbian-based OS
If you're like us, you're bored of the same tired interface it seems Sony Ericsson has been rocking for the last umpteen years, so to see a new one really is a breath of fresh air. It adds a whole level of functionality to the device by popping the media at the bottom, navigation at the top and scrollable screens to move between different options. It's almost like the way you interact with the iPhone, but without having to rumble through hoards of Apps.
3. Movies... lots of Movies
Although not available yet, the Play Now Arena with Movies will give users 15 free downloads out the box for the handset, and five more free per month according to our sources. That's pretty much all the on-the-go movie downloading you could ever want, and while it's not the all you can eat stylings of Nokia's Comes with Music, it's still a great deal for no more money.
4. Cheap as chips
Well, chips that cost £35 per month that is. But the main difference in terms of cost between the Satio and the iPhone is that the new effort from Sony Ericsson will be free on contract, compared to having to pay upwards of £50 for Apple's mobile on some packages, which still leaves a bitter taste in our mouths when we think about it.
5. Messaging is easier... and prettier
While it might not have the intuitive word recognition that the iPhone sports for the ham-fisted among us, the Satio has a nice keypad in both QWERTY and alphanumeric modes, with the retro 80s stylings just adding to the mix. The iPhone can't even text in landscape mode yet, with the much-vaunted 3.0 update still waiting to hit our pockets.
6. One handed action
You could accuse us of being a little bit picky here, but what makes a touchscreen a good phone as well is being able to easily operate it with one hand, and that's something you can do pretty easily with the Satio, with most icons in easy swiping range.
We know there are a lot of iPhone power users out there that are going to show exactly how dextrous they are at using their Apple phone with one hand, but we're sick of seeing people with the 'iPhone Hunch', that is people peering at their Apple device, holding it in one hand and jabbing at it in the other, like a flea is taunting them by leaping all over the surface.
7. Memory expansion
One of the real failings of the iPhone in the eyes of some is its lack of expandable memory, and we can't see this option changing soon. Sony Ericsson has bundled an 8GB microSD card into the box for the Satio, which puts it automatically on a par with the lower range iPhone.
But with a 32GB microSD card on the very near horizon, users will be able to pop in some massive storage (which they'll need for all those movies) and have a hot-swappable media library, whereas iPhone users will have to keep tethering back to their computer and iTunes.
And the reasons why it can't
1. App unh-Appy
One of the advantages of the iPhone is the sheer amount of applications and additional content available to users. While the ability to download movies to the Satio might be a real winner, we can't see Sony Ericsson unveiling an app store that rivals Apple's in any way, even though it's having a go in the very near future. And given the amount of moolah the fruity ones are making off each App, it's a pretty big hurdle to deal with.
2. It does too much
Although we've mentioned some really good features the Satio has been brought to market with, for some people it will just do too much and that will put them off. Many have been seduced by the simplicity of the iPhone, the fact it just slides under the finger and is mainly about the internet in various guises. These people will probably take one look at the Satio and decide it's not for them, possibly even based on looks alone compared to the iPhone.
3. Pocket bulk
And talking of looks, the Satio might have slimmed down considerably, but to add that camera on the back it's had to sacrifice a fair bit of pocket space, and that's a big no-no to the fashion conscious of this world.
Compare that to the sleek stylings of the iPhone, and you'll see why some people might make the decision on form alone.