Sony Ericsson Satio (Idou) preview: First look

GSMArena team, 5 June 2009.
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Wi-Fi and GPS connectivity

The Wi-Fi connections are managed through the dedicated menu in the Connectivity bar in Settings. It's very easy to use - you may choose a Wi-Fi connection and start browsing immediately or just connect to it and then use any application you want. Another wireless management can be done with the old Symbian shortcut homescreen, which is also found on Nokia devices or Samsung INNOV8.

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The homescreen connectivity button • connectivity menu

The only GPS software which is bundled in the Satio is Google Maps. The app works pretty much the same as it did when we tested it on the 5800 XpressMusic, offering fullscreen view with two small zoom buttons in the down left corner.

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Location services • Google maps

Zooming and moving throughout the map is very easy and the resistive screen does not ruin the nice experience at all.

Web browser has full Flash support

The web browser is a really cool part of the Sony Ericsson Satio. An improved version of what we found on the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic, the browser has excellent page rendering and pretty good speed, plus decently user-friendly UI.

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The web browser

 

We were also very satisfied to find out that the Sony Ericsson Satio web browser comes with full Flash and Flash video support. This means that you will no longer need the mobile version (if they have one to begin with) of sites like YouTube and can use the full one instead with the Satio.

Enter the Labyrinth

There is only one game present in the Satio entertainment chapter and it's the Labyrinth. It is almost the same as the Teeter on the HTC's smartphones. By tilting the phone, you guide a ball to an end point avoiding holes along the way.

There are some new obstacles on the way but the essence is the same. Unfortunately the ball speed is much slower than Teeter and doesn't feel that natural. We really hope they will optimize that with the retail version.

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The Labyrinth

Final words

Our brief experience with Sony Ericsson Satio left us happy and waiting for more - we really hope to get a second glimpse of it in a more detailed review once it hits the market. Our first impressions are downright positive and competitors will have to go to extra lengths for a shot at beating it.

However, there are at least 4 months to go before the Satio is actually retail ready. In a dynamic market that may just be too long - the competition has plenty of time to react accordingly. Samsung i8910 Omnia HD is already set for market launch and Samsung Pixon12 won't be too late either.

Samsung Omnia HD Samsung Pixon12
Samsung Omnia HD • Samsung Pixon12

At this stage Sony Ericsson Satio is not a finished product and getting all the little buggy bits straight will make all the difference between success and failure. Timing the launch right is equally important and we hope Sony Ericsson don't let us down on that one either.

The Satio horizon is wide open but Sony Ericsson must know that this handset's success might be just the right thing to turn the tide for the troubled company.

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