Sony Ericsson Satio review: Shooter by vocation

GSMArena team, 27 October 2009.
Pages: 123456789

Telephony needs smart dialing

We didn't experience any problems with the in-call performance of Sony Ericsson Satio. Reception levels are good on both ends of a call, the earpiece is loud enough and there was no interference whatsoever.

The two things the phone lacks are Smart dialing and voice dialing. These two are included in other versions of Symbian and should have been available here.

Sony Ericsson Satio screenshot
The dial pad

Thanks to the built-in accelerometer you can silence an incoming call on the phone by simply flipping it over. The proximity sensor automatically switches off the display when you put the phone to your ear and switches it back on when you pull it away.

In-call performance is very good. Thanks to the proximity sensor the screen turns off automatically while close to your head. There are four big buttons available - mute, hold, loudspeaker and end call. Form the options menu you can find more settings like lock screen and keys, switch to video call, new call, etc.

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Making a call, call options

We also ran our traditional loudspeaker test on Satio. The handset didn't perform too well but still scored a Good mark meaning we have seen (and heard) better. You might want to keep a closer look on it when you are in noisier environments.

Speakerphone testVoice, dBPink noise/ Music, dBRinging phone, dBOverall score
Apple iPhone 3G66.162.171.7Below Average
Acer neoTouch64,665,775,8Average
Sony Ericsson Satio71.866.178.2Good
Samsung M8910 Pixon1275.772.877.3Very Good
HTC Touch HD77,773,776,7Excellent

More info on our test can be found here.

Phonebook

Sony Ericsson Satio uses the standard Symbian S60 5th edition phonebook. It has virtually unlimited capacity and functionality is among the best we've seen. You can set whether the contacts from the SIM card, the phone memory and the service numbers will get displayed.

You can order contacts by first or last name and you can naturally search any contact by gradual typing. To speed things along, the search keyboard is special - letters are in alphabetical order and not the entire alphabet is available. For instance, if there are no contacts whose name starts with a C, the letter C won't appear on the custom keyboard.

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The phonebook hasn't seen much change the search keyboard is quite clever

Editing a contact offers a great variety of preset fields and you can replicate each of them as many times as you like. You can also create new fields if you happen to be able to think of one.

You can also assign personal sound ringtones and videos to the individual contacts. If you prefer, you may group your contacts and give each group a specific ringtone.

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Viewing a contact editing a contact offers a huge variety of fields

The Call log keeps track of your recent communications. The application itself comes in two flavors - accessed by pressing the Call key on the stand-by screen or from the main menu. The first one brings 20 call records in each of its tabs for outgoing, received and missed calls.

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The Log application

If you access the Log application from the main menu, you'll see a detailed list of all your network communications for the past 30 days. These include messages, calls and data transfers (even WLAN connections are included).

Messaging is great

The messaging menu is yet another part of the Symbian S60 UI that hasn't been modified at all since the Nokia 5800, apart from some reskinning of the icons.

Sony Ericsson Satio supports all common message types - SMS, MMS and email. They all share a common intuitive editor which by this point should be quite familiar to everyone. When composing an SMS, a counter is displayed of characters left up to a limit of 160. An indicator in brackets shows the number of separate parts the message will be divided into for sending.

Once you insert some multimedia content or an email address as recipient, the counter is replaced by a data counter showing the size of your email.

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Satio uses a common intuitive editor for all your messages

The Satio also features a dedicated audio message recorder. Much like with Symbian S60 v3.2, you can either record the message on the spot or use a sound clip from the phone memory. The interface of all the message editors is quite similar too.

You can activate delivery reports - they come up on the screen as simple pop ups and are automatically saved in a separate messaging folder after that.

The email client is really nice, able to meet almost any emailing needs. It prompts you to choose whether you prefer POP or IMAP access to mail providers that support both. However, it failed to set up the email settings automatically for our Gmail account so we had to do it by hand.

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Setting up email is didn't quite work out

The client can download headers only or entire messages, and can check for new mail automatically at a given interval.

You can also schedule sending email next time an internet connection is available when you compose emails offline. This can save you some data traffic charges since you can use the next available WLAN connection instead.

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Advanced email options

Multiple email accounts and various security protocols are supported, so you can bet almost any mail service will run trouble-free on your Satio. You can also subscribe to multiple folders, so you can check email in folders other than the Inbox, e.g. the Starred folder in Gmail.

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The email client gives no reasons for grudges

Browsing emails is a bit weird - sweeping your finger selects text and prompts you to copy it. This means you have to use the scrollbar. Easily copying text is great but we would have liked some way to toggle between scrolling and selecting.

There is also support for attachments and signatures - the Satio meets virtually all your email needs, and with a screen resolution like this, reading emails on the device is a real pleasure.

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