The Satio's screen is a 3.5in, 360 x 640 touchscreen. It's resistive rather than capacitive, so bang go clever multi-touch features such as pinching to zoom into Google Maps or into your images. The touchscreen is accurate, though, if a little over-glossy for our tastes.
The display is superb
More importantly, the screen is stupendously bright – our review unit came with iPlayer and YouTube apps installed and, a few artefacts aside, it worked superbly. The ability to watch iPlayer in widescreen on the bus is particularly good.
If your Satio doesn't come with iPlayer installed, you can get it – the Satio runs a heavily-skinned and touchscreen-optimised version of Symbian Foundation, the newly open-source incarnation of what was Nokia's S60 platform. While this will appal S60 refuseniks, it's good to see a consumer phone with professional flexibility. For instance, it comes with DataViz' RoadSync for connecting to a Microsoft Exchange server, bolstering its email appeal.
The operating system works well. Inevitably, it's disappointing compared to current touchscreen champs such as the iPhone, Hero and Pre, but while we used it, it resolutely failed to crash, and remained responsive even with a few applications running.
It isn't perfect, though. Our main bugbear is how difficult it is to type. The Satio greets every touch of the screen with a little buzz of useful haptic feedback, but that doesn't make typing any easier. The full-screen Qwerty keyboard, which looks so useful on paper, is actually very difficult to type accurately on. The keys are only about 7mm wide, and there's no on-board dictionary to help guess what you were trying to type.
The Satio doesn't even add apostrophes to words such as "isn't" or "here's". So while it's fine for bashing out a text message from the pub, trying to write an email of a few lines or more is teeth-grindingly frustrating.
Not doing must justice...
Im going to have to agree with Anonymous Coward on this one Sarah.
I work in the mobile industry, and I own a Satio so I speak from experience.
I dont think you must have used the phone for long or you might be harbouring some resentment towards Sony Ericsson perhaps but its clear from your review that your missing some fantastic features on the handset. Also, perhaps you havent used a Sony Ericsson in the past thats the problem?
Eitherway, in regards to the text entry, in my opinion, its superb. Especially as you insist on comparing the phone to the iPhone. Having use both, I find the keypad on the Satio is much better at picking up taps (especially at speed), but more so for accuracy as I find the iPhone's keyboard a bit more cramped. Plus you have the added benefit on changing to alphanumeric keypad at a touch of a button, so I think your marking quite harshly without taking in all the different methods of entry.
As far as the operating system, its a breath of fresh air in comparrison to SE's of old. Using the Symbian software was a surprise after not seeing it on SE's since the UIQ3 days. To the most part its quite stable, Ive only managed to crash mine twice, as that was usually due to my data connections swapping constantly due to my work.
The media player which you have completely omitted by the looks of things is really good. Its the latest edition of SE's media viewer and it does a great job of giving you one touch access to your photos, music and videos (including iPlayer and YouTube). The menus have some funky effects when selecting tracks, or thumbing through your albumns which gives it a polished feel.
I found on the generic versions we sell, the initial theme which is chosen by default is a bit over done and causes the handset to lose a little performance. This theme can be disabled, and changed with a less visually appealling but in my opinion, more functional menu layout on the standby screen.
In essence, the review simply skipped off the surface of this handsets true potential. True, its not as visually appealing or as user friendly (open to opinion) as an iPhone. However, on features like camera quality, call quality and data connectivity the Satio wins hands down.
I think this review is a bit poor actually. Taking your "main bugbear" as an example...
Haptic feedback. If you don't like it, turn it off. Or choose another one of the 3 levels. The fullscreen QWERTY keyboard - keys are wider than that of the iPhone, although there's not a gap between them - is pretty damn accurate on my Satio and I like that there's a positionable mini QWERTY as well. And there's a proper numberpad with T9 should you want to use it. I agree that there not being a dictionary is an oversight, but I'd turn it off if there was one anyway. You also ignored the fact that there is handwriting recognition, which I've found works pretty well. Bottom line is that I've not found typing a problem at all.
I see the old single tap, double tap thing was brought up as well. It's pretty straight forward to understand - single tap on grid views, double tap on list views. The first of a double tap highlights an entry and the second tap selects it. Makes sense to me and I don't really have a problem with it. Another complaint was about where the file manager was located. Don't like it? Move it.
One other point was ergonomics. Edges make the phone easier to hold one handed and the top and bottom are curved so that it's more comfortable when holding two handed in landscape. As for height and width, they're less than the iPhone, so not too bad. It's a bit thicker, but really, is an extra 5mm too much? I make it 18mm at the thickest point.
I wholeheartedly agree with the proprietary connector thing being nonsense, that's my biggest gripe about the phone.
Your comments about the cost seem a bit wrong to me. I took out a two year contract on Orange, as a brand new customer and got the phone for £140 on a £20 contract with 600 mins, unlimited texts and mobile web. That's a whole lot less than a iPhone.
Another thing I'm surprised to see totally ignored is the new home screen Sony Ericsson put on Symbian. I think it's a big improvement and very usable. And the 60 free movie downloads from Sony's PlayNow service.
As for the other comments - the lens is good, this is a fantastic camera phone, far better than anything else I've ever tried including a Nokia N82 and N86. It has replaced a compact camera for me. Sorry Sarah, it's not Sony Ericsson's fault that you've got an inferiority complex about not having enough pixels.
Oh and I pity anybody who gets anything with an Orange branded firmware on it. My phone is on Orange but was supplied with an unbranded firmware. Must have gotten lucky then.
The phone really is a 90% phone, not a 70% phone in my opinion.
RE; NO chance # By Anonymous Coward
"NO chance #
By Anonymous Coward Posted Sunday 15th November 2009 12:05 GMT
Just look at the phone, see how many buttons it has and how ugly it i"
This is by far the most retarded and hilarious comment here, that's for sure.
How many buttons? :D :D :D Yeah, what SE was thinking! SEVEN BUTTONS TOTAL ON A PHONE!!! OUTRAGEOUS! :D :D :D
"The thing that attracted me about the IPhone is knowing that my current hardware will still be valid and I will still get OS update for it for the foreseeable future. Unlike Nokia, Ericsson etc... which seem to produce phones every month. Why not concentrate on one v.good hardware, elegant design, speedy and responsive OS"
Just FYI: Satio has the SAME HW except it's a tad FASTER...
Also Symbian is A REAL MULTITASKING OS unlike YOUR iCrap's SINGLE-TASK-ONLY iPOS...
BTW Ericsson & Nokia has zillions of phones, Apple has ONE - one that lacks several basic functions of a SMARTPHONE.
Man, it was fun.
Random peeks into the kingdom of utter idiots will never cease to entertain me.
Just look at the phone, see how many buttons it has and how ugly it is. It is no where near the elegance of the Iphone. Even if they put 21 Mpixel lens in the phone, no one will buy a phone just for the camera (people use Audio more than camera). Audio is very good but then again Iphone is not bad. They did not come up with a phone to beat Apple and no differentiation from other phones that are mass produced like potatoes.
The thing that attracted me about the IPhone is knowing that my current hardware will still be valid and I will still get OS update for it for the foreseeable future. Unlike Nokia, Ericsson etc... which seem to produce phones every month. Why not concentrate on one v.good hardware, elegant design, speedy and responsive OS and strategy to update regulary (so people are not afraid to invest). For now, only my mum will buy these phones.
Noise noise noise
Looked at the review pictures, chroma noise in the sky and shade, rather lacking in detail or sharpness.
Only when the images were scaled down to the equivalent of a few megapixels did they look detailed.