I am quite the iPhone enthusiast, but before I finally got the iPhone 3G, I was using a Sony Ericsson P1i. I loved that phone. It had a great camera, even though it was lower-res than my Nokia N95. The camera UI was quite user-friendly and a bit snappier than the N95′s. Once I figured out the hotkeys, it was easy to change settings on the fly without having to navigate an on-screen menu. The overall UIQ OS was a bit fussy, but there were many things I liked about it over S60 3rd-edition. I loved the unique keyboard on the device. I got really good at typing fast on it. I even really liked Opera Mobile and Opera Mini on the P1i. I almost upgraded to the K850i before I decided to go with the iPhone. IMO, Sony Ericsson does cameraphones just right. They basically shoehorned a Sony Cybershot camera into nice phones. And their Walkman line of phones use a great UI that’s very similar to the PSP/PS3 menus.
While I am eagerly anticipating the update to the iPhone 3G, and it’s highly likely that I will upgrade to it (if I can afford it), I am very, very intrigued by the Sony Ericsson Satio (though I’m not so enthused by the name):
I think I saw news about this phone when it was still called the Idou, but I hadn’t paid too close attention to it at the time. I’ve been bad about keeping up with tech news lately, and this, among other things, slipped by me. However, after I saw today’s news about the final name of Satio, I went looking up more info about it on Engadget Mobile and saw this video they did. Very cool idea behind the phone, merging the Cybershot and Walkman lines of phones together. I also love that it’s Sony’s great UI over Symbian S60. I haven’t been too impressed by Nokia’s half-assed implementation of touch S60, so I’m hoping that Sony did better.
Even though I think that the iPhone has a great combo of OS, UI, and App Store, I do miss using other phones sometimes. The Satio looks like a great gadgety phone with features that I would love. The Palm Pre looks great, but I really don’t want to switch to Sprint. I already switched from T-Mobile to AT&T when I got the 3G, and my contract hasn’t run out yet. Besides, I was on Sprint a long time ago (using a Nextel phone before it got popular and then annoying) and don’t want to go back. I know the Pre is going to be released on other carriers later, but it could be quite a long time before it’s available from AT&T, if ever. Anyway, the Satio just seems really interesting to me right now. I was disappointed when the P1i never got updated, and SE subsequently dumped UIQ. But the Satio seems like the natural successor to the line of smartphones that the P1i was a part of. I’m very eager to see how the Satio looks like in person. And I’m glad that even though there’s been some bad financial news with Sony Ericsson lately, they still seem like they’re working hard to release interesting phones, which is more than I can say for other phone manufacturers in the dumps.
I love the Sony Rolly. It’s such a cute little, “Aibo meets mp3 player” kind of robot toy. When I first heard about it and saw videos demoing its functionality, it reminded me of the old Sony — the Sony that made really awesome gadgety stuff, whether or not it made sense as a mainstream product. They made tons of different electronic devices in strange form factors, and dominated the consumer electronics world. Unfortunately, that Sony has been replaced with “is it good for the shareholders?” Sony — a Sony that still makes some really lovely hardware, but has enough financial issues that they can no longer afford to make devices like the Clié (the absolute best line of Palm OS PDAs, closely followed by the Tapwave Zodiac) or the cute line of Aibos. When I saw the Rolly, I saw the old Sony taking a peek out from behind the stodgy, “bottom line is king”, new Sony. Don’t get me wrong, there are still plenty of innovative (and expensive) products coming out of Sony, like that super-thin, OLED TV that they are selling now, their interesting take on digital SLRs, the Sony Reader, and their fun line of phones, several of which I’m enamored with. I just miss all the fun, “What am I going to do with this?” products they used to have.
Anyway, this rambling is just an introduction to a video I put together recently. I was surprised to see the Sony Rolly displayed at the Sony Style store in Woodfield, so I busted out my phone to take a video of it in action. Too bad I didn’t have the N95-3 with me; I could’ve Qik’ed it… Oh well! The original song it was bopping to was “Love Song” by Sara Bareille (IIRC), but I forgot that I turned off the audio recording. The audio probably wouldn’t have turned out so well anyway, since there was some other music blaring in another part of the store. Luckily I was able to find a good replacement song that still fits with the Rolly’s dance moves. Strangely it’s quite a different song from the original tune that played — “Discipline” by Nine Inch Nails. Thanks, Trent Reznor, for Creative Commons licensed songs! I converted the video from the original 3GP format and added the song as the backing track in iMovie, quite a painless process. I was all smiles while I was watching the Rolly dance in the Sony Style, and I was still all smiles when I watched it dance to NiN. Pretty funny contradiction between a cutesy, mp3-playing robot toy and an angsty (but dancey) NiN song. See it for yourself!