Samsung’s 12-megapixel camera-equipped smartphone was supposedly the only bloated-sensor cellphone rumored before Mobile World Congress, but it looks like Sony Ericsson wants to join the party too. It just unveiled the Idou, which boasts a 12.1-megapixel sensor.
The smartphone is an all touch-screen one, with a 3.5-inch, 640 x 320-pixel LCD, and full media capabilities, mated to a 12.1-megapixel camera unit. The absolute specs are still unknown, but it looks like there may be a user-facing webcam on the unit, and though the camera lens is covered by a slightly bulky sliding door, it doesn’t protrude–which precludes having much of a zoom function on the camera. The camera also appears, according to the released images, to be very tiny.
The aperture on that tiny lens must be equally as tiny–the amount of light falling through it onto the sensor chip will be a fraction of what most compact cameras can manage, and huge amounts less than a serious digital camera. And since photography is all about capturing light and focusing it onto a sensor, that doesn’t bode well for the image quality that this phone can achieve. There’s also no info on an auto-focus mechanism, but at least it has what appears to be a proper xenon flash.
It also looks like Sony is taking a shot at the iPhone. There’s an all touch-screen design, 3G, Wi-Fi, GPS, four “home” icons at the bottom of the main display, and even a similarly-shaped speaker grille. Plus it’s being touted as a device for “full media consumption.” This all points at it being a video and music-playing handset.
For sure, the iPhone can’t compete with the camera on the Sony–Apple’s device packs only a 2-megapixel unit and no flash. Hopefully Sony worked on its battery tech, that 12.1-megapixel sensor will push out lots of data, that will have to be managed on the phone itself and eat up a lot of battery resources. And the photos taken with the device will also get moved around to fill-up memory cards–presumably using Sony’s proprietary and relatively expensive Memorystick format.
We won’t know any more on the phone’s price and specs until it launches in the summer, under a new name.