MWC 2009 Part Two: SE W995 and Idou, Garmin nüvifones

Noah Kravitz
 from Oakland, CA
Published: February 15, 2009

NOTE: Continued from Part One

Speaking of megapixels, Sony Ericsson held their MWC press conference last night and announced two new phones.  The W995 walkman phone is a typical SE slider, but packs an 8.1MP camera and 3.5mm headphone jack along with a non-smartphone OS and Walkman media player.  W995 will be available by the end of Q1, or within the next few months.  

SE's star of the show, however, was "Idou" (an internal codename), a full-touchscreen media phone with a 3.5" 16:9 touchscreen, 12.1 MP camera, and Symbian OS.  Yup: Twelve megapixels.  Honestly, the megapixel arm race is a bit silly but maybe SE can figure out how to pack some serious optics into Idou before it launches sometime in the second half of this year.  Honestly, I'm getting a bit tired of this whole trend of "announcing" phones six months before they're expected to ship, and SE has a pretty lousy track record of late when it comes to delivering on said promises.  But Idou looks to have some potential, and SE really could use a big winner right about now, so I'll hold out some hope for this one.

I also got some time with Garmin-Asus' two new nuvifones: The M20 and G60.  I even got to ride around town in the back of a big, black Mercedes while checking out G60's navigation capabilities.  Both phones feature dedicated GPS chips backed by Garmin's navigation software, which features pre-loaded databases of more than 6 million points of interest.  The nav software worked well on both devices, though I much preferred the G60's custom Linux-based UI to the Windows Mobile M20.

Be sure to check out my hands-on videos with Memoir and both nuvifones, too.

Alright, it's on to Day One of the show on Monday: Things kick off with back-to-back Nokia and HTC press conferences, followed by LG's press event later in the day and the Pepcom media event tonight.  Woo boy, it's gonna a be a long day full of some crazy new phones ... And who knows, maybe I'll even run into Helena again ...