A day before the Mobile World Congress events begin, Sony Ericsson announced its Idous phone, a device with a touchscreen and a 12-megapixel camera. At its launch event in Barcelona, the device remained inside a glass box, but we're impressed with its looks so far. Some press in the room have gone so far as to call it Sony Ericsson's attempt at an iPhone killer. The Idou offers a Cyber-shot camera with xenon flash, and a complete touch screen menu across its 16:9 widescreen display. It's running Symbian Series 60 version 5 OS, which means it's a fully touch-enabled device and among the first Symbian touchscreen phones along with Nokia's N97. Little has been said about the device; there hasn't been a carrier or pricing announced, but it will be available in the second half of 2009. From the demo we saw behind glass, the device looks like it's snappy and responsive. We'll work to get a hands-on during the show this week as Sony Ericsson tells us that the device will be under demonstrated at its booth. W995 Walkman The W995 Walkman phone features a 8.1-megapixel camera, 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity, a 3.5mm headphone jack, a 2.6 inch display, and the Walkman media player. Its Media Go software lets you transfer video and images in full qualtiy from your phone to your computer without losing quality. It supports up to 8GB of added storage using Memory Stick Micro cards. Like the Idou, it will be available in the second half of 2009. Initial Thoughts Overall, the devices are compelling, certainly with the combination of a high megapixel camera and media playback. With the Idou, however, we'll need to check out the responsiveness of the touchscreen first-hand and really put the 12MP camera to use. If it has a solid image sensor and responds as fast as it looks like it might, we'll be more impressed. The W995 Walkman phone looks like more of the same, but likewise, we'll hold our judgments until we check out the camera and its extra features.
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