The winner, thus far, is Sony Ericsson's prototype Idou (pronounced like a wedding vow) handset, with a 12.1-megapixel handset and Xenon flash. Idou won't necessarily be the brand name (although I think it's no worse than others I've heard), but whatever it's called, Sony Ericsson says it will be out in the second half of this year. Idou will be based on the upcoming (the open, royalty-free mobile platform based on the Symbian and S60 platforms).
Can't wait for Idou? At a news conference so crowded you'd think a rock star might be in attendance, Sony Ericsson also announced a new Walkman phone, the W995, which should be out by mid-year. You'll have to settle for a mere 8.1 megapixel s, but you'll get a handset that also promises a bang-up movie and music playback experience. No word yet on carrier or price. These phones come a week after , but none with such high-end cameras.
, meanwhile, trailed with 8 megapixels, but it's more of a here-and-now deal: It will go on sale February 25, exclusively from T-Mobile USA. The Memoir also delivers a slew of features you once only saw in pretty good cameras, including Xenon flash, CMOS auto focus, 16x digital zoom, and advanced controls for brightness and flash. (To stress the sophistication of the Memoir's camera capabilities, Samsung hired photographer and model Helena Christensen to introduce the handset at its news conference. You can see on Samsung's web site.
Other features include blink detection, face detection, anti-shake to reduce blur, and geo-tagging, white balance adjustment, five different shooting modes (single, continuous, panorama, "smile shot" and mosaic), and presets for a dozen or so types of photos.
The Memoir also has a couple of widgets, built-in software that provides one-touch access to apps and information from the Web. A weather widget delivers the forecast for the city you're in, and a camera widget lets you easily access your images and move them to social networking and photo-sharing sites such as Facebook and Flickr.