As it seems, the Mobile World Congress 2008 is off to a flying start. The tone was set by Sony Ericsson making a huge announcement just a few hours before the start of the congress.
At a dedicated event in Barcelona, as many as 7 brand new Sony Ericsson handsets were announced and almost all of them seem pretty tempting. We present you with a quick feature scoop. Live coverage photos can be found here.
In a nutshell, the jump-start of it all turned quite impressive. Sony Ericsson have produced a touchscreen Windows Mobile Professional with a full hardware keyboard.
Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1
Meet the XPERIA X1 . Sony Ericsson presented XPERIA as a brand of its own and they intend to develop it in parallel with their other devices. XPERIA X1 , with the "arc slider" form factor, is the device to usher in the new lineup.
The couple of highlights of the XPERIA X1 are most definitely the 3-inch WVGA touchscreen display, as well as the optical joystick navigation. Besides, almost all connectivity media are present - from a 3.5mm audio jack to GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth v2.0 with A2DP, everything is on board. Typing is sweet with the slide-out QWERTY keyboard, while the 9 available home screens should suit every scenario and all user preferences. The multimedia set includes FM radio without RDS and Media player.
The Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1 also has a 3.2 megapixel camera and will come with 400MB of internal storage. It is expandable through the microSD card slot. The handset will have support for all the four GSM network bands and four 3G network bands as well. HSDPA and HSUPA ensure the quick data transfers around.
Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1 will be powered by a 500MHz ARM CPU and is expected to hit the shelves in the second half of 2008.
At this stage there is no info about its pricing. We have some live shots of the device, which you can find in our live coverage section.
Sony Ericsson G700 and G900
Next in-line are two new Symbian UIQ smartphones of conservative looks - the Sony Ericsson G700 and G900. The two phones have identical dimensions and feature the same 2.4" 262K-color QVGA TFT touchscreen displays.
Sony Ericsson G700 and G900 will be tri-band handsets with 3G capabilities. They will also sport stereo Bluetooth and 160MB of internal memory. The memory is further expandable through the built-in Memory Stick Micro card slot.
Despite the Symbian UIQ, the user interface is very simplified, taking after the standart non-smartphone Sony Ericsson user interface. Sony Ericsson G700 has a very convenient one-touch full organiser function accessible from the home screen, as well as a touch-controlled Notes application, while the G900 home screen is equiped with one-touch media functions.
The Sony Ericsson G900 sports a 5 megapixel autofocus camera with image and video stabilizer, while the G700 has a 3.2 megapixel camera with no autofocus, yet the image and video stabilizer are on-board. An intriguing feature of G900 is the ability to manually select the focus point when you shoot just by tapping on the display. Another feature Sony Ericsson G900 has over the G700 is the Wi-Fi connectivity.
Sony Ericsson G700 and G900 will both hit the shelves in Q2 2008. The G700 will come in Silk Bronze color, while the G900 will have a Dark Red and a Dark Brown color version.
Sony Ericsson W980
A new addition to the Walkman lineup was also introduced today. The Sony Ericsson W980 sports quite a number of interesting features.
The stylish clamshell will feature a 3.2 megapixel camera and screen rotation. The internal display is a 2.2" 262K-color one with QVGA resolution, while the external sports the rather unusual 176 x 176 pixel resolution with the same count of colors.
The best about Sony Ericsson W980 naturally is the music department. When closed, the clamshell looks like a portable music player with large touch-sensitive music keys, which by the way are haptic enabled, offering vibrating feedback.
The Sony Ericsson W980 features an FM transmitter allowing it to broadcast music through radio waves to any FM radio-enabled device. Another unique feature is that the built-in FM radio can be used without a headset plugged in. This feature is seen for the first time on a Sony Ericsson handset and seems rather useful, at least to us.
The music-dedicated phone also has enough memory for saving all your favorite music tracks, sporting the huge 8GB of internal storage, yet lacking a slot for memory card.
The Walkman player has got the best of the Walkman line - it sports clear stereo and bass, shake control, SensMe and TrackID. The music can naturaly be transfered to stereo bluetooth headphones, as W980 has Bluetooth with A2DP profile.
The quad-band HSDPA-enabled phone will hit the shelves in Q3 2008. The only available color will be Piano Black.
Sony Ericsson C702 and C902
Today we also saw two new members of the Cyber-shot family. Sony Ericsson have named them C702 and C902, unlike previous models, which all belonged to the K-series. It is obviously an attempt to give the two cameraphones a more straightforward designation, using the first letter of Cyber-shot.
The Sony Ericsson C702 is designed to shoot in the hardest of environments. It is splash and dust resistant and has quad-band GSM support. The 3.2 megapixel autofocus camera has a mechanical sliding cover, but unfortunately there is no xenon flash. Face detection is also enabled for the Cyber-shot phone to make sure that faces on you pictures will come up well on focus. The other intriguing feature of the C702 camera is the red eye reduction, that is also first to be seen in a Sony Ericsson phone.
The Sony Ericsson C702 has built-in GPS to enable geo-tagging, as well as personal routing and navigation.
Other features of the Sony Ericsson C702 include Media player with mega bass, FM radio and stereo Bluetooth with A2DP profile. It will also support 3G with HSDPA for fast data transfers. The display of the C702 will be a 2.2" 262K-color one with QVGA resolution.
The Sony Ericsson C702 will be available in Speed Black and Cyan Blue color versions from Q2 2008.
The Sony Ericsson C902 may seem as the C702's bigger brother but is in fact a quite different device. It has unique slide-out lens cover that slides open to reveal the camera.
Sony Ericsson C902 has dropped the durability in favor of the sleek looks and a 5 megapixel autofocus camera. The camera functionality is also on par sporting auto rotate, BestPic, Face Detection, image and video stabiliser, and xenon flash.
The multimedia gear include Media player with mega bass and FM radio, but Bluetooth A2DP profile is not supported. Unluckily, the GPS has been sacrificed and the display size is reduced to only 2 inches.
Both Sony Ericsson C702 and C902 will have 160MB of internal memory and will feature a Memory Stick Micro card slot.
Sony Ericsson C902 will be available from Q2 2008. The available color versions will be Swift Black and Luscious Red.
Sony Ericsson Z770
The announcement of the mid-end Sony Ericsson Z770 was somewhat left out of the spot light. The tri-band clamshell does not impress with functionality but makes up for that with a reasonable price. It's web browsing centric, much like the Sony Ericsson K660, which we previewed recently.
Web browsing on Z770 is enhanced thanks to the Magnetic Mouse Pointer, controlled by the navigation key. The key changes the icon depending on its position on the Web page (i.e. from text input to pointer or link).
Sony Ericsson Z770 has a 2.2" 262K color display of QVGA resolution and a 2 megapixel camera. Unluckily, there is no auto focus on this handset.
On the other hand, the Z770 features HSDPA and Bluetooth with A2DP support. The internal memory is 32MB, expandable through the Memory Stick Micro card slot.
Sony Ericsson Z770 will be available in Vogue Red, Graphite Black and Exquisite Gold from Q2 2008.
There is no word on pricing on any of the handsets. If we've managed to grab your attention, go get more of those handsets on our Sony Ericsson live coverage page.