Sony Ericsson have just announced their 5 new mobile handsets targeted at different market niches. Those are the two Walkman phones W850 and W710, the two Z-series clamshell phones Z710 and Z550 and finally, M608.
The first one is a newly born WALKMAN representing the continuation of the highly successful music series handsets. We are talking about the SE W850, and yes, we are also talking about 3-band GSM and UMTS support, 262K colors TFT QVGA display and a 2 megapixel camera working in a fully horizontal (landscape) mode. The camera features a LED flash but regrettably, no autofocus. There is also a FM radio with RDS support, HTML browser with Landscape browsing and RSS feeds reader, USB 2.0, and Bluetooth 2.0 with stereo headset support. The phone features push email support that allows emails to be sent directly to your phone from your POP3/IMAP server as soon as it arrives. Unfortunately, that service is email service provider/mobile operator dependent.
W850 is the first Sony Ericsson phone to come out in the attractive slider form factor and that innovation would surely provide for establishing a wide fan base. The handset packs a great deal of new music features such as the new Walkman music player 2.0 and the TrackID service. TrackID is a new service offered by the Gracenote worldwide music database. You just need to record a few seconds of your favorite hit from the FM radio or with the microphone, then you upload it to the servers and you get back information on the song's name and artist. Afterwards you could easily buy it - the music download feature is integrated seamlessly in the Walkman music player 2.0.
The phone's internal memory is 64 MB but the retail pack would include a 1GB Memory Stick Pro Duo. This type of memory card is available in capacities of up to 4GB so there is room for an upgrade and the music fans shouldn't fear that they might run out of space.
The mobile will be available black and golden white and will start shipping to stores in Europe, Middle East and Africa in late summer and early autumn 2006.
Sony Ericsson W850
W710 is another Walkman phone targeted at people with a sporty and active lifestyle. It's the second Walkman clamshell of Sony Ericsson after W300. It has the full features of a genuine Walkman phone - a Walkman player and a FM radio with RDS support and the new TrackID service. As opposed to W850 though, the phone will come with a Memory Stick Micro (M2) card slot together with a 512MB memory card. This standard is still rather new and is not widely available on the markets and what is more currently, allows for an upgrade of only up to 1GB capacities. But it seems that Sony and Sony Ericsson are trying hard to establish it along with their products so there's no need to worry probably.
Connectivity is also one of W710 strong sides since it sports a quadband GSM support along with EDGE class 10 and GPRS class 10 for fast data transfers, an Infrared port, Bluetooth, and USB 2.0 support.
The external 1.5-inch 4-level orange on black LCD display sports a resolution of 128x128 pixels. The main 262K TFT display with a resolution of 176x220 pixels will not be bad as a viewfinder for the 2 megapixel camera which pitifully, again doesn't feature autofocus. Sony Ericsson W710 also offers live picture blogging that allows you to take a picture and immediately blog it on the internet with a text of your choice so that you can share it with your friends.
As mentioned already the phone packs some sporty features to make it stand out of the crowd. Besides sports accessories such as an arm band, a belt/bag clip and sports earpieces, the phone is also equipped with a motion sensor plus new fitness applications that measure your running speed, distance and time, or simply count your steps when walking.
The Sony Ericsson W710 will be available in graphite and violet and will start shipping to stores in late summer and early autumn of 2006.
Sony Ericsson W710
Z710, the next of the new guys on the block, is a lot like W710 as regards its functionality. It offers quad-band EDGE/GPRS support, FM radio with RDS, the latest Bluetooth 2.0 with stereo headset support, Infrared, a 2 megapixel camera without autofocus, a 262K colors 176x220 pixels TFT display and 10 MB of internal memory. The phone again has a Memory Stick Micro (M2) card slot only this time it comes with a 64MB card in the retail package. The NetFront HTML browser and the RSS feeds reader as well as live image blogging and push email support are also present here.
The main differences between the two phones are the lack of the Walkman branded functionalities, the motion sensor and the sports applications. The white on blue external display of Z710 has a 128x128 pixels resolution. The handset also supports live picture blogging.
The Z710 will be available in black and also in metallic color and will start shipping to stores in late summer and early autumn of 2006.
Sony Ericsson Z710
Z550 is a tri-band GSM handset with GPRS support and it has a 1.3 megapixel camera with no flash or autofocus in a clamshell form factor. There are two displays available - the main one will be a 262k color TFT display with a resolution of 220 x 176 pixels, while the external one will be a small white on blue 128 x 36 pixel STN display.
The handset will also offer an FM radio, MP3/AAC support, Memory Stick Micro (M2) support, Bluetooth and a fully fledged HTML browser. There is no Infrared port available and a M2 memory card won't be enclosed in the retail package. The users would have to buy one on their own but that would definitely lower the handset's retail price.
The Sony Ericsson Z550 will be available in black and also in copper colour and will start shipping to stores late summer and early autumn of 2006.
Sony Ericsson Z550
The last one of the pack, M608, is a business-orientated, tri-band GPRS handset based on Symbian OS 9.1 UIQ 3.0 and targeted at the Chinese market. It is the same as M600 as regards its functionality except that it would have a Chinese character support and it wouldn’t have UMTS support. The release of that phone possibly means that Sony Ericsson would not produce their already announced Chinese version of M600 - that being M600c.
The phone has 80MB internal memory, no camera, a 262K 2.6-inch TFT display, M2 slot, USB 2.0 support, Stereo Bluetooth support, Chinese and English handwriting recognition, and a wide range of business applications including Opera Mini HTML browser, PowerPoint, Word and Excel editors, Adobe PDF viewer, Lunar Calendar, VPN clients and more.
The M608C will be available in black and also in white colour and will start shipping to stores in late summer and early autumn of 2006.