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Sony Ericsson shows off Cyber-shot phones

Walkman and camera models unveiled

Sony Ericsson today announced several new mobile phones divided into two ranges: models that are music-centric, and ones that are aimed at those who like to take digital snaps. The latter will build on Sony's existing Cyber-shot compact digital camera brand.

The mobile handset company is adding to its successful range of Walkman music-player phones, expanding its range to seven models. The quad-band W300 is Sony Ericsson's first clamshell Walkman phone. It will come with a 256MB Memory Stick Micro card and will have an FM radio as well as an MP3/AAC music player.

Announcing the W300, Steve Walker, head of Sony Ericsson's product marketing, said that since their launch last summer, the company had sold more than three million of its Walkman-branded phones.

The two Cyber-shot-branded phones, the K790 and K800, are triband and dual-mode UMTS/GPRS models respectively. Each has a built-in 3.2Mp (megapixel) camera with autofocus, image stabilisation, redeye reduction and an integrated Xenon flash.

Walker demonstrated a feature, known as Best Pic, that triggers a series of snaps as soon as the user presses the shutter button to focus lock or take a picture. Best Pic takes and previews four full-resolution images before and after the one taken by the user. The best one can then be chosen and the others saved or discarded and is designed to avoid the disappointment of nearly getting a great snap, only to find it spoiled by shutter lag or the subject moving.

Walker hailed Sony Ericsson's "extremely successful strategy of getting the concept of music on a mobile phone across [to the consumer]" and claimed that in the Cyber-shot range of cameraphones the company also has a "very strong credible imaging proposition in a mobile phone".

As well as the handsets aimed at specific types of user, Sony Ericsson is to launch three entry-level cameraphones – the Z530, K510 and K310 – that are "more phone-centric" and should have mass appeal. It also has more Bluetooth headsets coming up, including one, the HCB-100 Car Speakerphone, which clips inside a car for handsfree-chat.

All the products announced today will launch around the middle of the year.

The handsets models announced in London today build on the product line-up unveiled at 3GSM in Barcelona in mid-February, which included a 4GB touchscreen Walkman model, the W950, that can store and play back up to 4,000 songs.


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