MWC: Sony Ericsson Showcases New Smartphones

Nathan Eddy is a contributor to eWeek and TechWeekEurope, covering cloud and BYOD

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Sony Ericsson has unveiled a slew of new handsets including compact versions of the Xperia X10, and the Vivaz pro with a QWERTY keyboard

The news keeps on coming thick and fast from this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, after Sony Ericsson debuted three smartphones.

This includes the Vivaz pro, which adds a QWERTY keyboard to the touch screen offering, and Xperia X10 mini and X10 mini pro, which are compact versions of the company’s Xperia X10 handset.

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No prices were announced, although Sony said the X10 mini, X10 mini pro and Vivaz pro would be available in a variety of colours in the second quarter 2010. The Xperia X10 was the company’s first Android-based smartphone.

The two sister mobile phones incorporate the application Sony Ericsson Timescape which brings a user’s different forms of communication together in one place so they can quickly see text messages, missed calls, and social networking communications such as Facebook and Twitter updates without having to open lots of different applications. In addition, the interactive music player also uses the “infinite button” to pull together all music content from the music store and YouTube.

The Xperia X10 mini and X10 mini pro offer the Android platform with applications and a customisable UX platform specifically designed for smaller devices. To enhance the experience, users can pick and choose from a multitude of applications at Android Market and co-create a mobile phone experience. Sony noted users could even go one step further and customise the home screen’s four corners and widgets to access the most needed applications. Both phones also offer a 5-megapixel camera and video.

“There has been an enormous buzz around Xperia X10 so it is really exciting to be already unveiling compact versions of this powerful proposition,” said Rikko Sakaguchi, executive vice president and chief creation officer at Sony Ericsson. “With the X10 mini and X10 mini pro we have pushed the boundaries of what is possible with smaller devices and are giving consumers exactly what they want; two high performance mobile phones with a fully customisable user experience platform and a stunning ultra-compact design.”

Vivaz pro allows consumers to produce and broadcast their experiences in HD video and the open platform also allows users to personalise their entertainment experience by downloading applications through PlayNow and the Symbian Developer Community. The handset also features the company’s design philosophy “human curvature” where the phone is shaped like the human body and which the company said would become a consistent feature of the Sony Ericsson portfolio going forward.

“Having announced Vivaz in January we are now adding a sister phone that includes a QWERTY keyboard along with the touch screen for a superior messaging and entertainment experience,” said Daniel Sandblom, marketing business manager for Sony Ericsson. “Vivaz pro meets the increased consumer demand for QWERTY devices without compromising on any entertainment features.”

The company noted the X10 mini and X10 mini pro supports HSPA 900/2100 and EDGE 850/900/1800/1900, HSPA 850/1900/2100 and EDGE 850/900/1800/1900, while the Vivaz pro supports UMTS HSPA 900/2100 and GSM GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900, UMTS HSPA 850/1900/2100 and GSM GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900.

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