Readers are probably going to notice a theme with news releases this week. It is the start of the 3GSM World Conference in Cannes that runs from Monday to Thursday and covers the latest in mobile communication technology.
There is a big buzz in the industry at this time and just about every major player turns up to dazzle the world with its latest offerings. Basically, that means we can expect loads of new handsets and cool gadgets. So, without further ado one of the first out of the gates – almost inevitably – is Sony Ericsson.
The multinational giant was showing off three products today, two mobiles: the K600i and Z800i and the GC95 UMTS/Edge PC Card.
The K600i is a clean lined but fully featured 3G phone with a large 1.8in, 176x220 pixel, 262k colour display, 1.3 megapixel camera and built in FM radio. There is also Bluetooth, Infrared and USB connectivity and at just 104 x 45 x 19 mm it is encouragingly small for a 3G handset. All in all, a very solid start.
Next up is the Z800i, which – if you are feeling a bit of deju vu – is heavily based around the V800 that Riyad reviewed last month. It now comes in Titanium Silver and Linear Silver (not the widest range of colours) and features the same 1.3 megapixel camera and video recorder featured in the V800. Naturally, it also brings Bluetooth, Infrared and USB connectivity to the party and supports Memory Stick PRO Duo with support up to 1GB. For those who like the idea of music on their phones you will be pleased to know it supports MP3, AAC and MP4 formats (even though the last two are almost the same thing). Of course, a cynical man would say Sony Ericsson just rebranded the V800 because it was such a hit but tied down exclusively to Vodafone, but we are not cynics are we?
Rounding off Sony Ericsson’s news for the day is the GC95 UMTS/Edge PC Card. If you require a permanent connection to the Internet there are already a number of 3G cards available (such as the ones from Vodafone and Orange which we have already reviewed), but this has transparent network selection. This means you can use UMTS in England or Edge in the US, for example. Compliant with Windows and MAC OS X, this card could be a hit with regular travellers although with UMTS expected to hit the US before the end of the year and current Edge based roaming costs ridiculously high I think I’d prefer to stick with wireless hotspots for now.