Sony Ericsson unveils latest phones

Phone personalisation, force-feedback gaming, and Bluetooth remote control devices were on display as Sony Ericsson showed off its wares in London on Wednesday

Sony Ericsson is targeting fashion-conscious mobile phone users and gamers with the latest additions to its range of handsets and accessories.

The most sophisticated of the three new Sony Ericsson models on show in London on Wednesday is the Z600 -- a clamshell handset with a 65K colour screen, a built-in camera, and Bluetooth compatibility.

Philip Rambech, Sony Ericsson's UK and Ireland managing director, told assembled journalists in London that the Z600 includes 32 polyphonic ring tones, a dedicated polyphonic speaker, a music DJ application, and a range of swappable covers and graphical display themes. It also features force-feedback, which will be used in conjunction with games such as V-Rally2.

A cut-down version of the classic Playstation controller, called the Gameboard EGB-10, will soon go on sale. It clips onto the bottom of the Z600, giving the user four buttons and a thumb controller, which the company believes will make for a better gaming experience. "With the Gameboard EGB-10, we're taking another step forward to a real gaming experience on a phone," claimed Rambech.

Sony Ericsson also launched the Z200, a mid-range camera phone. Like the Z600 it can be customised with swappable covers and various user interface themes; Sony Ericsson believes personalisation is a key selling point for mobile phones.

The T230 meanwhile is Sony Ericsson's latest entry-level phone. It has a 4K colour screen, and can accept a digital camera add-on. "We’re still going for snap-on cameras for this segment of the market," explained Rambech.

All three phones are set to ship in the fourth quarter of 2003. Precise pricing details were not available, but it was suggested that the Z200 could cost around £150 with a contract, while the T230 could cost up to £50 with a contract.

Sony Ericsson also showed off a small remote-control car that could be driven via a Bluetooth handset. The Bluetooth Car-100 attracted plenty of attention at CeBIT, and there are now plans to create a limited run of several thousand more, which will retail for between £50 and £300.

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