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New Windows Mobile 6.5 phones unveiled

LG, Sony Ericsson and HTC have all announced handsets, due on sale early in the fourth quarter, that use Microsoft's latest mobile operating system
gm570.jpg
1 of 3 David Meyer/ZDNet

Several new Windows Mobile handsets were announced over Wednesday and Thursday by manufacturers such as Sony Ericsson, LG and HTC.

All will use the latest revision of Microsoft's mobile operating system, Windows Mobile 6.5. Apart from its new user interface, the revamped OS also includes the Windows Marketplace for Mobile app store and offers users a hosted backup service called My Phone.

The LG GM570, pictured above, will go on sale on 6 October, the official release date for Windows Mobile 6.5. In the UK, it will be available exclusively through Vodafone. The deal remains exclusive until the end of the year, when the handset will become more widely available.

The three-inch screen of the GM570 will make use of LG's S-Class user interface, which resembles the iPhone interface more closely than it does the underlying Windows Mobile user interface. The device has a five-megapixel camera.

LG said on Thursday that it intended to launch 13 new Windows Mobile handsets worldwide by the end of 2010, in what it called its "most aggressive smartphone strategy to date".

xperiax2.jpg
2 of 3 David Meyer/ZDNet

Vodafone has exclusivity on Sony Ericsson's Xperia X2, the follow-up to last year's Xperia X1.

The X2's 3.2-inch screen has an 8.1-megapixel camera that comes with features such as geotagging, autofocus and a video light.

One of the most notable features of the X2 is its revamped user interface. As with the X1, the user interface is based on panels that represent applications, but the new version has 3D graphical effects and lets users time the appearance of certain applications on the homescreen, according to the time of day.

On Wednesday, Sony Ericsson also announced a software development kit (SDK) for the X2's user interface. This includes a 'panelizer' function to turn existing Flash, Java and Windows Mobile applications into panels for the Windows Mobile 6.5 platform.

According to Sony Ericsson, the X2 will go on sale early in the fourth quarter.

touch2.jpg
3 of 3 David Meyer/ZDNet

On Wednesday, HTC — the most prolific manufacturer of Windows Mobile phones — formally announced the Touch2, a revamp of 2007's Touch.

The HTC Touch2 has a 2.8-inch touchscreen, a 528MHz Qualcomm processor, 256MB of RAM and half a gigabyte of internal storage. It weighs 110g and has a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Like the LG GM570, the Touch2 will go on sale on 6 October.

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