updated 02:15 pm EDT, Thu June 14, 2007
S-E K850 and K530 Phones
Sony-Ericsson tonight held a special press event in Berlin that launched several new phones, including multiple devices that will reach the US. The K850i (shown) is a long-awaited sequel to the popular K790/K800 that establishes a number of firsts for the company. At 5 megapixels, the onboard camera is Sony-Ericsson's sharpest to date and features both auto-focus as well as a xenon flash to focus in darker rooms. The bar phone is also one of Sony-Ericsson's first phones with 3G wireless through HSDPA and has the raw Internet speed needed to upload full-resolution photos as well as make video calls (when supported) through a smaller front-facing camera.
The K850i also represents a new approach to loading and storing media, Sony-Ericsson says. For the first time, the company will include a combination storage slot that handles both Sony's Memory Stick Micro format (a 512MB card is included) plus industry-standard microSD cards; a new software utility dubbed Media Manager streamlines sideloading automatically-set content such as smart playlists or podcasts and will also create music suggestions based on mood.
A second K-series phone, the K530i, is also joining the lineup today. The K530 is one of the most affordable 3G phones yet from Sony-Ericsson, the company says. Costs are kept lower through using Europe-only UMTS Internet and a 2-megapixel camera at the back, with a front camera for video calls. New for most of the firm's devices, however, is support for a new GPS receiver titled the HGE-100 that adds navigation support.
The K530 will ship first, primarily reaching Europe and similar markets during the summer; the K850 should be available in North America and the rest of the world in early fall. Prices are unlisted and should vary by the country and provider.