updated 01:55 pm EST, Sun February 10, 2008
Sony-Ericsson Xperia X1
Sony-Ericsson opened the Mobile World Congress today by unveiling the XPERIA X1, its first true touchscreen-focused cellphone. Following a deal with Microsoft, the handset is Sony-Ericsson's first device to use Windows Mobile for its OS but also uses a custom interface of "XPERIA panels" rather than the default Microsoft front-end: users simply tap panels with their fingers to access calling, media, and other functions, according to the phone designer. Though dominated by its 3-inch, 800x480 touchscreen, the device also includes both optical and physical navigation pads at the bottom as well as a unique arc-slider QWERTY keyboard that tilts outward for more comfortable typing.
The X1 is also the most Internet-connected Sony-Ericsson device in history, the company boasts: unlike even most advanced 3G phones, it offers HSUPA (High Speed Upload Packet Access) that sends video and other media almost as quickly as it comes downstream. Wi-Fi is onboard for short-range networking and is backed by assisted GPS for route finding. A 3.2-megapixel camera with autofocus and a microSD slot (versus Sony-Ericsson's favorite Memory Stick Micro format) round out its key features.
The first XPERIA phone is expected sometime in the second half of 2008; with quad-band GSM and an unprecedented five-band HSPA/UMTS connection, the device should be available both in North America as well as Europe and includes the key 1,700MHz band needed for T-Mobile USA's upcoming 3G service.