While the real Shakira may be busy gallivanting over in South Africa, Sony Ericsson's handset that bore the same (code)name has today been unveiled as the latest member of the Xperia line. Bridging the gap between the fully formed X10 and its Mini siblings, the 3-inch Xperia X8 will run Android 1.6 somewhere deep underneath a comprehensively customized skin. That means you get Sony Ericsson's social (Timescape) and media (Mediascape) aggregators whether you like them or not, and by the looks of the early hands-on pictures, it seems like a straight port of the UI available on the X10 Mini. A 3.2 megapixel camera is available around back, with WiFi, a 600MHz CPU, 1,200mAh battery, and interchangeable covers completing the value proposition. The X8 will cost around €259 ($318) when it launches in the third quarter of this year. Hit the sources for more pictures.
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Introducing the Sony Ericsson Xperia™ X8

The Sony Ericsson Xperia™ X8 is a great entertainment smartphone that extends the appeal of the Xperia™ collection to new market segments. The user interface is similar to that of the Xperia™ X10 mini, with the four-corners that give easy one hand use and can be customised for one touch access to your favourite applications. The Xperia™ X8 also includes Timescape™ for easy access to all your social networking and the infinite button for one click access to a world of content. The open Android operating system delivers great smartphone functionality and access to thousands of applications on Android Market™. Timo Maassmann, Product Marketing Manager for XperiaTM X8, said "We are delighted to be able to bring the full experience of our XperiaTM smartphones to new consumers by delivering a fully featured device at a more accessible price position."

The Xperia™ X8 is perfect for enjoying multimedia. Whether it's a game from the Android Market™, the latest funny clips on YouTube™ or browsing the web, the 3-inch screen means you won't miss a thing. Discover and download songs from PlayNow™, then listen to all your music using the 3.5mm headphone jack. If you are feeling more creative, there's a 3.2 megapixel camera and video recording functionality.

Sony Ericsson Xperia™ X8 - Key features

* Four corners for easy one hand use and one touch access to applications
* Customize the four corners with your favourite apps and add widgets to your homescreens
* Enjoy games, video, internet and more on the 3-inch screen
* Timescape™ shows all your communication in one place for ultimate simplicity
* Android Market™ – thousands of applications to keep you entertained
* 3,2 megapixel camera – snap away and upload instantly to Facebook™

The XPERIA™ X8 supports GSM GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900, UMTS HSPA 900/2100 and UMTS HSPA 800/850/1900/2100

The XPERIA™ X8 will be available in selected markets from Q3 in the colours White, Dark Blue/ White, Aqua Blue/ White, Pink/ White, Silver/ White.

Log on to The Sony Ericsson Product Blog for more information: http://blogs.sonyericsson.com/products

The Sony Ericsson XPERIA™ X8 at a glance

Camera

* 3,2 megapixel camera
* Direct picture upload to Facebook™
* Geo tagging
* Sony Ericsson Album application
* Video recording

Music

* Bluetooth™ stereo (A2DP)
* PlayNow™
* Sony Ericsson Music Player
* TrackID™

Web

* Bookmarks
* Pan and zoom
* WebKit web browser

Communication

* Facebook™ application
* Sony Ericsson Timescape™

Messaging

* Push email
* Instant messaging
* Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync® support with Dataviz™ RoadSync™
* Picture messaging (MMS)
* Predictive text input
* Text messaging (SMS)

Design

* Auto rotate
* Picture wallpaper
* Capacitive touchscreen

Entertainment

* Infinite button
* Sony Ericsson FM radio
* Video streaming
* Video viewing

Organiser

* Calendar
* Flight mode
* Phone book with dialer
* Sony Ericsson Home with Widget
* Notes

Location-based services

* A-GPS
* Google Maps™
* Wisepilot™ turn-by-turn navigation* (free trial version)
* *The service may not be available in every market. For more information, go to www.sonyericsson.wisepilot.com

Connectivity

* 3.5 mm audio jack
* Bluetooth™ technology
* Micro USB connector
* NeoReader® barcode scanning app
* Sony Ericsson Sync
* USB mass storage
* USB support
* Wi-Fi™

Google™ services

* Android Market™ Client
* Gmail™
* Google Calendar™
* Google LatitudeTM
* Google Maps™ with Street View
* Google search widget
* Google Talk™
* YouTube™

Screen

* 16,777,216 colour TFT touchscreen
* Capacitive touchscreen
* 3.0 inches
* 320 x 480 pixels (HVGA)
* Scratch-resistant (min. pencil hardness 6H)

Accessories

* In-Box:
* XPERIA™ X8
* Battery 1200mAh
* Stereo portable handsfree
* 2 GB microSD™ card
* Micro USB cable for charging, synchronisation and file transfer
* User documentation
* Optional:
* Hi-Fi Wireless Headset with FM Radio MW600
* Portable Stereo Speakers MS450
* Hi-Fi Headset with Remote MH810

Facts

* Size: 99 x 54 x 15 mm
* Weight: 104g
* Phone memory: Up to 128 MB
* Memory card support: microSD™ up to 16GB
* Memory card included: 2 GB
* Operating system: Google™ Android Donut, version 1.6
* Processor: 600MHz

Availability and versions

* Networks
* UMTS HSPA 900/2100
* GSM GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900
* UMTS HSPA 800/1900/2100
* GSM GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900
* Available in selected markets from Q3 2010

Colour

* White
* Dark Blue/White
* Aqua Blue/White
* Pink/White
* Silver/White