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A closer look at Sony Ericsson's W910 and W960

Chris Ziegler

With six handsets, three new Bluetooth watches, and an array of new accessories and peripherals, Sony Ericsson went for broke with today's announcement (heck, we'd go so far to say that they should've teased even a little more than they did). Obviously that's a lot to digest, so we wanted to zoom in on the W910 and W950 -- the company's newest and fanciest Walkman-branded units -- and take a look at just what it is that sets them apart. Read on for details.

The W910 got hearts pounding as the "Shinobu" before its official announcement, and by all accounts, it seems the hubbub was justified. HSDPA is still rare by Sony Ericsson standards, so we're happy to see it make an appearance here; sadly, though, 2100MHz is the only supported band. The slider users NetFront, which should make browsing a fairly decent experience. Internal storage is a meager 40MB, so the Memory Stick Micro M2 slot will likely see heavy use -- especially when putting that 2 megapixel shooter to use. "SensMe" is a nifty piece of kit that organizes music tracks graphically by tempo and mood to allow the user to circle groups of tracks they wish to add to their playlist. Perhaps the coolest feature, though, is "Shake control" -- flick the phone to change tracks, shake it to randomize the playlist. Word has it Shake can be used for gaming control, too. The W910 ships in the fourth quarter in red and black.

The W960, meanwhile, is Sony Ericsson's music-friendly heavy artillery. How heavy? 8GB of internal storage, for starters (no expansion, but we'll cut it some slack there). WiFi's on board, too -- a first for a Walkman phone -- along with 2100MHz UMTS, so you're pretty much covered in the data arena as long as you're in Europe. Like a lot of phones these days, the W960 advertises a touchable interface for browsing music and other goodies, though a stylus is onboard for finer operations. It gets a 3.2 megapixel cam, and oh yeah -- it's a fully-featured smartphone, too, thanks to UIQ 3.1. Folks coming from a Windows Mobile device will be delighted by the ActiveSync support here, though they may be equally dismayed by the lack of GSM 850. The W960 drops in the fourth quarter of the year; you'll be able to have any color you want, as long as it's black.

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