Sony Ericsson has launched two new Walkman phones into the mobile market – one for sports fans and one for music downloaders.

The W710i Walkman phone comes packed with sports applications to satisfy any gym-junkie. It includes motion sensor technology that claims to measure running speeds, distance and time. It even functions as a pedometer, counting the number of steps you walk in a day, then resetting itself at midnight. Your walking progress is displayed even when the phone is on standby.

As the name suggests, this phone also features a Sony Walkman player with ‘Megabass.’ It allows search and sort by artist, album, track and

playlist. Music will automatically mute when there is an incoming call. The phone features an FM radio with RDS and ‘flight mode’ which turns the phone off in no-phone zones, such as planes, for music player only.

The music and sports applications can be accessed via the external display, so you don’t have to keep opening up the handset.

The phone also comes with a 512 MB memory stick (upgradeable to 1 GB) and a two-megapixel camera. Disc2Phone software for ripping and transferring music from PC to phone is also included.

W710i is a quad-band EDGE/GPRS phone that comes in ‘performance graphite’ and ‘hatha violet.’ The kit includes the ‘active clip’ (IAC-60) for clipping the phone onto your bag, waist or arm and stereo portable in-ear headset, HPM-82.

But for music lovers, Sony Ericsson has created the W850i, a GSM/UMTS slider phone featuring the latest Walkman player 2.0 and a two-megapixel camera.

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The company says this phone offers “Blistering fast music downloads direct to the handset.” It is configured for operator over the air (OTA) music download services and accepts download time- and space-saving formats such as eAAC+.  The phone also comes with a 1 GB memory stick (upgradeable to 4 GB).

Available to both new models is TrackID, a music service that Sony Ericsson claims allows you to record a few seconds of a song (by microphone or using the built-in FM radio), which you then send to Gracenote worldwide music database. Gracenote will identify the track and relay the information back to the phone.

“The W850i is really empowering our users to listen to what they want, wherever they are. It allows users to identify and buy music in a new and spontaneous way – hearing tracks they like, identifying them with TrackID and downloading them to the phone,” said Sony Ericsson’s Josh Oxspring.

The download service is integrated, so you don’t need to come out of the music player and into the web browser to visit online music stores, Sony Ericsson said.

W850i is a UMTS 2100 and Tri-band GPRS 900/1800/1900 Walkman phone and comes in ‘precious black’ and ‘golden white.’ It also comes with stereo portable headset, HPM-82.


Both phones start shipping during Q3 2006, with pricing details to follow.

See: www.sonyericsson.com

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