Sony Ericsson P800 successor appears on web

Official launch any day now?

Sony Ericsson is preparing a follow-up to its popular P800 smartphone and will go public on the new handset next month.

So claims Spanish web site Unofficial Club Sony Ericsson, citing "unofficial yet accurate sources".

The smartphone is essentially an updated P800 offering a smaller, thinner, lighter and more stylish casing. The handset offers the same flip-up keypad, but this time it's a true keyboard rather than a set of keys that simply push down onto the phone's touch-sensitive screen. The screen itself can display up to 65,000 colours, rather more than the P800's 4096.

In place of the P800's flimsy, thin stylus, Sony Ericsson's new model has a metal, PDA-style pen that slots into the top of the handset.

Past rumours have suggested the new phone will sport a 1.3 megapixel digicam, though Unofficial Club Sony Ericsson's information doesn't confirm this. It is a VGA device, as a piccy of the camera and its set-up software show. The site has a dozen or so shots of the new handset, most - alas - taken with a phone camera.

However, it source does reveal that the handset will be based on the Symbian 7.0S operating system, but that seems odd since the 'S' release was developed primarily for Nokia.

Whatever, we hope the new model addresses many of the issues raised in our in-depth review of the P800.

Past speculation has named the device the P810, though Unofficial Club Sony Ericsson wonders whether Sony Ericsson will call it the P900, the better to highlight the improvements over the older model. It expects the handset to be launched later this month or in September in plenty of time for Christmas availability. It puts the price at €700-800 ($780-892), presumably unsubsidised.

Other sources suggest the device will be bundled with Vodafone Live in Europe. ®

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