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Sony Ericsson unveils Xmas phone line-up

Will set the tills a-jingling (it hopes)

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Sony Ericsson today launched three new handsets it hopes to tempt buyers with this coming Christmas.

The clamshell Z600 comes with the now almost obligatory built-in digicam. Photos can be sent by MMS, or zapped straight to a PC using the phone's Bluetooth link. The tri-band GSM/GPRS handset features a main 16-bit colour display and a smaller, secondary unit on the back of the phone. The Z600 supports 32-voice polyphonic ringtones and sounds.

Users tired of the standard silver case can replace the handset's front and back covers - a first for a clamshell case, Sony Ericsson claims. The company is initially offering four cover kits, each with two designs per kit.

In a nod toward rival Nokia's N-Gage, Sony Ericsson is touting the Z600's gaming features, which include bundled arcade games and the opportunity to download more. Java titles are supported, as are games based on the Mophun engine. It's even offering a gamepad controller accessory that fits over the back of the handset and looks like an old Nintendo pad. Bluetooth can be called upon for multi-player bouts.

The Z600 weighs 110g. Offers 200 hours' standby time and up to six hours' talk time.

The company also launched a lesser version of the Z600, the Z200: it offers a 128 x 128 4000-colour main screen and no integrated digicam. However, it does offer 40-voice polyphonics support.

Sony Ericsson touts the phone's design - it reminds us of the original, coloured Apple iBook - and customisability - it too features removable clamshell covers.

The handset weighs 98.3g and is slightly stubbier than the Z600. It offers 200 hours' standby time but only 4.5 hours' talk time. Unlike the Z600, the tri-band GSM/GPRS Z200 will not be sold in the US and Canada.

The T230 dual-band (900/1800) GSM/GPRS handset has the same screen as the Z200. It too lacks a built-in digicam, but a 640 x 480 model is available as a plug-on accessory. As such it's a budget phone aimed at users who primarily communicate by voice and text, but want an easy way to try out MMS and gaming services at some point.

The 79.2g phone supports 32-voice polyphonic sounds, and provides a five-way control button for easy navigation. It offers 13 hours' talk time and up to 300 hours' standby time.

All three handsets will go on sale in Q4, Sony Ericsson said, though it was not forthcoming with prices. ®

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