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Sony Ericsson unveils megapixel flagship, EDGE kit

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Sony Ericsson has unveiled the high-end handset it hopes can steal some limelight and market share from Nokia's Series 60 platform, and other feature-packed rivals.

The S700 is a compass-style design with the same "swivel action" rotating display introduced by Motorola with its v70 and v80 handsets. Although it won't be out until the fourth quarter, it sets the bar pretty high: a 224k color screen, Memory Stick, Bluetooth and megapixel camera with 8x zoom.

Arriving sooner will be the K700, a 93 gram phone that features a 176x220 pixel display that can work in landscape mode. It comes with an FM radio, VGA camera with 4x zoom, and a handy 32MB of memory. In common with most new Sony Ericsson models, it includes Bluetooth, but the company is touting the Media Viewer which was also introduced today: a Bluetooth bridge that allows you to run presentations from the handset, and view photos and play MP3s stored on the handset on a TV or projector. The K700 is due in the second quarter.

Sony Ericsson is enjoying something of a purple patch for its industrial design. Last year's hit geek gadget the P800 differs only minimally from it successor the P900, but at Cannes last month we saw an abundance of the latter, suggesting that it really has hit the mainstream. And for that, the sleek and much more professional design must take credit. The trick is making cheap material feel expensive.

The company has introduced some EDGE products: adding two new PC Cards the GC83 and GC85, and an EDGE clamshell phone the Z500 with built-in push-to-talk (walkie talkie) features. ®

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