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Sony Ericsson C702 rugged handset

More Ross Kemp than Andy McNab

Build a business case: developing custom apps

The C702's got a large-ish 240 x 320-pixel screen capable of displaying 262,000 colours. Below that sits a compact keypad. When we say compact, the keys are, in fact, tiny. Our man-thumbs struggled at first, but with a little perseverance, we realised that it's actually well designed, with nicely raised and separated keys that are surprisingly easy to press, though we did find that we needed to use our thumbnails a lot.

Assisted GPS is fast becoming standard on Sony Ericsson's mid-range and up phones, and it's an impressively easy-to-use system. As with the C902, we had no trouble getting a signal in North London and it pinpointed our position using Google Maps, which also lets you see aerial pictures of where you are and where you're going. This isn't particularly useful when you're looking for somewhere, unless you happen to be in a helicopter, but like Google Earth, it's addictive fun.

Sony Ericsson C702

The non-slip plastic casing is reinforced with metal and rubber

There's a location-based sports application called Tracker that measures the distance you've jogged or strolled, depending on how energetic you're feeling. It seemed to be reasonably accurate, consistently cajoling us to go faster when our pace slipped below the level we'd optimistically set ourselves.

The C702 isn't ideal for motoring unless you've got particularly good eyesight, but there is the option of voice-assisted directions with Wayfinder Navigator - it comes with a 30-day free trial, but after that you'll have to shell out.

There's traffic info too, though this didn't seem to be particularly comprehensive because there's none available in our part of the world, apparently. The AGPS is also used to geo-tag your pics – handy for sharing info when you upload shots to your blog - taking advantage of Sony Ericsson's deal with Blogger - or a pic-sharing site like Flickr.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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