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A cell phone story |


A cell phone story

UNWRITTEN - Maria Jorica B. Pamintuan -

One of Disney’s most beloved classics, Toy Story, recently hit theaters with its third installment. Disney gave audiences a villain to hate, this time, in the form of Lotsa-Hugs Bear.

Yet even with a dastardly antagonist in the picture, everyone knows that the real threats to Woody and his motley crew aren’t their fellow playthings; it’s the toys for the big boys — the cell phones, laptops, and other electronics that tore Andy away from them.

Let’s face it — as lovable as Buzz, Jessie, Rex and the others are, it’s hard to compete with gadgets that have actual, functional use.

Andy’s toys have already faced the gauntlet.

However, in the next couple of months, it’ll be your toys facing stiff competition, because this month is also marked by another classic’s release: Sony Ericsson’s slew of new phones.

In a media event in Singapore on June 16, Sony Ericsson gave the press a peek at three different kinds of phones slated for release later this year.

Leading the pack is the Android smartphone, Xperia X8. A more affordable version of its parent, the Xperia X10, the X8 is geared towards a younger set. It’s smaller than the X10, and has Sony Ericsson’s new standard human curvature design, which makes it a perfect fit for tinier teenage and kiddie hands.

But really, this phone is for the kids (and kids at heart) because it’s not just a mobile communication device, it’s something to have fun with, a toy. It’s definitely not your grandmother’s phone — unless grandma’s cell has a one-hand touch interface and enough widgets to keep the most fidgety toddler preoccupied for hours. 

What the X8 brings to the table is touch communication entertainment. The four corners of the three-inch screen are shortcuts to your favorite applications, which means you don’t really need both your hands for navigation. Hello, multitasking!

Of course, being a smartphone, the X8 has the standard gamut of absolutely necessary features like WiFi capability, notes and calendar. 

Not quite so standard are the 3.2 megapixel camera and the music player. After all, Sony Ericsson’s parent company is Sony, makers of the Cybershot line of cameras and the Walkman, pioneer in portable music.

The X8 comes with built-in Facebook, YouTube, Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Search, and Google Talk apps. There are also thousands of compatible applications available on the Android Market. If this isn’t wired enough for you, nothing is.

Texters will be happy to note that the X8 has a touch qwerty keypad, as well as the traditional 12-key alphanumeric keypad. No stylus, though. Then again, you won’t need it anyway.

Internal memory is miniscule at only 128MB, but it can be expanded up to 16GB.

Also, in a blast from the past move, Sony Ericsson is bringing back the changeable casings, available in white, dark blue/white, aqua blue/white, pink/white, and silver/white.

Don’t need or want a smartphone? The other two new phones to be released by Sony Ericsson are less techie, and a little gentler on the wallet.

For music lovers, a new Walkman phone, the Yendo, is sure to tickle your fancy. It’s the first full-touch Walkman phone, and like the X8, it has the new four-corner technology and human curvature design.

It is a Walkman phone with the best Walkman features, like the Touch TrackID, MediaGo, and PlayNow. Being a music phone, the Yendo can’t be described at length without mentioning the sound quality. You know those burger speakers that have become popular because cell phones in general have crappy speakers? Well, you won’t need them. The Yendo’s sound system is one of the best among handsets.

There’s a two megapixel camera, as well as Facebook, Twitter and Orkut applications, for music lovers who want to stay on the pulse of technology, too.

The Yendo is super easy to use, even for texting (which can be difficult with touch- screen phones).

And again, Sony Ericsson has opted to make the handset casing changeable. With the Yendo, there are 10 colors to choose from: black, white, yellow, purple, pink, orange, blue, green, silver, and red. The whole set is like a bag of Skittles of M&Ms, almost good enough to eat.

Finally, the last phone on the roster is the Sony Ericsson Cedar, the latest of the company’s GreenHeart phones.

GreenHeart is Sony Ericsson’s response to the global call and need for more environment-friendly consumer products. It is both a series of phones and a company identity. All of the Sony Ericsson phones worldwide have some GreenHeart components, like smaller packaging, or e-manuals instead of the paper ones.

The GreenHeart phones, however, take environment-friendly practices to a new level. It is made from recycled plastics and waterborne paint, has a low consumption charger, an e-manual, and compact packaging.

More of a business phone than an entertainment phone, the GreenHeart Cedar is for the people who are looking for greener options when looking for traditional phones.

The Cedar is very, very easy to use. Call-and-text people, this is the no-frills handset you’ve been looking for because it’s not as techie as the Xperia phones, or as flashy as the Walkman phones. It is capable of making conference calls, instant messaging, video streaming, Facebook, Twitter, and other organizational and communication features.

It’s also nice to look at, with a black/silver or black/red finish, and the special Sony Ericsson human curvature design.

The X8, Yendo, and Cedar will all be available in the third quarter of 2010. But if you can’t wait until then to get a new phone, Sony Ericsson will soon be shipping out its latest models.

Smartphone lovers can go check out the X10 Mini and X10 Mini Pro, which are simplified and smaller versions of the very popular X10. The only major difference between the Mini and Mini Pro is that the Pro version has a qwerty keypad in addition to the touch interface.

Walkman fans don’t have to wait for the Yendo because anytime between now and the end of July, the Walkman Spiro Edge, and the Walkman Zyro HSPA will be arriving. Much like the Yendo, the two phones are candy-like and aren’t difficult to use.

For those who want to make the green choice, two other GreenHeart phones will soon be available: the Aspen, and the Elm. Of the three GreenHeart phones, the Aspen is the most high-tech, with a full qwerty keypad and touch screen.

Kristian Tear, Sony Ericsson’s executive vice president for marketing, said the company’s goal is to make people smile. With this new lineup of phones, it’s looking like the company is going to achieve that goal.

With so many amazing phones on the market now, Woody, Buzz and the rest of the Toy Story gang are lucky that most of the kids they come across in the movie are incredibly young. Otherwise, they won’t be asking for cowboys and dinosaurs anymore come Christmas time — because even kids would want to get their hands on the latest toys from Sony Ericsson.

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