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Sony Ericsson Z558i & Z558c

 Sony Ericsson Z558 Expected October 2006
29th September 2006

The Sony Ericsson Z558i / Z558c is a very close relative of the existing Z550 handset, but with one unusual change - the Z558 supports handwriting recognition and comes with a touch-sensitive display.

Of course, handwriting recognition is nothing new, but this is the first time that Sony Ericsson have included it in a non-Symbian phone (i.e. a smartphone). As far as we can tell, this Z558 is simply a slight software and hardware revision of an existing run-of-the-mill handset. The Sony Ericsson Z558 can recognise Chinese, Thai and English characters - and as usual with Sony Ericsson, the "c" variant is for China, with the Z558i aimed at other markets.

Other than the handwriting recognition, this is a pretty standard midrange clamshell with a 176x220 pixel display, 1.3 megapixel camera, Memory Stick Micro expandable memory, an FM radio, MP3 player and Bluetooth. The phone weighs the same as the Z550: 93 grams.

Typically devices such as this sell primarily in China and other countries with complex character sets where a traditional keyboard (either a physical one or one on-screen) or numeric keypad (for texting) is impractical. So, even though the Sony Ericsson Z558 is a pretty cool device, you probably won't see one in Europe except from specialist dealers.

Sony Ericsson say that the Z558i / Z558c should be available from October 2006 in Sterling Black and Pearl Copper colour combinations.

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Sony Ericsson Z558i / Z558c at a glance

Available:

Q4 2006

Network:

GSM 900/1800/1900

Data:

GPRS

Screen:

176x220 pixels, 262k colours

Camera:

1.3 megapixels

Size:

Medium clamshell
88x46x21mm / 93 grams

Bluetooth:

Yes

Memory card:

Memory Stick Micro

Infra-red:

No

Polyphonic:

Yes

Java:

Yes

Battery life:

Not specified

 

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