CTIA Wireless 2004
Sony Ericsson didn't announce any new phones at CTIA, having just made major anouncements a couple weeks earlier. They did, however, have a brand-spanking-new, working S700 on hand.
For details on the new phones and my initial impressions, check out my report from the recent press conference in New York City.
The S700 naturally had extremely early software, but the camera viewfinder did work, which showed off the excellent display.
I also had a chance to try the new swivel action. Unlike most swivel-style phones, the S700 can swivel open both ways, all the way, to accomodate both left- and right-handed folks equally. It spins exactly 360 degrees, starting at full-open. In other words, you can open it either way, but you can only close it the way you opened it.
The Z500a is Sony Ericsson's first EDGE phone. My only concern when I first saw the Z500a was the passive STN main display. Considering the other advanced features of the phone, a passive main display seemed out-of-place.
So I asked about it, and Suzanne Cross, Product Marketing Manager, said the primary factor in that decision was cost. The Z500a is designed to be a mass-market phone, which means a $99 price point. Adding a better display would have bumped up the price by as much as $50, putting it out of the range that carriers consider "mass-market".
Knowing that price target definitely changed my mindset. A passive display is expected at that price, and to get EDGE, PTT, VGA camera, dual color displays, and streaming video, all for $99, sounds pretty darn impresive.
Ms. Cross also stressed that the final Z500a will have a better display than the current prototypes. It will still be passive, but she promised it would be better than the display on the T610 and T616.
And finally, a couple fresh pics of the K700: