Sony Ericsson 2006
The other exciting phone announced today is the W300, another key expansion of the company's Walkman line of music phones.
As you can see from the comparison shots below, the W300 is based on the Z530, which was announced today for Asia, where clamshell phones are gaining popularity. The Z530 is something of a successor for the Z520, adding a memory card slot. The W300 is the better phone though, adding quad-band GSM, EDGE, and of course the Walkman music software.
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The W300 is designed to be an affordable music phone, similar to the W600. However - as you might guess from the model number - it's decidedly lower-end, with a lower-resolution display and camera. The W300 one upgrade over the W600 is the inclusion of a memory card slot, something sorely missing from the W600.
This is made possible by the tiny new M2 (Memory Stick Micro) card format. It would be so wonderful if Sony would just drop the whole proprietary Memory Stick thing, but at least they're keeping up with the times and shrinking their format to match the size of microSD (TransFlash). This allows them to add a memory card slot to significantly smaller and cheaper phones.
With the memory card slot, the W300 looks like a pretty decent music phone considering its expected entry-level price. Quad-band, Bluetooth, and EDGE class 10 (the fastest practical class for a phone) make this an especially promising contender.
My only gripe with the W300 was the keypad. While it looks a bit like the W600's keypad, they keys unfortunately lack the convex shape of the W600's keys that made them easy to tell apart.
Look for the W300 around mid-year here in the States.