Sony Ericsson's answer (in several parts) to the iPhone‾

The release of Sony Ericsson's Xperia mobile phone is still a couple of months away but there's a lot of buzz in the blogosphere about it. The X1 was first unveiled at a mobile telco conference in Barcelona in February. It relies on Microsoft's Windows Mobile 6.0 Professional software and is a personal digital assistant in the Blackberry mold, with a physical keyboard that slides out from under a touch screen. (Some sites are taking pre-orders.)

Is this Sony and Ericsson's long-awaited answer to Apple's iPhone and HTC's Diamond‾ There's a lot to like about this phone. It's slightly bulkier and a tad heavier than the iPhone 3G but it comes with a better camera and, like the iPhone, it has motion-sensing and aGPS, which is faster and doesn't use as much of the battery than plain vanilla GPS. Whether Sony Ericsson can tweak the menus so they're as intuitive as the iPhone's is another matter. We'll have to wait for the release.

But even before the Xperia X1 launch, there's already much ado in the online rumor mill about another Sony Ericsson gizmo. (Google Xperia X5 and you'll see.) It's not clear if this so-called Xperia X5 is an elaborate Photoshop fake or a leak from inside Sony Ericsson. As clever as the cellphone maker's marketers may be, I find it hard to believe that they would intentionally distract the digerati with talk of a futuristic Xperia before the X1 is on the market. My verdict: Don't believe the hype.

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