Sony Ericsson Sticks Neck Out of Their (Clam) Shell
By Eric Lin, Wed Sep 03 18:00:00 GMT 2003

Today Sony Ericsson announced 3 new phones, including their first two clamshells for Western markets. New products also include some fun-focused accessories like a Bluetooth controlled micro racer.

Sony Ericsson officially unveiled the heavily rumored and then leaked clamshell Z600. Including all the same features as the current T610 in a clamshell form factor, the Z600 ups its candy bar styled brethren in two ways: an external LCD and user-changeable covers both front and back. SE calls these "Style-Up" covers, and when they say style they mean it. Seemingly inspired by Paul Smith shirts, these new covers look to make the Z600 a must have fashion accessory.

The big push for the Z600 however is fun, not style. In conjunction with the phone launch, SE announced 3 new accessories which work with the Z600 (and the T610/616, we assume). The EGB-10 is a game pad that slots the phone into the center and features a d-pad on the left and four buttons on the right, similar an old NES controller, and (coincidentally?) to Samsung's game pad for the A600. Also launched are the CAR-100 Bluetooth Micro Racers. These are mini sized model cars that can be controlled from handsets via Bluetooth. SE have demonstrated these at trade shows this year, but never made them out to be anything other than a novelty. The last bit of new kit is a new Bluetooth hands free device. We have to call it a device because it's difficult to name. It consists of a pendant with phone controls and even an LCD for caller ID and status display which is connected to a microphone and earbud via a wire.

A second clamshell, the Z200 was also unveiled. This model features a color screen and a pseudo analog LCD clock on the outer display, but lacks the high-end features such as Bluetooth or a camera found in the Z600. The Register notes that it seems to be styled on the original Apple iBook design. From the rounded shape to the color to the handle-like antenna loop thing, we'd have to agree.