Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman launches

The Walkman as a standalone hardware device was killed off earlier this year. But as a way of accessing your music, it's still alive and well, with the Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman handset now flying the flag for that iconic name.

As a handset, it's no slouch, packing a 3.2-inch capacitive screen, an unnamed 1GHz processor, 2GB of storage (expandable by card), a front-facing camera for Skype video calling, plus a five-megapixel camera with auto-focus capable of shooting 720p HD video. As you might expect, it comes with the latest version of Android (Gingerbread 2.3). But that's only half the story of a phone that's being described as a 'unique social music experience' by Sony Ericsson.

Sony Ericsson 's head of product marketing Nikolaus Scheurer said: 'Consumers want smartphones to deliver a rich and social entertainment experience. Rather than a one-dimensional music experience, they want instant and seamless access to new content, combined with the ability to share and connect with their friends. The Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman provides exactly this, in a powerful package with great style.'

Specifically, the Live with Walkman (not sure about that name) has deep Facebook integration, as seen on recent Xperia phones, allowing you to instantly access Facebook through the most used areas of the phone, such as the picture gallery, music player, phonebook and calendar. In addition, a Media Discovery Application offers up 'dynamic' recommendations for music and video, including Facebook-based recommendations from friends. Talking of music, just hit the 'Walkman' button to get instant access to a fully-featured media player.

The smartphone also has what's being called an 'Infinite button'. Tapping it within the media player gives you instant access to new content about yout favourite artist, such as music videos, artist information and lyrics search. Sony's Qriocity music and video content services are also here, should you want to access even more music and movies. Want to bump up the noise levels for those tunes? Sony's xLOUD technology is here too, perfect for annoying your fellow commuters.

Take your pick from black or white when it lands, which is likely to be before Christmas. No news of a price or network availability as yet.

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