aspen1The countdown for the Mobile World Congress 2010 scheduled to be held at Barcelona from 15th-18th of this month has begun. It seems that Sony Ericsson has initiated their MWC 2010 assault by officially unveiling their third QWERTY-packing WinMo handset, Aspen. The bar-shaped Sony Ericsson Aspen is their latest offering from their “GreenHeart” range. It is said to officially run on the latest version of the Windows Mobile OS - 6.5.3. The handset will also pack the company proprietary panel interface like the XPERIA X1 and X2. It seems to be a serious attempt from Sony Ericsson to turn the Smartphone tide to their side.

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Design

It is of block form factor with dimensions 117 x 60 x 12 mm(H x W x D) weighing 130 gms. The Aspen has a 2.4-inch QVGA touchscreen with 240 x 320 pixels. It also features full QWERTY keyboard, UMTS/HSPA (dual or triband, depending on region), WiFi and Bluetooth, along with a 3.2-megapixel camera. There’s also A-GPS, a microSD card slot and stereo speakers, an FM radio with RDS and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Sony Ericsson have packed it full of earth-friendly features such as a power saving mode, using easily-recycled materials, and releasing the manual as an electronic download rather than as a printed document.

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User-friendliness and touchscreen

As far as Windows Mobile 6.5.3 is concerned, it has apparently become more finger-friendly than ever-before. There’s no confirmation as to what sort of touchscreen the Aspen uses, 6.5.3 includes native capacitive touchscreen support. There is no need for stylus. Touch controls are present throughout the system with the platform to enable multi-touch. Tabs are replaced by horizontal scroll bar. Drag and drop icons are present on Start Screen.

Browser performance and Runtime tools

The browser performance is enhanced to a good extent. Page load time has decreased reasonably. Improvement in memory management is also evident. Pan & flick gestures smoothed and zoom & rotation speed has also increased.

Updated runtime tools like .NET CF 3.5 and SQL CE 3.1 is also present. There is also support for Java applications. Watson (error reporting) improvements and bug fixes have been provided as well as Arabic read/write document support.

Connectivity options, memory and battery-life

The local connectivity options of the Sony Ericsson Aspen include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB and a 3.5mm audio jack. There is a built-in GPS receiver and a microSD card slot and there is a 4GB microSD memory card included in the retail package. The handset is said to have a standby-time of 450 hrs. and talktime of 600 mins.

Multimedia and camera

MP3 and AAC music file format is supported. FM radio with RDS is also present. The final noteworthy feature of the Sony Ericsson Aspen is its 3.2 megapixel fixed-focus camera capable of 4x zoom.

Final Words

Sony Ericsson hopes to make a strong foothold in the Windows Mobile segment with Aspen’s inclusion. As Aspen reaches you, we can wait for the final verdict from your hands-on experience - feel free to contribute your thoughts.