New devices help consumers separate work and private lives

Smartphones bring increasing funtionality

Since the launch of the first generation iPhone in 2007, the device has overtaken the BlackBerry as the ‘must have’ mobile gadget among consumers. But there is more to the smartphone market than just these two brands – Nokia and LG have both recently launched new products, while Sony Ericsson’s Xperia X10 is due to hit the UK’s shelves in early 2010.

The Nokia E72 – like its predecessor, the E71 – features a full qwerty keyboard, but comes with new features that are designed to make it more ‘desktop-like’.

The device is Nokia’s first to allow people to set up instant messaging directly from the home screen, to access tools such as Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo Messenger and Google Talk.

The E72 also comes with the Nokia Messaging push consumer email service. The smartphone can accommodate multiple email accounts and also enables users to create separate profiles for both work and personal messages.

Additional features include an optical navigation key, a five megapixel camera and the latest version of Ovi Maps, which comes with A-GPS navigation and a compass.

LG, meanwhile, has launched the GD510 POP – the world’s smallest full three-inch touchscreen phone.

The touchscreen extends almost to the edges of the brushed aluminium phone, with a single button on the face. This button acts as the menu, end and cancel keys, and lights up in either green or red to reflect which mode the phone is in.

The device sports a simple web browser and user interface, which includes shortcuts to favourite sites and widgets. Users can also play music and movies, and capture photos and video on the phone’s three-megapixel camera. These files can then be stored on the device’s 8GB of external memory, shared online or even sent wirelessly.

Sony Ericsson has announced that its new family of phones will be coming to market in the first half of 2010. The first in the range, the Xperia X10, is due to launch in the UK by the end of March.

The X10’s new UX (user experience) platform builds onto Open OS and combines entertainment features with social media services and a graphical user interface. Sony Ericsson describes the device as “the first mobile phone to truly humanize the way people interact with their phones”.

New applications on the device include Timescape, which manages all the user’s communication with a particular person in one place, from Twitter and Facebook messages to emails and texts. Another, called Mediascape, accesses music, photos and video content from various sources, such as the phone itself and YouTube, presenting them all in one space.

The X10’s intelligent face recognition features can recognise up to five faces in any picture, automatically connecting them with the user’s phonebook and all other related communications.

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