updated 5/18/2006 8:14:27 PM ET 2006-05-19T00:14:27

Sony Ericsson launched four new mobile phone models Thursday, including two in its Walkman-branded line.

The W850 is Sony Ericsson's first phone in the "slider" category and features a 2 megapixel camera as well as an upgraded version of the Walkman music player for tunes downloaded over third-generation mobile phone networks.

The company, a joint venture of Sweden's Telefon AB LM Ericsson and Japan's Sony Corp., said the phone lets users download music from the Internet and accepts several formats, including MP3, AAC and m4a.

The W850 also introduces a new service that allows users to record a few seconds of a song, either via the microphone or the built-in FM radio, and then with one click, send that clip to a database that will identify the track and relay information about the song back to the phone.

The W710, another Walkman-branded phone, adds functions designed to appeal to fitness-oriented customers. A jogging application measures speed and distance covered. There also is a daily step counter that resets automatically at midnight.

The Z550 and the Z710 are both clamshell phones that Sony Ericsson say fit customers who use their phone both at work and for leisure. The Z710 has a 2 megapixel camera while the Z550 has a 1.3 megapixel camera.

The company also presented the M608c, a touch-screen handset that recognizes Chinese characters. A new version of Sony Ericsson's M600 e-mail phone, the M608c was designed especially for China — Sony Ericsson's largest single market.

All five phones are expected to hit stores in the third quarter of 2006. The company did not release any prices, but a spokesman said the Z550 was expected to sell for about $270, the Z710 and W710 for about $480, and the W850 for about $680 in the Nordic region.

No pricing was available for the M608c.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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