On Tuesday, Sony Ericsson announced the latest addition to its Greenheart series of eco-friendly phones, the Sony Ericsson Aspen. However, it's not the green angle that's catching people's attention (though it certainly is a plus), it's the fact that the Aspen is the first smartphone to run Windows Mobile 6.5.3.
This update to Microsoft's mobile operating system brings additional enhancements to the user interface, including more finger-friendly menus and touch controls and support for capacitive and multitouch gestures. In addition, Microsoft made improvements to the Web browser, so you should see faster page load times, smoother gestures for panning and flicking, and better memory management.
Back to the product at hand, the Aspen features a full QWERTY keyboard and a 2.4-inch QVGA resistive touch screen. The smartphone also offers Sony Ericsson's own Slide View and customizable panels so users can quickly access features they use the most. The quad-band (GSM 850/900/1800/1900) offers support for UMTS/HSPA 900/2100 and UMTS/HSPA 850/900/2100 bands as well as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and a-GPS with Google Maps.
While a business-focused device, the Aspen has plenty of goodies for entertainment as well, such as a 3.2-megapixel camera, a Sony Ericsson media player (in addition to Windows Media Player), a YouTube app, and 3D games. The green features of the phone include a Greenheart panel, power-saving mode, and an Eco-mate application, which provides advice and tips on how to lead a more eco-friendly life. The phone is also packaged in recyclable material.
The Sony Ericsson Aspen will be available in select markets in Q2 2010 in either iconic black or white silver. We're hoping to catch a glimpse of it at Mobile World Congress 2010, where Microsoft is also said to be previewing Windows Mobile 7. The show starts on February 15, so be sure to stay tuned for our live coverage.