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Sony Ericsson Xperia Active gets physical, wants to hear your body talk

The Android-based Sony Ericsson Xperia Active is a real jock, with a sweat-resistant touchscreen and pre-loaded apps to get you moving, as well as some sporty accessories.

Slap on those legwarmers and get ready to sweat with the Sony Ericsson Xperia Active, a rugged Android smart phone.

Up until now, those of us who like to get dirty only had one smart-phone option, the excellent Motorola Defy. But the rubbery phone population is about to double, with the dust- and water-resistant Active due to launch in the autumn.

Compared to the Defy, the Active looks less like a touchscreen smart phone and more like other chunky, rugged feature phones. For a start, its screen is smaller -- 3 inches compared to 3.7 inches -- and it has a projecting lanyard with a wrist strap.

The screen has a fairly low 320x480-pixel resolution, which means that the Active won't be ideal for browsing the Web or anything else that requires extra-sharp visuals. But the display is made of scratch-resistant glass and Sony Ericsson promises that the touchscreen will stay responsive even when it's wet.

The Active will come pre-loaded with MapMyFitness, an app that tracks your runs and other sporting excursions using the phone's GPS. The phone will also have a heart-rate monitor built in. If you want more apps, the latest Android 2.3 Gingerbread software means you'll have access to all the goodies in the Android Market.

The Active will come in orange and white versions, with both black and white back covers included in the box. You'll also get a pair of wireless, stereo Bluetooth headphones so that you can rock out while getting your sport on, and not worry about getting tangled up in your cans. You'll be able to use the included wrist strap or arm case too, if you fancy a pocket-free workout.