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Sony Ericsson W700i: Not so bold in gold

The Sony Ericsson W700i, launched today, is a remake of the W800i in gold. It's almost identical to its predecessor but according to Sony Ericsson will be cheaper and can support more external memory

Today Sony Ericsson has launched yet another Walkman phone, the W700i, which comes in titanium gold and looks suspiciously like the W800i. It should be available in about a month, but unusually for Sony Ericsson this new release doesn't involve a very different handset.

The W700i is almost identical to the W800i, except that it only comes with a 256MB Memory Stick Pro Duo instead of a 512MB one and can support up to 4GB, instead of just 1GB. This means that although you won't be able to stuff lots of music on it the second you take it out of the box, you will be able to upgrade it to four times the expandable memory capacity of the W800i. It will also be cheaper than its predecessor and of course it will be, er, gold.

Over here at Crave we're not sold on the whole 'same phone, different colour' trend, but we'll probably have to get used to it as consumer devices move inexorably towards becoming fashion items like scarves or trousers. ("Love your UMPC, darling -- where did you find such a lovely burgundy leather trim?")

According to one insider in the mobile phone design world we spoke to, many phone manufacturers are producing innovative and beautifully designed phones in their labs that never make it to market, because they're simply too afraid to stray from more mainstream fare. It's easier to take a popular phone and simply respray it pink or gold -- but where are the new phones, with Velcro keyboards and dilithium crystal fuel cells? Still, we're good little soldiers here at Crave so expect a full review of the (sigh) gold W700i soon. -AL