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Xperia X1 gets Skype, CNN panels

Read news, use Skype and play poker with the new Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 panels.

More panels for the Xperia X1. Corinne Schulze/CNET Networks

A year after it launched its Xperia X1, Sony Ericsson used the 2009 GSMA World Congress here in Barcelona to launch launch new panels for the high-end smartphone. All panels will be available for download from Sony Ericsson in mid-March.

The Skype panel will offer quick access to the calling service. You'll be able to tell which of your friends are online, browse contacts, and call and instant message your friends. The evening, daylight, and event-based effects will let you customize your handset at will.

The CNN panel will constantly update with the latest news, sports, and weather, all of which can be tailored to your location. You'll also be able to access CNN's "i-Report" citizen journalism tool.

If you're ready for gaming, you can use the Mytopia panel to play bingo and poker with other users around the world and collect virtual coins.

Finally, the On the Road panel brings drivers' call-handling features and quick access to music and navigation tools. The interface will feature large icons and a simple design.