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Sony Ericsson Z610i: Mirror, mirror on the phone

The Sony Ericsson Z610i is a very shiny offering from the Japanese-Swedish group, who want you to glisten while you jabber away on your dog and bone

Like tech magpies, the Crave team simply can't get enough of shiny gadgets. Fortunately, mobile phone manufacturers seem to have the same affliction and the latest gadget to pop up on our shiny radar is the Sony Ericsson Z610i.

The Z610i is a 3G clamshell phone that has a mirrored section on the front, with a hidden OLED display underneath. A floating text effect is created (similar to the display on the Sony NW-E003 MP3 player), which looks cool and uses up less power than a colour screen.

Completely smooth front sections are a popular design feature at the moment, with similar designs on Motorola's Krzr and LG's KG810 (aka Son80). However, while they look great, these surfaces tend to attract fingerprints, so be prepared to carry a cloth around with you to wipe it down.

Some manufacturers have pointed out that the mirrored sections can also be used as a makeup mirror. We agree, but we think it has other uses as well: annoying people by reflecting the sun in their eyes, sending a signal to an aeroplane when stranded on a desert island, and seeing who's behind you while sitting at your desk, for example.

Fingerprints aside, the Z610i isn't a case of style over substance and packs a 2-megapixel camera, expandable Memory Stick Micro slot and 3G connectivity. It will come in lustre black, rose pink and airy blue, and will be available in shops before Christmas. Details on pricing are still sketchy, but we'll keep you posted. Expect a full review soon. -AL

Update: A full review of the Sony Ericsson Z610i is now live.