SONY ERICSSON has launched the Xperia Pureness handset in a very posh London department store and even let us in to have a peek at it.
With a SIM free price tag of £600 and limited availability, the Xperia Pureness is so exclusive that it is only being sold at Selfridges. Sony Ericsson is hoping that it becomes one of the most elusive and sought after of Christmas presents.
Sony Ericsson said at the press event that this will 'refine the mobile phone', which is all fine and good if it didn't actually mean that it was stripped of all the features that, you know, make you want to buy a phone. Or perhaps we're missing the point.
The Sony Ericsson Xperia Pureness is a half transparent, half solid-black body that comes with minimal buttons and features. Sony Ericsson has focussed on calls, text messaging and rather bizarrely, the clock feature that is always on display. But there's not much more to it than that.
Sony Ericsson has clearly picked style over substance here, but is it even that stylish? Let's look at the 'transparent liquid crystal LCD screen'. It's not a touchscreen - we like to get grabby with our phones now - the screen is in black and white and the fact that it's see through, while quite a novelty, actually makes reading it quite difficult.
The phone also shows no sign of a keyboard at all when it is powered off which is, we're told, another style thing, but as soon as it is turned on, the keyboard appears, although this can be quite hard to spot.
The handset overall has look about it of one of the Nokias from the late nineties, crossed with a 1960's era 'futuristic' lady shaver.
There are no apps, there is no camera, although there is the possibility to play music out loud and it does pack some basic voice and text capabilities, which is a relief.
The deal is sweetened by a 24-hour concierge service, which offers a team of people providing 24/7 support "for all lifestyle requests" anywhere in the world. Stop sniggering, we're told that means booking flights and taxis and whatnot. Basically there is simply nothing that Sony Ericsson won't do for you or to you if you buy this phone.
The Sony Ericsson Xperia Pureness will go on general sale to the rest of us oiks in January 2010. Plus there are rumours that there's already a second version in the works. We can hardly wait. µ
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