Sony Ericsson has announced the successor to its P800 and P900-series smartphones and introduced three other mobile phones including the T650, a 3G-capable descendent of its iconic T610.

The new P1 smartphone, which is also GSM/3G, lacks the flip of the P800/900. Instead it has a wide candybar format, with a 2.6-inch 240x320 pixel touchscreen that supports handwriting recognition. Its keyboard has rocker-keys and a Qwerty layout with two letters on each key, somewhat similar to the BlackBerry Pearl.

"We have reduced the size of the P1 by 25 percent compared to the P990," said Steve Walker, Sony Ericsson's head of product marketing. "It's an all-in-one device intended to 'get things done' - there have been amazing step-ups in memory and processing power, so it has the ability to do a lot of things simultaneously."

The P1 supports Microsoft's Active Sync and a number of push email schemes, including BlackBerry Connect, and is preloaded with the Opera web browser, Walker added. It has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.0 built in, along with 160MB of RAM and a Memory Stick Micro (M2) slot - it comes with a 512MB memory card.

It also has a 3.2 megapixel camera and optical character recognition software, which enables the camera to be used as a business card scanner, converting the business card text into an address book entry.

The P1 runs Symbian OS v9.1 and the UIQ 3.0 user interface, and is VOIP-enabled. It will be available from Q3 of this year in two variants - the P1c for China and the P1i for the rest of us - but no pricing was announced.

Walker added that the other three new phones are aimed at buyers who value slim and attractive design as well as function, and will form a new product line alongside the existing Walkman and Cybershot families. They include the low-end T250i, the S500i slider-phone and the T650i feature-phone. The last two both have M2 slots for additional storage.