Sony Ericsson has announced the launch of the new Z770, an "elegant" clamshell phone optimised for the Web and benefiting from HSDPA data speeds.

Designed to make it straightforward to surf the Web or receive the latest news, the phone also offers "email set-up wizard" that the company says makes it simple to access your inbox.

The Z770 can also be connected directly to a laptop (via USB cable) and can be used as a modem.

The Z770 is a UMTS/HSDPA 2100 and GSM/EDGE 900/1800/1900 phone that will be available in "Vogue Red", "Graphite Black" and "Exquisite Gold" in selected markets from Q2 2008.

Here's the official blurb from Sony Ericsson on the benefits of the new handset:

Style in your pocket
A compact, reliable phone that helps you juggle work, home, friends and family. With HSDPA technology providing fast data speeds, the Z770 provides multiple methods of communication whether it’s for a business matter or just staying in touch with the family. This phone combines up to 8.5 hours talk time with easy email set-up and fast internet access. This makes the Z770 a versatile phone for those that have a hectic lifestyle both at work and at home with the family.

Your inbox in your hand
The Z770 makes it easier than ever before to access your email. Even if you’re a technical novice you can access Web email (Hotmail, Yahoo etc) and retrieve mail, straight from your phone. And with Exchange ActiveSync, you can even configure your phone to have work emails pushed straight to your phone, making it easier than ever to stay in touch on the move.

Choose how you want to get online
The Z770 gives you online access, however you choose to get there. Surf the web or retrieve email directly on your phone when you’re in a cab. And when you’re in the hotel lobby, connect the Z770 to your laptop (via USB Cable) and use it as a modem to access the web on your computer.

Once online, web browsing on the Z770 is easy thanks to the Magnetic Mouse Pointer that is controlled by the navigation key. The key changes the icon depending on its position on the Web page (i.e. from text input to pointer or to link). Plus, pan and zoom into an area you’re interested in for easy reading on the good-sized (2.2-inch) screen.

Stay up-to-date
The Z770 offers you all the information you need, right at your fingertips. Receive RSS feeds from news or entertainment websites as the action happens. Or simply click on the RSS tile, or "widget", for instant access to your favourite webpage from your phone’s desktop (or standby screen). In addition, the Z770 has a useful built-in weather forecast application, allowing you to receive regular weather updates and plan your long weekend accordingly.

As well as receiving the latest news and weather forecasts, you can also keep loved ones informed about your own news. Snap a photo on the Z770 and upload it instantly to your own blog site.