Sony Mobile Communications - the Japanese company's newest division handling its smartphone business (following the formal buy-back and take-over of the former venture with Ericsson) - has officially unveiled the latest members of its 2012 Xperia NXT Android handset line-up: the new Sony Xperia P and Sony Xperia U.
In addition, Xperia S, Sony Mobile's current flagship and ultimate HD smartphone, is now shipping to markets worldwide; The first batch of units were sold in the Sony Style store at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Xperia P and Xperia U, on the other hand, will be available to consumers across the globe come second quarter this year.
Flaunting the next generation of smartphone design from Sony, the Xperia NXT handsets - which incorporates the best of Sony technology and entertainment - have a look that's instantly recognizable. These smartphones have unique and intriguing design features highlighted by a unibody aluminum enclosure and what Sony calls "transparent element", a band that encircles the base of the phone and also integrates invisible antenna components. Amazingly, this transparent element illuminates when the user receives texts, calls, and notifications.
The NXT line's new user interface follows the same design principles of the hardware. The fresh UI enhances the overall Android experience – offering rich content and applications with a clean and simple look and letting consumers access their fave apps directly from the lock-screen. A new video player, gallery, and music player likewise promise to deliver a more compelling entertainment experience.
Let's get to know each of them --
As earlier discussed in TechPinas, flagship release Sony Xperia S - set to arrive in the Philippines within this quarter - has specifications that will make you believe that the Japanese company can actually give other brands a serious run for the money in this category. The phone runs on a 1.5 GHz Dual Core processor and 1GB of RAM, and features a 4.3-inch display, 12 MegaPixel camera with Exmor R sensor for better shots in low-light conditions, 1080p Full HD video recorder at the back and HD 720p videocam in front. In short and perhaps surprisingly enough, Xperia S has almost everything that a Q1 2012 flagship Android release should have, save for Ice Cream Sandwich OS, which Sony promises to send via firmware upgrade within the 2nd half of this year.
Midrange Sony Xperia P comes replete with a 4-inch Reality Display powered by Mobile BRAVIA Engine and WhiteMagic display technology for an ultra-clear-and-bright and power efficient viewing experience. The smartphone has a 1 GHz Dual Core processor for fast performance with 16GB flash storage, an 8 MegaPixel camera with unique fast capture feature, HD recording and Sony technology to capture 2D and 3D panoramic images, and easy HDMI and DLNA connectivity to share content on any screen. Sony Xperia P is NFC (Near Field Communications) enabled to access a growing range of NFC applications and services as well as the new Xperia SmartTags. The handset, wrapped in aluminum unibody, is available in silver, black and red. It ships with Android platform 2.3 Gingerbread installed but is upgradeable to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich come second quarter of 2012.
Borderline entry-level Sony Xperia U has a 3.5-inch Reality Display powered by Mobile BRAVIA Engine and runs on a 1 GHz Dual Core processor. The phone features a 5 MegaPixel camera, and like Sony Xperia P, it shoots 720p HD videos and captures 2D and 3D panoramic images. Crisp and loud listening is made possible with Sony's xLoud audio technology and 3D surround sound enhancement. As if that's not enough, the handset also ships with a stylish new Smart Headset for Android smartphones, which features a SmartKey – a dedicated application launch key that when pressed, launches the user's fave app. Xperia U is available in a choice of white or black, with pink and yellow swappable caps for the base of the smartphone. Also, it has a unique design accent -- that transparent band near the cap, which illuminates to match the color of photos viewed in the gallery or the album art of music tracks currently playing. Again, just like its more expensive sibling, this handset ships with Android 2.3 Gingerbread installed which users can eventually upgrade to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
Although Sony has yet to disclose exactly when these phones will be released in the Asia Pacific region, there's good indication in Sony's official social networking pages that all three phones will land in the Philippines within Q2 2012. My price guesstimate for Sony Xperia S is around Php 30,000, Php 23,000 to Php 25,000 for Sony Xperia P and around Php 18,000 - 20,000 for Sony Xperia U. Stay tuned for updates, TP Friends - I bet they'll arrive in rapid succession soon.