Sony have announced four new smartphones at CES 2012 in an attempt to remain current in the cut-throat world of high-end smartphones.
Up until now Sony’s (formerly Sony Ericsson’s) presence at the top-end of the smartphone market has been a lacklustre affair. While the Xperia phones have been semi-popular for their style and elegance, they haven’t really conveyed a wow-factor, nor have they stood out from the crowd.
2012 might be different for the company however, as they have released a series of 4 new Xperia phones and gone for broke in terms of specification and added extras.
First up we have the Sony Xperia S which is apparently the beginning of the NXT (next generation) series of phones. The Sony Xperia S comes with a 4.3 inch, 1280 x 720 HD shatter proof and scratch resistant screen featuring Sony’s Mobile BRAVIA® Engine. It runs on a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and the 12 megapixel camera will take pictures within 1.5 seconds from standby and record video at 1080 pixels. The camera also incorporates Sony’s Exmor R CMOS camera chip allowing you to take brilliant photos in poor light conditions.
Sony claims the Xperia S showcases what they refer to as “Iconic Identity" which includes a transparent element at the base (see video below at 0:07 seconds), a unique silhouette which emphasises the display and some fancy illumination effects. The phone is a somewhat weighty 144 grams, however the thickness is an acceptable 10.6 mm. Unfortunately the Xperia S will ship only with Android 2.3, however it will be upgradeable to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich by Q2 2012.
For those Americans wanting an LTE versions, Sony have also announced an AT&T US only LTE version called the Xperia Ion. And for the Japanese market the company have announced two models: the Xperia NX which is a Japanese variant of the Xperia S, and the Xperia Acro HD, a follow-up to Xperia acro with Japan specific features such as infrared data exchange, mobile wallet and TV tuner.
The phones will all come bundled with Sony services such as Music Unlimited, which offers 12 million songs and Video Unlimited which offers the latest Hollywood blockbusters and TV shows from all the major studios. They are all PlayStation Certified too, meaning high quality smartphone gaming and access to the PlayStation store.
For those wanting to spend a little more money, Sony have also announced a range of accessories for the devices. There’s the Smart Wireless Headset Pro which is a Bluetooth headset that also works as a standalone MP3 player and radio when detached from the phone. Then there’s the SmartWatch with a micro display to wirelessly access calls, messages and applications from your phone. And lastly there’s the SmartDock for the Xperia ion which is an HDMI dock that turns that particular phone into a mini computer by connecting it to a USB keyboard, mouse and big screen TV.
According to Sony’s press release, the Xperia S will be available globally from Q1 2012, the Xperia Ion will be available exclusively from AT&T US in Q2 2012 and the Xperia NX and Xperia acro HD will be available in Japan from spring 2012.
Bryan is the founder of Phone Tips and Tricks which provides hundreds of tips, tricks and guides for smartphone users. While he isn't updating the website and blogging about phone related news, he will usually be found tinkering on his own wonder gadget.