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The Xperia NXT smartphone family, front centre -Xperia S, rear left Xperia P, rear right -Xperia U
Sony has unveiled two new devices that will join the Xperia family of smartphones as it launches a new Sony Mobile Communications business unit.
The company revealed the Xperia P and Xperia U at an event at Mobile World Congress 2012 on Sunday. The handsets are set to go on sale in the middle of the second quarter of 2012, Sony said. Pricing details were not given.
"For the first time, we're hosting a press conference as Sony Mobile Communications. The acquisition of Sony Ericsson was completed just 10 days ago, and here we are on stage 100-percent Sony," Bert Nordberg, president of Sony, told the MWC audience in Barcelona.
Both smartphones will come under the banner of the Xperia NXT range, alongside the Xperia S, indicating its high expectations for the newly formed mobile unit. On 15 February, Sony Communications completed its €1bn (£850m) purchase of Ericsson's half of the former joint venture.
The company hopes to stand apart from other manufacturers of Android handsets though tie-ins with its content creation units, such as the Sony PlayStation Network (PSN) and its film studio Sony Pictures.
"The Xperia smartphone is a fundamental part of the Sony strategy to deliver a connected entertainment experience," Nordberg said. "Sony is a real content powerhouse... So I think it's clear that the content will be a differentiator... Many of our competitors also have Android products, what makes Sony different is a unique user experience."
Image credit: Ben Woods
The Xperia P comes with the option of a dock, for connecting to larger displays
The higher specced of the two devices, the Xperia P, will come with an 8-megapixel camera, 1GHz dual-core processor and will arrive running a tweaked version of Android 2.3, also known as Gingerbread. The company said it will be due an upgrade to Android 4.0 — Ice Cream Sandwich — during the second quarter of 2012.
Sony has also drawn on its display heritage for the screen, providing a 4-inch 'reality display' with WhiteMagic technology for high visibility in very bright conditions.
The Xperia P comes with 16GB of internal storage and an optional dock for connecting the device to a larger screen for video or photo playback. The dock also supports USB connections, which means you can plug in a wireless keyboard or mouse for big screen web browsing, email composition or YouTube sessions.
Image credit: Ben Woods