Sony's Kazuo Hirai bounced up on stage for his very first IFA in the capacity of his new role as CEO to present three new additions to Sony's Xperia line of smartphones – which, with the Xperia Tablet S also unveiled at IFA, has now been expanded to include tablets. The new handsets include the Xperia J, Xperia V, and new global flagship model, the Xperia T, all of which will be brought to market over the next few months.
Hirai presented the company's new direction, stating: "There have been more changes in the last 10 year than in the previous century's combined ... Now is the time for Sony to change. This company cannot stand still. Mobile devices are the gateway to Sony's user experience. The integration of mobile communications was an important step for Sony."
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Xperia T – License to Thrill
It's the heavyweight of the trio at 139 g (4.9 oz) and audiences around the world will get to see it on the big screen when Daniel Craig, aka James Bond, flaunts the flagship Xperia T's distinctive and clean "art design" in the upcoming 007 movie Skyfall.
Hirai said: "Smartphones are not just about product design. Xperia T is our first global flagship model that delivers the best high definition experience in a smartphone to date." Sony promises the Xperia T will deliver the "ultimate HD experience," with Full 1080p HD video recording and a 13-megapixel HD camera. Thanks to the Mobile BRAVIA Engine and a 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Krait MSM8260-A Dual Core processor running Google Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), images should reproduce crisply on the 4.55-inch, scratch-resistant LCD touchscreen packing 1,280 x 720 pixels.
The fast capture 13 MP, auto focus camera goes from from sleep to snap in an instant and the inclusion of NFC (Near Field Communication) technology is designed to allow the device to easily connect to other devices. This means if you wander into your living room from a hard commute and want to keep listening to the same track (for up to 16 hours) you can just touch your Xperia T to NFC-enabled headphones or speakers.
Hirai also took this opportunity to give Music Unlimited, Sony’s digital music subscription service a plug, offering a 60-day free trial of the service to anyone purchasing the Xperia. The phone can also connect to Sony's similar Video Unlimited service to download movies, while games can be downloaded from Google Play or the PlayStation Store to the PlayStation Certified device.
Xperia V – Fast and Rugged
The Xperia V is LTE enabled for speed and what Hirai refers to as, "superfast network performance." Sony claims it also boasts the highest level of water resistance in a smart phone (IP x 5/7, which means it can withstand being at a depth of one meter for up to 30 minutes), so you can keep communicating "come rain, come shine." It's lighter than the Xperia T at 120 g (4.2 oz), with a smaller 4.3-inch scratch-resistant TFT touchscreen with a resolution of 1,280 x 720 and boasts a 13 MP autofocus camera with Exmor R for mobile and HDR.
Xperia J – Stylish but Cheap
There's not much more to say about the 130 g (4.6 oz) Xperia J. It's described as having a "combination of stylish design and standout screen size at a competitive price point." Until pricing details are released we won't know just how cheap this will be but we do know it has a 4-inch scratch-resistant TFT touchscreen with 854 x 480 pixels and a 5 MP camera with auto focus and LED flash. Running Google's Ice Cream Sandwich with a 1 GHz Qualcomm processor it also features a talk time of up to seven hours 18 minutes and standby of up to 618 hours.
Sony is looking to cover its bases by offering a range of smartphones with varying specs and price points. It remains to be seen if this will drive Sony's performance as much as Hirai hopes. The new additions to the Xperia line will be released over the coming months.
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