Barcelona, Spain – Sony Mobile
Communications expanded its range of NXT-series Android smartphones at the
Mobile World Congress (MWC) and vowed to launch its largest brand advertising
campaign in years.
Sony’s mobile-phone subsidiary will
“significantly increase its marketing investment in 2012,” said president/CEO
Bert Nordberg during a press conference here. Now that Sony Mobile is 100 percent
owned by Sony, he added, Xperia smartphones are “a fundamental part of the Sony
strategy” to cross-pollinate technology and assets among the CE, game and
mobile groups to “revitalize the [mobile] product portfolio in Europe and North
America.” Full ownership of the mobile business will also enable Sony to
accelerate its vision of providing content and services across multiple screens
from TVs to PCs, smartphones and tablets, he claimed.
The first smartphones to be launched under Sony’s sole direction are the
Xperia P and Xperia U, which expand the NXT series to three models, all
featuring a “minimalist approach in hardware and software,” said chief marketing
officer Steve Walker.
models will join the NXT series flagship, the Xperia S. The Xperia S, launched
at January’s International CES, is a PlayStation-certified phone with dual-core
1.5GHz processor, 1,280 by 720 4.3-inch display, 12.1-megapixel camera, FullHD
video capture, near-field communications (NFC) with macro-embedded smart tags, proprietary
Exmor camera sensor, HDMI and DLNA server capability.
The S ships this week in Spain. The P and U
ship in the middle of the second quarter. The company didn’t disclose whether
any NXT series phone will be available in the U.S., but the P and U operate in
HSPA mode in the U.S. 850/1900MHz bands as well as in the foreign 900/2100MHz
Compared to the S, the two new models feature smaller
screens and slightly slower 1GHz dual-core processors, and they lack the S’s PlayStation certification for downloading and
playing PlayStation-branded games. All three access Sony’s video and music
Both new models ships with Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS and will get an
upgrade to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich).
Among the two new NXT models, the U is the lowest price model and the
smallest of the three. Its features include 3.5-inch 854 by 480-pixel display
with proprietary Reality Display technology, Sony Bravia video engine, 720p video capture, 5-megapixl rear camera,
front VGA camera, 8GB of embedded memory, DLNA, RDS-FM tuner, mobile Wi-Fi hot
spot capability, stereo Bluetooth, and a transparent horizontal band that
flashes in different colors depending on the incoming caller. The band also
changes colors to match the photos or videos being displayed. Interchangeable
caps in different colors attach to the bottom of the phone below the
The Xperia P adds an aluminum unibody
available in three colors, 4-inch qHD (8,504 by 540) display with proprietary
White Magic technology to boost screen brightness, 8-megapixel rear camera,
1080p video capture, 16GB of memory, HDMI output and Exmor image sensor.