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Sony Readies Media-Oriented Smartphones

London – Sony Mobile Communications unveiled two new mid-tier Android smartphones, one focused on music playback and the other focused on video playback and picture taking.

The model designed for video playback features 6-inch screen, making it one of the company’s largest-screen phones. Sony also offers a 6.4-inch phone, the Xperia Z Ultra, with full-HD display. It became available last year in the U.S. as an unlocked GSM phone.

U.S. availability of the two new phones wasn’t announced, but the company said the big-screen model was designed with China, the Middle East, Africa and the Asia Pacific rim “in mind.”

The music-oriented phone is the GSM/HSPA+ 21 (21.1Mbps) Xperia E1 with 4-inch WVGA display, 100dB speaker, and ClearAudio+ mode to balance frequency response at all listening levels. It also comes with shake-to-shuffle control and a dedicated Walkman button to launch the music player. The phone is said to make it easy to combine online and offline music, create playlists, and share tracks. It comes preloaded with free 30-day access to Sony’s Entertainment Network music-streaming service.

The E1 also features 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, 512 MB RAM, 4GB storage, 233 ppi display, 1,700mAh battery, and availability in different colors.

The EI will also be available in a dual-SIM variant that lets users set up both SIM cards independently with custom ring tones and keep both SIMs active so users don’t calls, even when they’re talking on the phone.

The big-screen phone is the GSM/HSPA+/LTE-equipped Xperia T2 Ultra and its dual-SIM variant, both offering music and movie apps that integrate out-of-the-box with cloud services. They feature Snapdragon quad-core 1.4GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of on board storage, and 32GB Micro SD slot.

The 6-inch 720p display incorporates Sony’s proprietary Triluminous and Mobile Bravia display technologies borrowed from the company’s TVs. The 13-megapixel main camera and 1.1-megapixel front-facing camera use the company’s Exmor RS technology, borrowed from Sony’s digital cameras.

The display extends to within 2.5 mm of the phone’s edges to ensure the phone is no wider than a standard credit card, the company said. The phone is 0.3-inches-thick and weighs 6.1 ounces with large 3000 mAh battery.

 Camera apps include portrait retouch, which lets users experiment with “make-up effects” before snapping a self-portrait. The collage function lets users drop images directly into a photo collage, and background defocus lets users blur the background

Timeshift burst takes 31 photos within two seconds, both before and after the shutter button is pressed, so users can select a preferred shot. The camera also takes panoramic shots.

The phone features NFC to share music, photos, videos and movies with such NFC-enabled Sony devices as speakers, a smart watch, wireless headsets and TVs.

The company also launched the SBH52 “Smart Bluetooth Handset,” which consists of earbuds attached to a controller whose OLED display lets users browse their phone’s call log, view text messages, and view caller ID information. It pairs with phones via NFC. It also incorporated FM tuner with RDS.

Pricing on the products was unavailable.