Hands on with Sony’s Xperia P (again) and Xperia U

By on February 27, 2012 at 1:40 PM.

Hands on with Sony’s Xperia P (again) and Xperia U

We were only able to spend a few minutes with Sony’s new Xperia P smartphone as we rushed from Sony’s press conference to HTC’s press conference on Sunday, and we didn’t get any time at all with the Xperia U. Thanks to a slightly lighter event scheduled on Monday, we were able to make it over to Sony’s booth and spend some quality time with its new smartphones. These are the first smartphones that will be launched by the new Sony Mobile Communications unit that picks up where Sony Ericsson left off, and to be frank, we’re a bit concerned. This pair of Android phones is well-made and we like what Sony has done to its UI atop Android 4.0, but we’re still seeing some things that concern us. Check out our hands-on photos in the gallery linked below, and then hit the break for our initial impressions of the Xperia P and Xperia U smartphones.

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Sony Xperia P hands-on

By on February 26, 2012 at 1:54 PM.

Sony Xperia P hands-on

We’re here in sunny Barcelona, Spain on day 0 of the annual Mobile World Congress trade show — yes, several companies couldn’t even wait for day 1 to hold their press conferences — and Sony’s media event has just wrapped up. In case you missed it, Sony unveiled two devices at this year’s show, one of which was the sleek new Xperia P smartphone that will launch in the second quarter. The handset’s design is reminiscent of earlier Xperia handsets, but like the other members of the “Xperia NXT” family, it features a clear strip near the bottom of the phone that adds a variety of unique lighting features to the device. The phone’s 3.5-inch display leaves a bit to be desired compared to market leaders like Samsung, and colors weren’t nearly as vivid as they are on phones like the Galaxy S II or Galaxy Nexus. The Xperia P will also launch with a dual-core 1GHz processor while the competition is rolling out devices with NVIDIA’s 1.5GHz quad-core chipset, and the difference is noticeable; the Xperia P isn’t laggy per se, but moving around Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich feels a bit slow compared to some other phones. We weren’t able to spend much time with the Xperia P — or any time at all with the Xperia U — but check out a few photos in the gallery below and tune in for HTC’s press conference, which is scheduled to kick off at 2:30 p.m. EST / 11:30 a.m.

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Sony completes Sony Ericsson buyout

By on February 16, 2012 at 11:30 PM.

Sony completes Sony Ericsson buyout

Sony on Thursday announced the transaction to acquire Ericsson’s 50% stake in Sony Ericsson has been completed. Sony and Ericsson announced the deal last October, which was worth €1.05 billion in cash and made Sony Ericsson a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony. The company will be renamed to Sony Mobile Communications and will “further integrate the mobile phone business as a vital element of its electronics business, with the aim of accelerating convergence between Sony’s lineup of network enabled consumer electronics products, including smart phones, tablets, TVs and PCs.” Read on for Sony’s press release. More →

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Gartner: Apple leads smartphone sales to new heights

By on February 15, 2012 at 5:50 PM.

Gartner: Apple leads smartphone sales to new heights

Global smartphone sales increased 47.3% to 149 million units in the fourth quarter of 2011, according to market research firm Gartner. Total smartphone sales for the full year increased 58% to 472 million units and accounted for 31% of all mobile devices sold. The record sales were led by Apple’s iPhone, which sold 37 million units and helped the company capture a 23.8% market share in the fourth quarter. Apple was also the top smartphone vendor in 2011, with a 19% market share. “Western Europe and North America led most of the smartphone growth for Apple during the fourth quarter of 2011,” said Roberta Cozza, principal research analyst at Gartner. “In Western Europe the spike in iPhone sales in the fourth quarter saved the overall smartphone market after two consecutive quarters of slow sales.” Samsung continued its success with LG, Sony Ericsson, Motorola and Research In Motion recording disappointing results. Both ZTE and Huawei dominated the low-end to mid-range market and became — along with Apple — the fastest-growing vendors in the fourth quarter of 2011. “These vendors expanded their market reach and kept on improving the user experience of their Android devices,” said Cozza. Read on for Gartner’s press release. More →

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Sony ST25i ‘Kumquat’ Android smartphone possibly leaked

By on January 23, 2012 at 11:45 PM.

Sony ST25i ‘Kumquat’ Android smartphone possibly leaked

Next month we’re sure to hear about the latest smartphones from several of the world’s largest phone makers during Mobile World Congress, however that hasn’t stopped a number of leaks from occurring ahead of the show. The latest is a possible image of what is presumed to be Sony’s upcoming ST25i “Kumquat” Android smartphone. Specs are still slim at this point and we’re a bit suspicious since it still features the “Sony Ericsson” branding, but this could easily be an early prototype since even the smartphones on display at CES featured the Sony Ericsson name. Sony recently announced it was purchasing Ericsson’s stake in the Sony Ericsson joint venture and its newest phones are now branded “Sony,” but Xperia Blog, which leaked the image, said Sony may still launch devices with Sony Ericsson branding.  More →

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Sony Ericsson posts Q4 loss, blames ‘intense competition’

By on January 19, 2012 at 8:10 AM.

Sony Ericsson posts Q4 loss, blames ‘intense competition’

Sony Ericsson on Wednesday posted a €247 million loss, blaming “intense competition, price erosion and restructuring charges” for its poor results. While the Swedish joint venture did continue to make headway in the smartphone market, noting a 67% increase in Android-based Xperia smartphone sales compared to the fourth quarter in 2012, the average selling price of its phones dipped 14% sequentially and operating margin plummeted to -10% excluding restructuring fees. Mobile phone shipments were down to 9 million from 11.2 million units in the same quarter a year earlier, and revenue slid to €1.29 billion from €1.53 billion in the fourth quarter 2010. “Our fourth quarter results reflected intense competition, unfavorable macroeconomic conditions and the effects of a natural disaster in Thailand this quarter,” Sony Ericsson CEO Bert Nordberg said. For the full year, the company reported an operating loss of €243 million on €5.21 billion in sales. Sony Ericsson’s press release follows below. More →

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Sony Xperia S hands-on

By on January 10, 2012 at 7:49 PM.

Sony Xperia S hands-on

Sony came to this year’s Consumer Electronics Show with a pair of new Xperia smartphones and while they definitely look and feel like older devices in the company’s Xperia lineup in terms of design identity, they were much smoother than older Xperia models. The dual-core 1.5GHz processor in the Xperia S clearly plays a big role in speeding up Sony’s UI, and the 4.3-inch 720p Reality Display produces deep blacks and vivid colors. The UI itself is still one of our least favorite Android interfaces though, and the handset itself feels a bit light. The Xperia S also packs dual HD video cameras — a 12-megapixel camera on the back records 1080p HD video and the front facing camera supports 720p video chats — and the handset is PlayStation certified, giving it solid gaming capabilities without the added bulk of a dedicated controller as was the case with the Xperia Play. Pricing could make or break the Xperia S, but Sony hasn’t yet announced availability details. Check out our hands-on images of the Xperia S in the gallery below.

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AT&T Sony Xperia ion hands-on

By on January 10, 2012 at 6:51 PM.

AT&T Sony Xperia ion hands-on

During the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Tuesday we swung by Sony’s booth to get an up-close look at the Sony Xperia ion, an Android smartphone soon headed to AT&T. The Xperia ion is the first 4G LTE device from Sony and it’s equipped with a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, a 4.6-inch reality display with a 720p HD resolution and Sony’s Bravia Engine, a 12-megapixel camera capable of recording 1080p HD video, a 720p front-facing camera for video chat and an HDMI-out port. We love the thin form factor and faux metal accents, which give it a more premium look and feel. The device currently runs Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) but will be upgraded to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) in the future. The Xperia ion is also PlayStation Certified, which means it can run gaming titles specifically approved by Sony that may not be available on other handsets. AT&T will offer the Xperia ion during the second quarter of this year but pricing still hasn’t been announced. We’re looking forward to seeing if Sony can get back in the U.S. smartphone game, and the Xperia ion certainly looks like it could be a good start.

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Sony Ericsson’s ‘Nozomi’ revealed in hands-on preview ahead of CES debut

By on January 6, 2012 at 3:01 PM.

Sony Ericsson’s ‘Nozomi’ revealed in hands-on preview ahead of CES debut

It looks like Sony Ericsson’s secret has finally been revealed in the form of “Nozomi.” The company has been teasing the previously mysterious and unannounced device for the past week on Facebook. The vendor’s German Facebook page recently revealed another teaser image, clearly showing a sleek and slim RAZR-style smartphone. The Nozomi is set to debut at next week’s Consumer Electronics Show, but ITProPortal published an extensive walk-through with the device early Friday morning. The smartphone, which is referred to as the Xperia HD, features a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8660 processor and a 4.3-inch HD display with a 1280 x 720-pixel resolution. The Xperia HD will also sport 1GB of RAM, a massive 12-megapixel rear camera and will be running Android 2.3.7 with Sony’s custom user interface. Oddly enough, it does not include a microSD slot, leaving users with a mere 8GB of internal storage. Read on for an additional image of the Xperia HD and the company’s Facebook teaser photo.   More →

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Sony Ericsson teases a new device for CES

By on January 4, 2012 at 6:45 PM.

Sony Ericsson teases a new device for CES

Sony Ericsson has taken to the company’s Facebook page to tease a “big announcement” coming at next week’s Consumer Electronics Show. Keen-eyed readers suggest that the teaser images, pictured above, could depict the sequel to the Xperia Arc, though nothing has been confirmed. Over the past few weeks we have seen various Sony leaks suggesting that the company will soon announce a mega-phone set to launch on AT&T, code-named the LT28at. Sony Ericsson also recently registered a new trademark for the name Xperia Ion, and rumors have suggested that the “Nozomi” smartphone may land at this year’s show as well. Whether it is an Xperia Ion, Arc HD or the Nozomi, Sony looks to be gearing up for something big at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. More →

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Sony Ericsson trademark filing reveals Xperia Ion name

By on December 29, 2011 at 10:10 PM.

Sony Ericsson trademark filing reveals Xperia Ion name

In the coming year, Sony Ericsson plans to have more of an Android presence in the United States. Earlier rumors suggested that Sony is planning a high-end smartphone that will land on AT&T, code-named “LT28at.” Additionally, another high-end device code-named “Nozomi” is currently being tested by carriers in Hong Kong and could possibly make its way stateside. According to a recently filed trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Sony is looking to market a new device as the “Xperia Ion.” The trademark was filed shortly before the holidays on December 13th for use in connection with “mobile phones.” With the Consumer Electronic Show just around the corner, we could certainly see this new Xperia device revealed at the show in just over a week. More →

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Sony Ericsson LT28at leaked for AT&T with 13-megapixel camera, 4G LTE support

By on December 21, 2011 at 11:45 PM.

Sony Ericsson LT28at leaked for AT&T with 13-megapixel camera, 4G LTE support

Sony Ericsson doesn’t have much of a presence in the United States smartphone market right now. Sure, it released the Xperia PLAY for Verizon Wireless and AT&T earlier this year, but it didn’t make much of a splash. Sony Ericsson’s U.S. position could change soon, though, if it decides to pump out a bunch of high-end smartphones. The latest rumor suggests that the company could release a phone with the model number “LT28at” that will land on AT&T later this year. It reportedly packs a number of impressive specs, including support for AT&T’s 4G LTE network as well as a 13-megapixel camera, a 4.55-inch Reality Display with a 1280 x 720-pixel resolution and a front-facing HD camera for video chats. The details come simply from a Bluetooth “End Product List” (EPL), which may or may not be legitimate, but we’re definitely hoping AT&T and Sony Ericsson announce something big during the Consumer Electronics Show next month. More →

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Image of unannounced Sony Ericsson ‘Nozomi’ Android phone leaks along with early details

By on December 8, 2011 at 1:15 AM.

Image of unannounced Sony Ericsson ‘Nozomi’ Android phone leaks along with early details

An image of an unannounced Android smartphone from Sony Ericsson code-named “Nozomi” has been published on a Chinese forum along with limited preliminary details. The smartphone reportedly features a 720p HD display and a dual-core processor, but additional specs remain a mystery. From the image, it looks like the phone features a display sized above 4 inches, and we can also see a unique lighting feature near the bottom of the device. The Nozomi is currently being tested by a carrier in Hong Kong according the forum user who posted the image, though a release could still be several months away. Earlier reports suggested that the Nozomi features a 4.3-inch 720p HD display, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread. More →

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