Sony Goes it Alone with the Xperia S
Unveiled at thisSony Goes it Alone with the Xperia S year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the Xperia S marks the first attempt by Sony to produce a smartphone since it purchased Ericsson’s 50% share of Sony Ericsson at the end of last year. The new Xperia phone still retains much of the design and branding of the smartphones that have been launched by Sony Ericsson in the past few years, but with complete control over the design and production many are expecting this to be a turning point for Sony in the smartphone industry.
Sony is a market leader in many areas of the electronics industry including TVs and portable entertainment devices but has never quite enjoyed the same level of success when it comes to phones. The split with Ericsson comes after a period of ten years when the partnership introduced many of the features we now take for granted on phones including digital cameras and music/video playback.
One of the most disappointing things about Sony Ericsson phones over the past few years has been their inability to keep up with market trends and developments. At the start of last year the LG Optimus 2X introduced dual core processors, which have since appeared on the bestselling phones of 2011 including the Samsung Galaxy S2 and iPhone 4S. But Sony Ericsson’s main offerings from last year, the Xperia Arc / Arc S and the Xperia Play didn’t managed to incorporate this new development.
The new Xperia S (not to be confused with the Xperia Arc S) is the first dual core phone that Sony will release. At 1.5GHz and with 1GB RAM, it is one of the most powerful phones currently around. But is this too little too late? The industry is all gearing up to switch to quad core, and the first quad core phones could be unveiled either this week at CES or Mobile World Congress in February with quad core phone contracts being on sale within this quarter.
Perhaps this will put off some people who may be holding out for quad core, but the Xperia S still remains one of the most powerful phones running Android Gingerbread. It doesn’t have Ice Cream Sandwich unfortunately, but on the plus side it appears that Sony has spent a lot of time revamping its Timescape system. Timescape was probably one of the biggest gripes that people have had with Sony Ericsson phones in the last couple of years as it was badly designed and caused severe performance issues. It looks like the new design not only looks a lot better but performs better too.
The phone also has a pretty decent camera the 12 megapixel camera comes with LED flash and 1080p video, placing it slightly above the current industry norm. A 1.3 megapixel camera on the front is also one of the highest resolution video calling cameras on offer.
In terms of physical design, the Xperia S looks like it could be the biggest change for quite some time. The last several Xperia phones have all looked almost identical and this may have been one of the reasons why people started to lose interest. The new phone is fresh looking, and has a unique transparent band around the bottom that really sets it apart from a market full of very samey phones. The Xperia S is expected to be launched in the coming months, and like the Lumia 800 for Nokia, this could be a make or break device for Sony. So far things are looking good, and if Sony keeps it up they may be able to push themselves back into the market in a significant way.