Any doubts of 2011 being SE’s year in the making were cleared during the MWC Keynote. The keynote started with SE announcing 10 million Xperia devices being sold and a 1.1 billion Euro profit for the company. While SE surprised many with their Gingerbread stunner (Xperia Arc), their MWC announcement was more of confirming launch of devices Neo, Play and Pro, all three being Xperia devices running Gingerbread. And the good thing is that each is targeted at a different category of users. A welcome addition to the User Interface is addition of folders, which can be created by dragging one application into another and pinch to see all home screen widgets in one view and then tap on a widget for full view. The email application has received an upgrade too with split pane view, which will be discussed later.
There was a lot of talk about this device on the internet after Eldar did a full blown review of this midrange Android (codenamed Hallon). For a long time, Indian sub-20k (rupee) Android market has been bombarded with droids with inferior hardware. Some had poor resolution while some has very poor processing power and few were h/w worse than a 8k symbian device. While Samsung Galaxy Ace is a nice start to change this idiocracy, SE Xperia Neo is well set to take the fight to the next level. If the rumors are true, this phone will cost less than 20k but will have feature set that will envy many high end Droids and Symbs and WP7s. While the build quality may not match that of premium droids, it is better than most midrange phones, with thin 13mm profile and sleek curves and a glossy blue gradient that lights up the rear with chromed sides, which I hope are metal strips for better grip and sturdiness. The face of the phone is dominated by stunning LED-backlit 3.7” display with a resolution of 480×854. In comparison, this is thrice the resolution that HTC Wildfire (around 15.5k) has. Thankfully, Sony has used BRAVIA engine for superior color reproduction and supports multi-touch too. The phone is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 1GHz Processor (MSM8255, with Adreno 205 graphics accelerator) which is more than enough to keep the UI lag free. While the size of RAM is not known yet, there is 320MB of user memory and the phone supports upto 32GB of microSD expansion (8GB memory included). The camera has 8mp back illuminated CMOS sensor (Exmor-R) for superior sensitivity and low noise. Camera has LED flash, autofocus, continuous autofocus for video that can be recorded at 720p resolution (30 fps), and the usual face and smile detection and there is a front facing camera for videocalling. The recorded videos can be played on TV at HD resolution, thanks to the built in HDMI port. Unlike HTC who has been penny-pinching on battery, SE has been generous enough to provide a 1500mAh Li-Polymer battery for this phone which should be more than enough to keep the phone running for a day. here are a few stunning shots of Neo provided by SE:
Well, this was a surprise. Though I knew that a successor to X10 Mini Pro was in the works, I didn’t expect a high end droid from SE with a qwerty keypad.
Consider Xperia Pro as Neo targeted at business users. Most of the specs are same as that on Xperia Neo (display, build, memory, camera, cpu, gpu, multimedia etc). The following are the extra features that Pro has and by the looks of it, this phone should sell inside 25k but above 20k price point.
- landscape qwerty keypad
- Office Suite Pro document editor
- Slide out game controls
- Original PlayStation content
- Cover flow view of game titles
- 50 titles at launch with 20 partners
- Guitar Hero, Dead Space, Assassins Creed, Splinter Cell, FIFA, Dungeon Defenders Wave 2, Reckless Racing, NFS, Sims etc are few to start with.
- Content partners at launch include Sony Computer Entertainment ,Digital Chocolate, Digital Legends, Electronic Arts, Fishlabs, Gamehouse, Gameloft, Glu Mobile, Handy Games, Namco Bandai Networks, Polarbit, PopCap, Trendy Entertainment, Unity Technologies
- Ships in March, heading to Verizon Wireless in USA to go head on against iphone 4 and Motorola’s Droids.
Everything else is just the same. Given that Desire Z is the only good qwerty under 25k, if SE manages to release Xperia Pro a bit early, it should sell like hot cakes, given the number of qwerty lovers out there. here are few pictures of this phone:
- Xperia Play:
- Undoubtedly the hottest mobile phone that is announced till date and in a long time, Xperia Play is the first PlayStation certified phone to be released to the market. If there is one thing that Android has been struggling to compete at, it is gaming. And now, the droid army not only have a worthy contender in Xperia Play, they are getting an ecosystem that will go unmatched for a long time and here are a few highlights
Onto the specs now. Xperia play has a 4” LED backlit display with a resolution of 480 x 854 and support full multi-touch gestures. the phone is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8255 1GHz processor which is the same processor that powers Neo and Pro. The rest is usual Xperia stuff with Timescape UI, 5mp camera with autofocus and LED flash, secondary camera, Active Noise Cancellation with second mic, Document Editor, 1500mAh battery. There is a lot to explain about this phone and it is better if you read the original document to understand how big this is going to be. Here is the pdf link for the same: https://www.box.net/shared/static/5dudppps6d.pdf
So, four phones (Arc, play, pro, neo) announced till now and each is targeted at a particular user group. Isn’t this a reason why Android has been such a success, the possibility of creating entire different material using one OS at the core.