Posted by Prashant Jethwa
Xperia S is a big phone for Sony. It is their first since the Japanese electronics giant ended their ten-year partnership with Ericsson, buying them out and launching Sony Mobile Communications. The Xperia S is widely anticipated to be the flagship device for Sony at the 2012 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Having hemorrhaged a large slice of the huge market share that they enjoyed half a decade ago, Sony have reportedly lost around £200 million in the last year. The Xperia S could hold the key to clawing their way back into the smartphone market.
So how does it shape up? Well the Xperia S is certainly an attractive offering, and its specs are about as good as anything currently on the market. There’s a 4.3 inch scratch-resistant screen with crisp display, 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 16 GB memory and 1 GB RAM. It's also thin, and boasts a quick-response camera that - at a whopping 12 megapixels - has few peers. There's Android’s Near Field Communication, which allows data transmission with the touch of another NFC device. Finally, there's wireless or HDMI integration with home entertainment systems, access to the multi-media Sony Entertainment Network, and the PlayStation Store. All in all, a solid Android package.
Will all that be enough for Sony to claw back a piece of the action? Opinions are divided. Despite recent rumors that the Japanese giant had delayed an end-of-January release, Sony's Ministry of Truth was quick to reiterate that this was a mistake on the media’s behalf, and they had always had the Xperia S slated for shipping in March. Regardless of planned release dates, it will be one of the last of the current wave of equivocal Androids to be released.
HTC are rumoured to be releasing their Endeavor handset around the same time, meaning that the first quad-core Android could arrive just as Sony get their dual-core effort out. There are also whispers that the Xperia S could have arrived too late - like the Xperia X10 before it - to truly worry the competitors. Another problem is the OS: with its comparatively late arrival, some commentators are disappointed that the Xperia S will still ship with Gingerbread 2.3.5 rather than Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0. It will be possible to upgrade to the newest Android OS in Q2 or Q3, but for many tech fans this is simply too late for a phone which is arriving after ICS has been established as the latest OS.
If this phone is to thrive, it may need to rely on two things: its compatibility with existing Sony products, and a competitive price. Available on contract pre-order at around £21, it starts out cheaper than most other handsets with its specifications, and is still generally cheaper than the likes of the iPhone 4S and the BlackBerry Bold 9900. It could well be that price, together with PS3 compatibility, could be just enough to tip it for Sony.
This guest post was written by Simon from Best Mobile Contracts, the number one place to compare mobilephone deals in the UK.