iPhone 4S Rival Alert : Sony Xperia S Goes On Preorder From £21.50

It looks as if Sony may have to chosen to compete on pricing as well as on features, based on the preorder prices for its brand new Xperia S smartphone.

The device, which has not yet been formally launched in the UK, can be preordered from as little as £21.50 per month on a two year contract from O2 (via Buymobilephones) with 100 cross network minutes, 500 texts, 500MB data allowance, 20 photo messages, Priority moments and Wi-Fi via The Cloud and BT Openzone.

The phone itself packs a dual core processor clocked at 1.5GHz, with 1GB RAM, a 12-megapixel camera, a 4.3-inch 1280x720 pixel LED-backlit screen, Sony Mobile Bravia and runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread (with an upgrade path to Ice Cream Sandwich).

Insight is currently selling the phone SIM Free for £409.19, while a query for a two year contract with the same tariff at O2 direct brings up three entry level handsets; the Nokia E5 white, the Nokia C3-01 and the LG Optimus GT540.

The Xperia S is set to be presented at the Mobile World Congress which starts next Monday, with a special preview this Sunday at a special event hosted by Sony. You can read our initial thoughts on the Xperia S (formely known as the Nozomi) here.