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Jelly Bean on a budget: Sony's Xperia E pegged for February 2013 release

For many mobile phone enthusiasts, the smartphone world consists almost entirely of flagship devices like Apple's iPhone 5, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, and the Windows Phone 8-running Nokia Lumia 920.

However, as rabid uptake of the mid-range Google Nexus 4 proves, not everyone is content to shell out a small ransom for the most recent high-end handset. Iconic Japanese consumer electronics manufacturer Sony is set to make its latest attempt to capitalise on demand for more affordable devices, with the latest reports from the Carphone Warehouse indicating that its new budget model, the Xperia E, will make its UK arrival in February 2013.

While Sony had previously pegged the Xperia E with an unspecified Q1 2013 release date, the Carphone Warehouse's pinpointing of a February rollout is the most specific indication yet as to the device's arrival.

Sony Germany has put forth a price of €159 for the mobile, which roughly equates to £130 based on today's exchange rate. However, it should be noted that neither the Carphone Warehouse nor Sony UK has confirmed an official UK price at this stage.

So what will the presumably cash-strapped consumer get for their hard-earned money? Specifications are thin on the ground at the moment, but we do know that the Xperia E will feature a 3.5in HVGA display, a single-core Snapdragon processor clocked at 1GHz, 4GB of on-board storage plus a microSD card slot, and a 3.2-megapixel primary camera. More intriguingly, it will be upgradeable to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

Whatever the case, the release of Sony's next budget handset is likely to be largely overshadowed in the technology world when it arrives, as February plays host to the annual Mobile World Congress showcase - the biggest event on the mobile calender - where the likes of the potentially octocore Samsung Galaxy S4 are expected to dominate the headlines.