Sony has unveiled a pair of new Android smartphones, the smaller, music-focused Xperia E1 and the phablet-sized Xperia T2 Ultra with a 13-megapixel, "smart social" camera.
Both handsets run Android and are available in dual-SIM card versions, with two SIM cards that can be set up independently with custom ring tones, as well as switching for voice calls and texting, while either card stays active even when the other is being used for a call.
The Xperia E1, pictured above, has a 4in, 800 x 480 WVGA touchscreen display and is being billed by Sony as a "mid-tier smartphone with seriously premium credentials." It has Qualcomm's dual-core, 1.2GHz MSM8210 application processor under the hood, 4GB of onboard storage and 512MB of RAM, and Cat 14 HSPA+-powered data speeds.
The handset will be available in white, black, or purple, Sony said.
The smartphone's main claim to fame is its music-playing ability. Sony has kitted out the Xperia E1 with shake-to-shuffle controls and "a dedicated 'long press to launch' music button" based on the company's Walkman technology. It packs a 100Db speaker for loud, clean tones and two special modes—ClearAudio+ and xLOUD—for more audio adjusting in different sound environments.
Purchasers of the Xperia E1 will also have access to a pre-loaded, 30-day pass to the Sony Entertainment Network's music streaming service. The phone uses a Bluetooth chip to connect to peripherals like Sony's SBH20 Stereo Bluetooth Headset or its BM10 music receiver for more music-playing options.
"Xperia E1 combines the best of Sony's audio technologies with a premium design and great hardware to create a smartphone for people who want to express themselves out loud," Calum MacDougall, director of Xperia marketing at Sony Mobile Communications, said in a statement. "It's a new, music focused player in our Xperia lineup that is underpinned by the best of Sony's design, display and content offers."
The Xperia T2 Ultra, boasts a 6in HD display in a slim (7.6 mm) and light (173g) package. It's another Android device, this one aimed at emerging markets in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, according to Sony. It's powered by a quad-core, 1.4GHz Snapdragon chip from Qualcomm with 1GB of system memory, and has 8GB ofstorage capacity plus expansion up to 32GB via a MicroSD slot.
The phone's expansive, 720p touchscreen display features Sony's Triluminos technology and the Mobile Bravia Engine 2 for extra brightness and fidelity. The display also covers a lot real estate in terms of screen-to-phone ratio, making up 73.6 per cent of the total area of device's front face.
Conveniently, the Xperia T2 Ultra packs a "massive" 3000 mAh battery to keep the lights on despite the display's power drain, per Sony, while also leveraging the consumer electronic giant's Battery Stamina Mode to automatically shut off processes to save more battery life.
"Xperia T2 Ultra will lead the category through its combination of advanced display and camera technologies, it will bring large-screen entertainment in an amazingly portable form factor, and it will do it all whilst providing incredible value for money," MacDougall said. "Its large HD display will deliver big screen entertainment on the go whilst the efficiency of the design will allow it to remain the world's most portable large screen smartphone."
While the Xperia T2 Ultra packs in a lot of the same music-playing capabilities and services featured in the Xperia E1, including the Walkman app, it's the larger phone's pair of Exmor-aided cameras that are the stars of the show here.
In addition to a 1.1-megapixel front-facing camera, there's a 13-megapixel shooter on this smartphone. Sony is tying in the image-and-video capture capabilities of the Xperia T2 Ultra to its "new smart social camera ecosystem" of developer-created camera add-ons that "extend functionality and re-define the role of the camera."
Some of the apps Sony said will be available for the Xperia T2 Ultra at launch include:
- Portrait Retouch: Turn Xperia T2 Ultra into a virtual mirror and experiment with make-up effects before snapping the perfect self-portrait.
- Collage: Allows you to drop images directly into creative photo collages by changing formats, layouts and backgrounds.
- Background defocus: Create stunning images full of depth by separating foreground elements and burring the background.
- Timeshift burst: Ensures you get the perfect photo every time by taking 31 photos within two seconds, both before and after you press the shutter. You can then scroll through them afterwards to select the perfect shot.
- Sweep Panorama: Snap amazing and seamless panoramas easily. Take a snap then sweep the phone in a direction you set to capture wide-angle panoramas.
Sony did not provide pricing or availability details for either smartphone. The company did offer supporting materials comparing the Xperia E1's specs and performance to the "top 100 smartphones of 2013 with a global average launch price less than 175 Euros [£145]" and the Xperia T2 Ultra to large-sized smartphones priced at 400 Euros (£133) and below, for what that's worth.