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Sony Xperia S announced: Bye bye Ericsson, hello 12-megapixel camera and HD screen

The latest Sony phone sans the Ericsson suffix has been announced and it’s looking good. The Sony Xperia S is all about the HD; it’s got an HD resolution screen (1280 x 720 aka 720p) a 12-megapixel main camera that shoots 1080p HD video and even the front-facing camera records video at 720p.

That HD touchscreen measures a meaty 4.3-inches across; not the dizzy heights acheived by the likes of Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus or the LG Spectrum but more than big enough for most. We wouldn’t ever call 4.3-inches ‘cramped’.

We’re pleased to see that the 12-megapixel camera is buttressed by the Sony Exmor R low light sensor. This’ll allow you to easily capture shots in poorly lit areas, like the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc, Xperia Arc S, Xperia Ray et al before it.

Sony’s also making a noise about the Xperia S’s ‘fastest capture’ ability; it’s claimed that you’ll be able to take shots within 1.5 seconds of unlocking the phone from standby mode. Perfect if you’ve just spotted a once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity and you want to whip out your phone, shooting from the hip-styley.

32GB flash storage comes along for the ride and just as well – 12-megapixel cameras tend to take big pictures – as we can see that getting eaten up pretty darn quick. Powering all this is a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, Qualcomm’s MSM8260, which ought to keep things ticking over nicely.

Gingerbread to go, Ice Cream still needs to defrost

Our only gripe is that its going to launch with Android 2.3 Gingerbread (boo, hiss) but an update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is on the cards (yay) for the ‘second quarter 2012’ so we’ll let Sony off.

The spec sheet we’ve got from Sony mentions Sony Ericsson Timescape, so this will obviously need to be configured to work with Android 4.0 before its ready.

The Xperia S also has an NFC chip tucked away, so once the update rolls around you’ll be able to tap to share huge 12-megapixel photos with your Galaxy Nexus-owning mates.

The NFC chip will also work with Sony’s own SmartTags (pictured above and right), customisable coin-shaped tokens that you can use to enable or disable certain features like the alarm clock or the GPS.

Calling Dick Tracy, it’s PlayStation Certified!

The Sony Xperia S is also PlayStation Certified, meaning you’ll be able to get hold of a bevvy of PS1 classics and other PlayStation-related goodness.

And if that wasn’t enough, the Xperia Arc S will also work with a range of Sony accessories – including a Dick Tracy-style SmartWatch micro display. More on these Sony SmartExtras for Android, as they’re being called in a sec.

Arriving in the first quarter of this year, the Sony Xperia S will be coming in black and white editions – more on pricing and who’ll be carrying it as and when it we hear about it.

For now, we’re busy getting up some hands-on pictures of the Sony Xperia S from CES in Vegas – stay tuned for these plus our first impressions.


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