A Guest Post from Simon
Sony and Ericsson have been producing phones together now for 10 years. The two companies joined forces in 2001 after they were both experiencing difficulties in the industry. They went on to become one of the most popular brands, introducing music and video playback as well as digital cameras to mobile phones, features that we all now take for granted. But the partnership was hit hard by the launch of the iPhone in 2007 and failed to adapt to a changing market.
The end of last year saw Sony purchase Ericsson's stake in the Sony Ericsson partnership, in an attempt to have more control over the design and production of the phones. The new Xperia S, unveiled this week at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), is the first attempt by Sony to produce a phone on its own since 2001. First impressions suggest this could be something quite refreshing – and offer a lot more appeal than the Xperia phones that have been on sale for the last few years.
The Sony Ericsson Xperia range originally made quite a bit of an impact, but mobile phone delas for the devices started to dwindle as new models were stale, failed to keep up with technological development and had no unique qualities to separate them from earlier models.
The Xperia S does appear to resolve these problems. It doesn't look too much like earlier Xperia phones, having its own unique rectangular casing, but still retains a distinctly Sony feel to it. It also has a transparent band around its lower half that will really make it stand out from the rest of the smartphone market – even if it is just a cosmetic twist rather than a useful feature.
This is also the first phone from Sony to use a dual core processor, showing that they are starting to keep up with the pace of tech development too. This is not cutting edge, dual core phones first went on sale nearly a year ago, but it is long overdue on a Sony phone. Quad core phones are just around the corner but for the time being this is one of the most high powered smartphones around.
It won't run on Android Ice Cream Sandwich, instead coming with Gingerbread – but Sony appear to have put in a lot of effort redesigning their Android interface and Timescape feature. The phone also benefits from a pretty decent 12mp camera with LED flash and 1080p video, making it stand out a bit from current industry leaders like the Galaxy S2 and iPhone 4S.
The screen is another area where this phone will shine. The LED backlit LCD technology is similar to that of the Xperia Arc, but this comes with a much higher 720p resolution, support for Mobile BRAVIA Engine and even comes with 10-finger multitouch support. It is hard to see where that last feature will truly come in handy, but it is an interesting addition nonetheless.
Although it has only been a couple of months, Sony's decision to take over the Sony Ericsson enterprise in order to produce better handsets appears to be paying off. This is just the start and, like Nokia, Sony could be about to experience a bit of a comeback if things all go to plan.