The first device to be released by post-Ericsson Sony, the Xperia S enters the smartphone market with a thing or two to boast about.
Given that this field is more crowded than ever before – with manufacturers seemingly working without recess to churn out as many variants of Desires, Galaxies and Bolds as is humanly possible – it’s just as well, too.
The Xperia S was unveiled at the CES trade show in Las Vegas, and it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say the specs have been met with wonderment in some quarters.
But let’s start with appearance: how does this trim little handset shape up against the likes of the HTC Sensation or iPhone 4S?
At first glance, the Xperia doesn’t seem like it’s taking any chances with regards to its design.
While hardly featureless, it’s essentially a slim, rectangular block, lacking the finesse of Motorola’s Razr or Motoluxe, or the oblong simplicity of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.
On second glance, however, you’ll notice a narrow, transparent strip along the bottom of the device, one that illuminates any time you key one of the three touch-sensitive buttons that sit above it.
While it may polarise some opinions, it’s certainly a unique touch.
Once you start exploring what’s inside the Xperia, any reservations you had about its appearance will be forgotten.
A lightning-quick 1.5GHz dual-core processor allows you to effortless sweep through the home screen, tinker with profiles, play games or browse the web.
You can even watch a movie in full HD thanks to the gorgeous, super-wide 4.3” LED touchscreen.
With a 720×1280-pixel resolution (identical to the aforementioned Galaxy Nexus), the sharpness of icons, images and videos is truly striking.
Indeed, as a manufacturer of some of the finest televisions in the land, Sony will probably attract interest from just the kind of users who value this sort of quality.
It may seem axiomatic, but it’s worth noting that the camera is just as impressive.
After all, what good would a crisp screen be if your photos were frustratingly fuzzy?
The Xperia S comes with a dynamic 12MP snapper, putting most smartphones to shame in this department.
The sharpshooter also sports Sony’s Exmor R sensor, a feature previously incorporated into the Arc models and one which will allow you to catch images in just 1.5 seconds from standby mode: never miss a moment again.
Though some have criticised the Xperia’s inclusion of Android 2.3 Gingerbread software, Sony has promised that an update to 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is on the way soon.
More importantly, you’ll still be able to whittle away hours trawling the Android market for the next must-have apps and games.
Appealing to the latter, the Xperia S is built upon the gaming expertise of Sony Computer Entertainment, so buying and downloading new games to your XS should be more rewarding than on rival handsets.
Impressed yet? We are. This powerhouse hits the UK in March, and can be pre-ordered now for £499.99 – although the exact price for mobile phone contracts has not yet been announced.