Sony expands Xperia brand with two new Android smartphones

BARCELONA, Spain--Sony continues to build out its Xperia entertainment smartphone brand, introducing two additions--the Xperia P and Xperia U--here at Mobile World Congress 2012.

Click here for a Sony video of the company's new design and phones.

Slated to launch globally during the second quarter, both Android devices are part of Sony's Xperia NXT series, which tout a connected, multi-screen entertainment experience spanning smartphones, TVs, laptops and tablets. All NXT smartphones feature the so-called "transparent element," a band that encircles the base of the device and illuminates when the consumer receives voice calls, texts and notifications. In addition, both the Xperia P and Xperia U tout Sony's Mobile Bravia Engine-powered Reality Display for sharper videos and photos, as well as an improved music/video player.

The Xperia P brings to mobile Sony's WhiteMagic technology, which automatically tweaks screen brightness in relation to the user's physical environment to improve video playback quality while also conserving battery life. The phone also is highlighted by Near Field Communications integration and the new SmartDock feature, which allows users to view their phone's media content via television screen.

The Xperia U includes the SmartKey dedicated application launch key, xLoud and Sony 3D surround sound audio playback enhancements, and streaming to wireless speakers via the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) standard. The U also is notable for linking the transparent element to the color of photos viewed in the gallery or the album art of the music that is playing. Xperia U owners can further personalize the device with exchangeable caps and themes that reflect their personality and mood.

Sony (then Sony Ericsson) introduced the PlayStation-certified Xperia Play gaming smartphone in April 2011, rolling out more than 60 mobile games optimized expressly for the device. The Xperia S, the first smartphone in the NXT series, launched at last month's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and is now shipping to retailers worldwide.

"All the new [Xperia] devices come equipped with NFC and to help connectivity across mobile devices and in the home [Sony] has also launched 'smart-tags,'" Informa principal analyst Dave McQueen said in a statement. "Based on NFC and offered in packs of three, users can set up profiles via the smartphone for individual smart-tags depending on a requirement, such as connectivity in-car or with a music system. These take a shortcut to the benefits of near-field connectivity, offering a much more practical and easier proposition to the end user."

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