Sony adds two new phones to Xperia NXT line

The Android phones run Gingerbread, not Ice Cream Sandwich

Sony on Sunday introduced two Android new phones into its NXT series, following the first phone in the series that it launched at CES earlier this year.

Neither of the new phones, which will be available in the second quarter, runs Ice Cream Sandwich, the latest version of Android. They’ll come loaded with Gingerbread instead.

The Xperia P has a four-inch display and an aluminum body. It has a 1GHz dual-core processor, 16 GB flash storage and an 8 megapixel camera.

It’s the first phone to include WhiteMagic, a technology developed by Sony to automatically adjust the display brightness when users are viewing the phone in bright sunlight.

Users of the phone will also be able to buy a SmartDock which will let them easily connect the phone to a Sony TV to watch videos loaded onto the phone or browse the web on the TV from the phone.

The Xperia P also features a new technology called SmartTags that uses the NFC chip in the phone. Users will be able to program a tag to activate applications on the phone. In one example, a user might hang the tag near the front door of their house. Before going out for a run, the user can swipe the phone against the tag to automatically activate GPS, turn on the Bluetooth, and launch a running application.

The slightly lower-end Xperia U has a 1GHz dual-core processor, a 3.5 inch screen and a 5 megapixel camera. It features a thin strip across the bottom of the phone that changes color to indicate incoming calls.

Sony also announced that the Xperia S, the first phone in the NXT series which was introduced in January, will go on sale first in Barcelona this week.

Sony used its press conference to highlight its plans since it completed its purchase of Sony Ericsson. The deal closed on Feb. 15.

“Tonight is different,” said Bert Nordberg, president and CEO of Sony Mobile Communications. Even though Sony Ericsson has had a presence at the Mobile World Congress for ten years, he said “Here, we are 100 percent Sony. Today we are kicking off a new chapter for our company.”

The company emphasized services that it plans to offer across all of its products, including phones, TVs and tablets. Users will be able to download videos including movies and TV programs from Sony Entertainment to their phones and watch them on their Sony TV, for instance. Users of Sony phones will be able to download games from the online PlayStation store. Phone users will also be able to stream from Sony’s Unlimited music streaming service.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's e-mail address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com

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Nancy Gohring

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